Crystal Uppercue

Crystal Uppercue
Shift Your DM Tactics from The Many to The Only?

Late last year, NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information featured an article to help marketers deal with the multiple wants, needs, and interests of today's sophisticated — and picky — health care consumers. The researchers talked about the value in customizing health messages, as well as two ways to do that:

Why "Customer Service" Is Not On the DM Bill of Rights

This article contains my version of the services that comprise the 2010 "Direct Marketer's Bill of Rights" — those "inalienables" that you have a right to expect from every direct marketing production vendor with whom you do business. But guess what? Customer service isn't even on the list. Read on and you'll see why.

VDP Disasters and How To Avoid Them

Variable data projects are more expensive than traditional direct mail, so ignoring the basics can cost you. Disasters can be avoided if you keep your eye on three components that you're already familiar with in effective direct mail: data, testing and ROI.

The New Mail: Look, Smell, Hear, Taste and Touch?!

Nothing beats direct mail for the impact of imagery. Not email, certainly. Perhaps not even video carries the drama of a vibrant, colorful photograph you can hold in your hands. Done right, you can almost taste it. That's what Cinnabon discovered last holiday season when it sent nearby businesses a giant poster displaying the company's delectable, gooey cinnamon buns.

For Capturing Survey Data, pURLs Are Golden

Once upon a time, when they were first introduced, pURLs were viewed by many as a fancy way to sell something to customers. Today's smarter pURLs offer customers some benefits, too. For example, pURLs are the perfect landing spot at which customers can both pick up targeted information and offer feedback to a favorite store, charity or membership organization.

Midyear Ins and Outs

Everybody reads those quirky "What's In/What's Out" lists that reappear in the media each year. This got me thinking about direct mail. As you know, effective direct marketing is an ever-bubbling pursuit that continually erupts with new ideas and technologies. As direct marketers, we keep a close watch on what's working-and what's working even better-for nonprofit and for-profit clients in a range of industries. Some techniques that enjoyed IN status last year are definitely on their way OUT in 2009, simply because new approaches and new technologies are achieving better results. Here are a few examples:

PURLs: How to Avoid Data Risks

As technology has evolved, so have consumers’ concerns surrounding the use of their personal data. Not only are they leery of providing information, consumers also are leery of who uses their personalized data and for what purposes. Marketers can ease their customers' concerns by taking precautions, especially surrounding their online marketing efforts. Here are a few tips to think about when creating a personalized URL (PURL) campaign:

The Green Production Process

Felt-covered amphibians and marketing managers agree: It’s not easy being green. But that doesn’t stop Kermit or your friendly neighborhood production company from trying. “Green” is more than today’s favorite buzzword. Marketing managers should put an ear to the ground for the environmentally sound practices of the companies with which they do business. In doing so, they can save money, exhibit stewardship, reduce their carbon footprints and even improve ROI. Find Where the Green Savings Grow For many years, paper has been easy to recycle, so all direct marketing production companies make it part of their plant processes. But direct marketing managers need to