Direct Mail

TM0106_Nuts/Case Study
January 1, 2006

Postcards are an inexpensive direct mail format that can be used to communicate with your audience in a number of ways, such as generating traffic to a retail store, recognizing a customer's birthday or thanking a customer for his or her recent purchase. For Measurable Solutions, a management training and consulting company based in Clearwater, Fla., the object is to generate a lead. Currently in its fifth year of business, the company first began using postcards to generate new clients in 2001 and has been consistently mailing the format since. In fact, Measurable Solutions President Shaun Kirk credits the company's postcard mailings with putting

Room to Grow
December 1, 2005

Highlights for Children was a 43-year-old magazine with a strong brand before marketing any other offerings to its core customers: parents of young children. In 1946, Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and his wife Caroline Clark Myers founded Highlights for Children Inc. The privately-held company flourished with a single product—Highlights for Children® magazine—throughout four full decades before deciding it was time to grow its brand and its business. Today, Highlights for Children Inc. houses under its corporate umbrella several kids’ book club programs, a toy and game catalog, and an interactive Web site. “We are now much more than a single magazine for children.

The Passing of Ed McLean
December 1, 2005

In the 1970s—before telemarketing, infomercials and spam—direct mail was the main response medium. And like every medium, direct mail had its stars—a charmed circle of brilliant copywriters whose names were synonymous with big results and big fees. Among them: Bill Jayme, Chris Stagg, Frank Johnson, Linda Wells, David Ogilvy, Maxwell Sackheim and Ed McLean. With the passing of Ed McLean on Aug. 13 at age 77 after a long illness, the last of the great stars has ceased to shine. McLean was a very special guy—short, funny as hell, with a small mustache and an impish smile. He was enormously supportive when my wife,

Explore Your Postage Options
November 1, 2005

Postage can do more than just get your mail delivered. Your mailbox tells the story. Most direct mail bears ho-hum, routine-looking postage, whether it’s a stamp, metered postage or a preprinted indicia. Sure, it does its job. It gets the mail piece delivered. But if you’re the direct marketer paying for the postage, you also should consider how to make your postage investment work harder to: - make your mail piece stand out from the rest of the stack; - make it look important and valuable enough to get past the mail screener; and - get it opened and read, instead of

Three Getaways Worth the Money
September 1, 2005

By Denny Hatch If you want to recharge your batteries, July is the month to do so at one of three major retreats. The oldest and most famous is held in the Bohemian Grove, a 2,700-acre luxury campsite in the redwood forest of Monte Rio, Calif. There, some 2,000 of the country's movers and shakers in business, finance, academia, science, the military and government convene for networking, concerts and "Lakeside Talks" by distinguished members ranging from Chris Matthews and George Shultz to William Safire and William F. Buckley. The membership list has included every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge as well as some

Beat Your Control
May 1, 2005

Recently, I received a phone call from a B-to-B marketer in Denver who said he needed help beating his 10-year control mailing. There’s no bigger, more rewarding and more frightening challenge than being asked to try to beat a control that’s withstood years of testing. What does it take to overpower a direct mail workhorse that has been in the mail for 10, even 20 years? While I’ll quickly admit I don’t have a perfect track record, I’ve had the chance to learn from what’s worked and what hasn’t. What follows are some tips for you to try as you develop your own control-beating

Oops: 6 Tips to Avoid Direct Mail Gaffes
March 1, 2005

Have you ever received a piece of mail that prompted you to think, “Oops! I wonder what they were they thinking when they mailed me this?” My first tip for avoiding these direct mail blunders is to put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving your mail. Do this and you’re almost guaranteed to avoid the following problems. Timing Is Everything This past Nov. 24—the day before Thanksgiving—I received two different holiday gift catalogs already proclaiming, “It’s not too late—Christmas delivery guaranteed!” and, “There’s still time to order!” With Christmas more than a month away, the “It’s not too late” message is

The Power of Lumpy Mail
January 1, 2005

By Pat Friesen How to get your mail opened first. For years we've endured hearing about junk mail. Then snail mail. Now, I'd like to talk to you about lumpy mail. Unlike the first two, the term lumpy mail isn't meant to be judgmental or derogatory. Simply descriptive. And, no, I didn't coin the phrase; I'm borrowing it from a creative colleague, Dave Nichols of Denver's Heinrich Marketing. My definition of lumpy mail is any envelope with unexpected bulk to it. The envelope can be evenly thick or with a bulge at one end. The key is that when you hold it in

B-to-B Special Report: Put the Direct Back Into Direct Mail With Credit Scores
December 1, 2004

Big corporations might get the lion’s share of business headlines, but the truth is that business in America mostly means small business. Two-thirds of the nation’s new jobs and 40 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product are created by small businesses. Nearly all companies nationwide—99 percent—have fewer than 500 employees, government and industry figures show. That’s why any company planning a large-scale, sophisticated effort to seek out potential B-to-B customers will go where the action is: small- to mid-size businesses. They add up to a huge market for credit card companies offering professional cards, insurance firms rounding out commercial portfolios, office furniture

Do Your Tests Pass Inspection?
December 1, 2004

Not if you’re guilty of any of these common testing mistakes, according to Marketing Managers Tammy Nelson and Christine Andrews. In a session at the DMA’s annual conference in October, Nelson and Andrews drew from their own experiences with American Express Property Casualty companies to expound on some dangerous testing pitfalls—and how to avoid them. • A lack of formal preplanning and number crunching. Testing needs to be more than throwing some ideas into the mailstream to see what sticks. Achieve statistically sound, measurable results by determining what variables you are testing for, what you hope to learn, and what ROI will indicate a