Internet Creative: Think Old, Not New
If Marc G. thinks he can study current Internet marketing techniques only, as opposed to the work of “another era,” he is sadly mistaken.
Direct mail and space advertising are very expensive. Highly disciplined and costly testing is mandatory. Short cuts and casual attention to results are punishable by red ink—lots of it—and layoffs.
On the Internet—where it costs virtually nothing to advertise—there is no need for arithmetic, no allowable cost per order. The only ones punished are you and me, our inboxes groaning with illiterate, irrelevant, self-indulgent, untested crap.
A case in point are the emails I get periodically from Liberty Medical—Wilford Brimley’s outfit—offering to take care of my diabetes.
I do not have—and never have had—diabetes.
In exasperation I called the marketing director of Liberty Medical and asked her why I was receiving these emails.
"It’s cheaper for us to send this offer to everybody than to spend the money segmenting out people with diabetes,” she told me. “What’s more, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, we want to be the first people to reach you.”
Write It Right
I am currently at work on a book titled, “WRITE IT RIGHT: What Authors Can Learn from the Great Copywriters.”
It is based on 25 years’ experience amassing an archive of direct mail samples, tracking those mailings that came in over and over again (which means they were hugely successful) and making them available to subscribers to “steal smart” from.
Today, the WHO’S MAILING WHAT! Archive is online with information on over 200,000 mailings in more than 200 categories—consumer, business, non-profit and catalogs—going back a quarter century.
In researching “WRITE IT RIGHT,” I have this invaluable archive at my fingertips, including over 1,000 “Grand Controls”—direct marketing efforts that were mailed for three or more successive years. Some were mailed for much longer periods, such as the fabled Wall Street Journal “Two young men ... ” letter that was a control for 18 years and brought in more than $1 billion in subscription revenue. These Grand Controls are pure marketing gold (and downloadable as PDFs).