Strategy

Compare Your Online Marketing to Your Competitors
June 10, 2010

"I have rarely found a strategy that works better at elevating the game of any company than contrasting their efforts with those of their competitors. It is astonishing that in a medium where your competitor is just a click away, the experience is absolutely frictionless, that we still live as if the burden and hurdles of the offline world exist online. It is in comparing to competitors, known and unknown, that you can truly get the management to pay attention. Something about the size of the hit to the ego."

—Avinash Kaushik, June 1, 2010

The 4 Laws of Great Copy
June 10, 2010

On Tuesday, I hosted the DirectMarketingIQ webinar, Words that Get Opens — for Envelopes and Emails, sponsored by Silverpop. Featuring the magnetic and renowned copywriter Herschell Gordon Lewis, it was a high-paced, information-filled hour that any copywriter would benefit from. It's still available for the next days via this link.

Nonprofit Mailers and Investment Newsletters Dig Deep
June 10, 2010

In the deluge of April mail by nonprofits, two mailings initially stood out thanks to their outers, and proved, upon further reading to have a very similar-sounding note in their messages. Across the front of the #11 envelope mailed by the National Breast Cancer Coalition (Archive code #604-179418-1004) is "stopbreastcancer.org" (their website) — it's then repeated 3 times, each one shrinking and fading into the background.

The Coupon Is the Constant
June 3, 2010

If there is one constant technique in direct mail, it's the coupon. For many consumers, especially in this shopping-adverse tepid recovery, redeeming this "hot potato" is quite literally the difference between making a retail purchase, or not. And despite its humdrum reputation, three mailers in April's mailstream show that there are still some new twists to how the good 'ole coupon can be used to generate sales.

4 Tips for Mailing to Luxury Prospects
June 3, 2010

Even in this still struggling economy, luxury prospects are still happy to spend. Greg Furman, founder of The Luxury Marketing Council, defines the luxury prospect base as the estimated 3.2 million American households with liquid portfolios of $1 million and more. “We believe it’s definitely a hard market, but people are still spending,” says Karen Fields, director of market intelligence for Exclusive Resorts, a luxury destination club.

6 Ways to Get a "Lift"
May 27, 2010

"Read this only if you have decided NOT to take advantage of this incredible offer!" You've probably seen this line, or one just like it, a thousand times before. It's always on the cover of a small, folded slip of paper that's an inevitable part of your junk mail. Except this little piece of paper definitely isn't junk. It works. It lifts response. In fact, that's why, in the copywriting business, it's known as a "lift letter." (You may also see it referred to as a "publisher's letter" or a "second letter.")

4 Easy Ways to Get Great Results from Your Copywriter
May 27, 2010

Perhaps you're a small or large business getting ready to launch an advertising or marketing campaign. Or maybe, you're an ad agency or design firm with an overflow of work you can't handle without extra assistance. You don't have the creative talent in-house, so you know you'll have to call upon an independent writer and/or designer to assist you.

Are You Talking to Me?
May 13, 2010

You open a brochure or go to a website and it doesn't take long before you decide that this isn't the product or service for you. What comes across isn't how you benefit from the product, but "how wonderful" the company is that is selling it. In a national conference call I presented in January, one of the points the moderator and I discussed was how many companies think it's important to "strut their stuff" and tell their prospects just how wonderful their company is.

Click Fraud Reaches Historic High: 6 Ways to Prevent It
May 5, 2010

Marketers in the U.S. may wonder what in the world bauxite mining efforts in Vietnam have to do with their online efforts. Plenty, according to a new click fraud report from Mountain View, Calif.-based Anchor Intelligence. The click fraud and traffic quality solutions provider says "invalid traffic" reached a historic high worldwide during the first quarter of 2010, thanks in part to alleged efforts to squelch political dissenters opposing proposed bauxite mining in Vietnam.

Don’t Break the Bank
May 1, 2010

When working with clients to create engaging online experiences for their customers, I recommend iterative usability testing—essentially repeated testing—as part of the design and development process. However, I've noticed that few of our clients are interested in conducting formal usability studies, particularly over the past couple of years as the economy has slowed.