5 New Secrets of Successful Direct Mail
"It's not the most exciting medium, perhaps, but I still believe it's the best way to generate new customers," is what Alan Rosenspan, president of Alan Rosenspan & Associates, had to say about direct mail.
Rosenspan knows direct marketing. He's won over 100 awards for creativity and results; taught direct marketing for the DMA, Bentley College and Babson University; and he is a frequent contributor to the research arm of the Target Marketing group DirectMarketingIQ.
Hearing Rosenspan speak about direct mail best practices as part of the All Star Round Table that opened Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk 2011 was a rare treat, and one you can still partake in on-demand for free. Few people are more in-touch with the best practices of direct marketing today than Rosenspan, and he shared five new direct mail secrets during the show.
1. Straight Forward Packages Always Work Better Than Creative Ones
"Now I'm a creative director, and I hate that," said Rosenspan, "but I absolutely acknowledge the truth of it is that clarity trumps clever. The more straight forward and clear you are, the more effective you're going to be in direct mail."
2. Presenting Information Visually—in Charts and Graphs—Is Absolutely Essential
"People are not long readers anymore," Rosenspan said, pointing to the current culture as having less time and less patience. "They will read something if it's interesting, but they like their information summarized. They like it illustrated graphically, and that can make a big difference in the response to a package." In this environment, simple, visual displays of information work really well.
3. Envelope and Format Have the Biggest Impact on Response
"This is brand new thinking," explained Rosenspan. "For years and years we thought the letter was the most important element of a direct mail package—which was why [we thought] postcards weren't as effective as self mailers. But we're finding now that envelope and format can actually make the biggest difference in response."