Creative Corner?Catch the Direct Marketing Bug (1,204 words)
How You Can Become a Direct Marketing Entrepreneur
By Lois K. Geller
When I started in direct marketing, it didn't occur to me that I would ever become a direct marketing entrepreneur.
My first job was in continuity publishing with Greystone Press. I wrote "The New International Art Encyclopedia." I enjoyed doing it, and I guess I did a good job because my employer asked if I wanted to take a shot at writing direct marketing copy.
I did. And as a result, I got more involved in learning about the direct marketing process. I studied list selection, offers and design, and I watched response rates every day.
I really liked direct marketing, but never as much as in that one crystal clear moment I will never, ever forget. That is when my son's dentist told me that my son would need braces. I was divorced and had no idea how I was going to handle the additional expense of straightening my son's teeth. So as a way to generate an additional stream of income, I decided to start a business on the side. I figured my best bet was to use my skills as a direct marketer.
I thought about what kind of product I could possibly sell. I wanted a product that was small. I didn't want to worry about warehousing dozens of Weber grills; I wanted something that I could just pop into a jiffy bag. I started my search.
One day, I was window shopping at Macy's jewelry counter when one necklace caught my eye. It had seven gold and silver stars hanging from a delicate chain. I loved it. I asked the saleslady who the manufacturer was. She explained she wasn't allowed to give out that information. So, I returned the following day and asked another salesperson the same question. She went into the stock room and came back with the manufacturer's name, number and address.