Dean Rieck

Dean Rieck
Duh! Are You Violating These 8 Basic Principles of Direct Marketing?

When a sports team has a bad season, you will eventually see an interview in which the coach gives his "Duh" speech. You know the one I mean. The interviewer shoves a microphone in the coach's face and asks what he plans to do differently next season. Fortunately, when things aren't going right in direct marketing, we don't …

A 7-Step Method to Beat Your Direct Mail Control

If you use direct mail, one of your biggest challenges is beating a control in a head-to-head test. Here's my 7-step procedure, based on proven problem-solving methods. It works for any medium, including direct mail, prints ads and broadcast spots.

The Most Bizarre Direct Mail Tests in History

I've seen some pretty weird tests in my time, but nothing as over-the-top strange as the one reported in the Annals of Improbable Research (Volume 6, Issue 4). Researchers wanted to test the delivery limits of the USPS. So they mailed a bunch of outlandish items to see what would happen.

12 Little Tests in 2012 to Lift Your Mail Response FAST

In an ideal world, you would always have an adequate budget and plenty of time for all your direct mail tests. But here in the real world, things don't always work out that way. To survive in direct mail, you need a few tricks up your sleeve for improving results when time is short and the budget is lean. Here are 12 quick, easy and cheap testing ideas.

Yogi Berra's 10 Tips for Direct Mail Success

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." People aren't logical about the way they perceive money and value. That means you have to test not just prices, but price presentations. Which is best, $24 per year or $2 per issue? How about $7.50 per month or 25¢ per day? I recently had success presenting a $149.95 a month Internet service as "less than 1/2¢ per minute." 

The 6-Step Direct Mail Autopsy: Why Your Mailer Is DOA

Direct mail is a highly effective medium. In fact, it's the most reliable and direct way to reach nearly every consumer with a home address. But every time you send a direct mail piece out into the cold, cruel world, there's a chance something bad will happen.

Open Me Now! 11 Tips for More Effective Direct Mail Envelopes

The direct mail envelope is both the easiest and hardest part of every direct mail package. It's easy in that there's just not that much space to fill with copy or design. But it's hard in that there's so much riding on what you say or don't say. The envelope plays a huge role in determining whether your direct mail package gets opened or trashed.

The 14-Step Formula for Writing the Perfect Sales Letter

There are endless marketing tools and techniques available to you today. But despite all the innovations, the simple sales letter still packs a powerful punch. Every sales letter is a little different, depending on your particular audience and the product or service you're selling. However, there are a few basic elements you should consider.

How to Write a Complete Direct Mail Package, Piece-by-Piece

Creating a mailer can be a daunting task if you don't have years of experience, so let's take a quick look at the basics of writing and designing the granddaddy of all direct mail formats, the "classic" direct mail envelope package. The underlying secret to this format is the principle of "divide and conquer."

Direct Mail Back to Basics: 7 Tips to Boost Response in Today's Crazy Economy

If you rely on direct mail to bring in business, you've probably had a bumpy ride the last couple of years. Just as customers are more prone to avoid risk in these uncertain times, you should try to avoid unnecessary risk in your marketing efforts. This is the perfect time to remind yourself of a few basic principles that drive direct mail marketing.

3 Easy Ways to Instantly Reduce Your B-to-B Direct Mail Costs

In today's economy, businesses wants to improve efficiency and cut costs in every department. This is especially true for B-to-B direct mail marketing. Paper, postage and printing are all on the rise. But how can you cut costs without sabotaging your response?

Energize Your Offer

If you want to improve results for your promotions, your offer is one of the first places you should look to make changes. Offers are central to direct marketing. Strip away the techniques, formats and tactics, and you’re left with people accepting or rejecting offers.

Customer-Friendly Order Forms

24 tips to make your order forms work hard so your customers don’t have to Direct marketing guru Bob Stone once observed that order forms are the “moment of truth.” While your letter, brochure and other inserts spur people to action, the physical act of response comes down to filling out and returning the order form. The job of an order form is not to persuade but to make response easy and quick: It’s a facilitator meant to keep the action going and not get in the way. Here are some ideas to consider implementing to make your order forms work harder, so