Direct Marketing Association

14 No-Fail Steps to Building a Database
October 1, 2000

by Alan Weber People have bet their careers on their ability to build and manage a successful marketing database. Unfortunately, many of those bets were lost. If knowledge and behavior-based marketing is so effective, why don't more database efforts succeed? Rarely does a marketing database fail for purely technical reasons. Most efforts have the hardware and software to be successful. So why do so many fail? Most marketing database efforts that fail do so for at least one of three reasons: 1. People assume that with better knowledge of their customers, they will do the same things more efficiently. In reality, they

Fixes for Outbound Telemarketing Complaints
January 1, 2000

by Liz Kislik A telemarketing rep just hung up on me—literally disconnected me while I was speaking, probably because I asked too many questions about an offer that sounded too good to be true. It was quite clear that she felt I should order now or stop wasting her time. This particular business-to-business call from a large and reputable supplier of digital phone service reminded me of everything I hate about outbound telemarketing and prompted me to ask a few other people what they hate about the calls they receive. Because I believe in the immediacy and persuasiveness of the medium, I took this

Privacy Issues Hit Telemarketers First (528 words)
April 1, 1999

The strength of telemarketing is also its weakness: Telemarketers literally have a direct line to consumers. That advantage means they can speak to potential buyers one-on-one, but it also means they hear the first hint of negativity sounding among consumers concerning privacy. Privacy issues are compounded for telemarketers, involving not only the collection of data—where they're getting their lists and how they're using them—but also the privacy advocates who resent any intrusion into the home. This second factor—minimizing extraneous, unwanted intrusions into consumers' homes—is the crux of the privacy issue for telemarketers. While most marketers make earnest efforts to comply, the

The Data Issue Heats Up the Internet (984 words)
April 1, 1999

Privacy issues are contagious. The stir created by a perceived outrage in one medium can often spread to others like a virus, and lately the direct marketing industry is operating in a hot zone. When it comes to the collection and use of personal data, nowhere is hotter than the Internet. As the online industry develops, the unique privacy standards that sprung up when the Web was still noncommercial have been challenged by both consumers and direct marketers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to debate the restrictive Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, but the push to regulate the Internet involves much

State of the Industry-1999 (2,293 words)
January 1, 1999

Reported by Kelly J. Andrews There's no doubt the direct marketing industry is thriving. Survey after survey shows that both revenues and profits are up, and research companies predict that the future will remain rosy for years to come. However, that bright and happy big picture is made up of lots of small ones—thousands of direct marketers that each have a unique story, strategy and perspective. To find out what's happening at ground level, we conducted a State of the Industry survey that took a close look at direct marketers across the country. The direct marketers we surveyed are a cross-section of

Selling Life Insurance by Mail (1,175 words)
December 27, 1998

by Don Jackson It's odd. The creative for insurance direct marketing is not known for winning awards. It is seldom pretty. It operates on different principles than, say, the publishing industry or traditional continuity programs. It is regulated, and specific words and phrases are prohibited or subject to interpretation by lawyers. All in all, it's an uphill battle for those designers and writers specializing in this field. You see, unlike The DMA's Echo Awards, insurance direct marketing creative does not answer to the standard of "response." In fact, response, per se, is irrelevant. The only measure of success is if the paid response

The Great Mentors (4,982 words)
October 1, 1998

Back In the earlier part of this century, direct marketing didn't even have a name. Over the years, more and more disciples became devoted to this super-focused method of reaching and selling customers; eventually direct marketing drew enough of a following to earn its own professional association and a trade journal. However, only in the past five years has direct marketing fanned out to touch nearly every company across this country—and even the world. For those who started out in this "industry," there weren't any college classes, associations or experts to learn from. No companies ran workshops, seminars or full-blown conferences on creating effective

Referrals - Birds of a Feather
September 1, 1998

by Pat Friesen Yes, it's true: Birds of a feather do flock together. In the direct marketing world this means that customers who do business with you in all likelihood know other people who need your products or services, too. In other words, your customers may, in fact, be able to point you to your best prospects. And that's true whether you sell to consumers or businesses...or are prospecting for new members for an organization. So, if you are interested in the cost-efficient acquisition of highly qualified new prospects, you should have a customer referral program up and running. If you don't, you're

DMA Study Finds Many Retailers Still Not Mastering Cross-Channel
December 31, 1969

Although many retail businesses have mastered the art of multichannel direct marketing, quite a few still are apprentices when it comes to cross-channel integration. This is one of the key findings of a report by the Direct Marketing Association titled "Channel Integration and Benchmarks in the Retail Industry." In the report, the DMA looks at the multichannel players in the retail industry, with the goal of helping retailers determine what aids the process of cross-channel integration -- and what hinders it.