Strategy

Strategy Session: Making Mail More Relevant
August 1, 2009

Back in 1992, I received a phone call from the late Walter Schmidt, who was interested in having me present at the Montreux Symposium in Switzerland. Montreux was not only one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, nestling on Lake Geneva and dwarfed by the magnificent Swiss Alps—it was also home to the world's leading direct marketing conference.

Moving With the Times
August 1, 2009

One of the greatest advantages of the printed newspaper is its portability factor-you can take your newspaper with you wherever you go. But what if you're out of town and want all the amenities of the physical paper, however the locale you're inhabiting at that moment doesn't carry your hometown paper? What then?

Part I: The Power of the Newsletter
July 1, 2009

When you think of direct marketing promotions, a newsletter probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. A lot of words (and money) are spent on brand, but few companies put out newsletters today.

Art That Moves
July 1, 2009

Sometimes a mailing comes together organically, with an inspirational story that connects with inspiring artwork and a powerful call to action. Such is the case with this mailing from the National Parkinson Foundation.

Sweat the Details, Then Reap the Profits
July 1, 2009

Marketers these days have to worry about big, important issues ... branding, click-through rates, website "stickiness," you name it. But as we all know, marketing success ultimately hinges on how you handle all the little details. In other words, how you execute.

Beam Mail Up, Scotty!
July 1, 2009

The Norwegian company Tandberg, which provides high-definition video conferencing solutions for corporations of all sizes, wanted to get the attention of C-level executives in four verticals: finance, manufacturing, utilities and health care. It also wanted to get to them quickly. After all, its new line of products had been delayed, giving competitors a head start, so the firm needed a direct mail effort that would hopefully disrupt any sales process.

Consumer Reports Shows What It's Got
July 1, 2009

In this era of personalized messaging, direct marketing can become a dicey proposition for organizations that target a vast array of consumers. However, Consumer Reports, the consumer products education and empowerment magazine for consumer advocate nonprofit Consumers Union, uses its popular brand as an independent expert on all products to its advantage in reaching its wide-ranging audience.

The Economist Addresses the Economy
June 1, 2009

Writing about the economic downturn in a direct mail package can be a sensitive subject. To date, only a handful of direct marketers have attempted to do so and gotten it right. You don't want to remind consumers of how bad things are and get them in a penny-pinching state of mind when you are trying to promote your product or service. But if your product or service provides added value to protect consumers during a downturn, then the faltering economy can, in effect, become a selling point.

When Creativity Can Kill
June 1, 2009

Over lunch the other day, a friend of mine told me a true story that I want to share with you. A copywriter at a well-known advertising agency recently wrote a 30-second TV commercial and showed it to his boss. The Associate Creative Director read it over and said "It's a great spot, but isn't something missing?" "What's that?" asked the copywriter. "The product," replied his boss. "You forgot to mention the client's product!"