4 Tips for Testing Direct Mail Tweaks Online
June 4, 2008

As direct mail marketers continue to build their e-mail files and online presence, the Web becomes a viable channel to test certain tweaks, which don’t always make it into the mailstream. Licinda Mytych, marketing manager for Agora Publishing’s International Living, began testing direct mail ideas online about four years ago and sees it as an excellent way to get inexpensive results before investing in direct mail. “We have to be smart about it—online and direct mail are totally different markets—so you’re not going to put all of your eggs in one basket and devote yourself entirely to online marketing. It will help you read

Copywriter Bob Bly on Direct Mail Creative
October 17, 2007

Prospects can be a fickle bunch. While a few will respond to the same kind of mailing again and again, many others have to be targeted in new and innovative ways. When trying to come up with such ways, who better to speak to than famed copywriter Bob Bly? Author of “The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells” (Henry Holt) and “The White Paper Marketing Handbook” (Thomson), and freelance copywriter for such clients as Boardroom, TCI, Agora Publishing, IBM and Lucent Technologies, Bly knows how visual language, testing the right creative and even good guessing can bring out

Fear: The Most Powerful Emotion on the Planet
February 13, 2007

In 2005, Merck & Co.—the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate—was poised to get FDA approval for Gardasil, a supposedly foolproof vaccine against cervical cancer. In June 2006, the influential government Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommended that shots be given to all pre-teen girls starting as young as nine at the discretion of their doctors. Merck operatives and lobbyists blitzed state legislators with the news. Their message of fear: Unless you make Gardasil a requirement for entrance into junior high and high schools, girls in your state could die of cervical cancer. So far, fearful lawmakers in 20 states are drafting bills that make the

Agora Inc.’s Chris Hines on Developing Marketing Dashboards
January 31, 2007

To help their marketing departments keep up with the speed at which business moves today, companies are investing more time and capital in automation tools that put knowledge into the hands of front-line management. Thus the rise of marketing dashboards, which can be defined as analytics tools that gather key performance measures and make them available to users via their computer desktops. This week, Target Marketing talks to Chris Hines, vice president, marketing intelligence at Publications Services LLC (part of publishing firm Agora Inc.), about the benefits and pitfalls of creating such marketing information tools. Target Marketing: What are the benefits of a marketing dashboard? Chris

A Superstar Crashes and Burns
November 17, 2005

Another shameful chapter in The New York Times story comes to an end Nov. 17, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 49 IN THE NEWS Judy Miller Fights Back with Letters to Dowd and Calame NEW YORK--Judith Miller will not go gently into that good night. Her public relations offensive, which had already taken her to CNN with Larry King and to National Public Radio and elsewhere, now includes angry published letters to two of her antagonists, former colleague Maureen Dowd and New York Times Public Editor Barney Calame. --Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher, Nov. 13, 2005 For us news junkies, the professional demise

Surround Your Customers and Clients
October 20, 2005

Case study: Bill Bonner, master marketer Oct. 20, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 41 IN THE NEWS Secrets of the "Untourist" Revealed Never go where tourists go... Never sleep where tourists sleep... Never eat where tourists eat. Click Here --Pop-up Internet Ad Agora Publishing Oct. 16, 2007 In 1979, a fledgling entrepreneur named Bill Bonner was bloodied by three failures and was $70,000 in debt. In his head he conceived a newsletter to be called International Living for people who wanted the good life, but couldn't afford it in the United States. He sat down at

Global Distribution Strategies
November 1, 2004

A look at how two direct marketers fulfill products overseas You’ve spent countless hours and dollars on your promotional marketing efforts and have succeeded in pulling in orders. Now it’s time to make good on your offer and fulfill the order. Not only do you have to contend with the intricacies of fulfillment, but you must decide how you are going to transport your product overseas and do it cost-efficiently. There is no sure-fire way to save on the back end of international direct marketing. How you fulfill largely depends on the product you are shipping and your allowable turnaround time. Here’s a

20th Anniversary Special: Direct Mail's Biggest Trends and Their Current Impact
October 1, 2004

By Hallie Mummert An old saying promises that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its misadventures. This is true of direct mail, where cutting-edge marketers study the successes and failures of the past in the hope of replicating winners and avoiding losers. In researching the last 20 years of direct mail, as covered by Inside Direct Mail (which launched in 1984 as Who's Mailing What!), I found that many current trends have deep roots in direct mail history. It also became apparent that certain mailing preferences might die off, only to be resurrected when the right conditions exist again.

What's Working in Freemiums
July 1, 2004

A Roundup of low-cost freemiums to fit any mailer's creative strategy By Richard Goldsmith Much has changed in the world since I wrote about popular Freemiums in an article for the April 1998 issue of Target Marketing, a sister publication of Inside Direct Mail. Most important, for the purposes of this article, is the development of the Internet as a marketing force. Back then, direct marketers were using all manner of freebies in their direct mail efforts to stand out and to elicit a response. It was not uncommon to see seed packets, wallet-sized calendars, jewelry pins and paperback books on topics related to

Marketers in the News
June 1, 2003

By Hallie Mummert You might have noticed a few court cases in the news that involve direct marketers and that could affect greatly how you present your products and services in the future. The first case in the trio to be resolved is Illinois vs. Telemarketing Associates, in which the Attorney General of Illinois brought charges against a telemarketing company soliciting donations on behalf of a Vietnam veterans support charity. The issue at hand was whether charities, or their fund-raising agents, are protected by the First Amendment right to free speech in their sales pitches to generate donations. In a battle that went