The Grand Controls - A History
Even though the direct marketing community has gone Internet-dippy, direct mail is still the workhorse of direct marketing—and will be for a long time to come. For starters:
•More money is spent on direct mail than any other medium—$80 billion in the year 2000 vs. $7 billion on the Internet. (Telephone marketers will insist that their medium is bigger. However, half of telemarketing is inbound—much of it a response to leads, orders and contributions derived from direct mail, DRTV and space ads.)
• Direct mail is the medium of choice when it comes to talking to your customers. Many different media are employed to acquire leads, customers and donors. But once you have a customer, telemarketing is intrusive; e-mail is boring to look at; face-to-face visits are expensive. Direct mail is it.
•American direct mail is the best in the world. It's not because we are smarter, nor more creative. Rather it's because we have the unparalleled luxury of 100 million relatively affluent households and 11 million businesses. These folks can be reached via more than 25,000 lists and other delivery systems; if you factor in selects, the number is more like a quarter million lists. And the U.S. Postal Service will hand carry your message at a fraction the cost of equivalent service of every industrialized country in the world.
No other country has this confluence of factors to create the ultimate direct mail petri dish.
The result: American direct mailers can test small—and in secret. They can reconfirm the test and then—if all systems are GO—they can roll out and make a killing.
Why more awards?
The system for traditional direct marketing awards is to send a call for entries and then a bunch of volunteers to sit around and judge them.
However, direct marketing is the only truly accountable advertising technique—precisely measurable within tenths and hundredths of a percent.