Russ Reid Company
Russ Reid, a direct marketing guru and founder of the agency that bears his name, died on Saturday in his Sierra Madre, Calif., home. According to Russ Reid Chairman Tom Harrison, he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, but the cause of death was pneumonia. Reid was 82. “He was a giant in this industry,” said Harrison. “He basically invented a lot of aspects of direct response.” Reid founded his Pasadena, Calif.-based company in 1964. He retired in 2001, but remained interested in and involved with the agency
Toddler Lucinia hides behind her sister, Netla, and coyly peeks at the camera with one dark mahogany eye. Direct response television (DRTV) can tell Lucinia's story in a way that no other direct marketing channel can. That's why Food for the Poor started using DRTV for fundraising in 2011, says Angel A. Aloma, the nonprofit's executive director.
Their research resources may belong to the Internet age, but most charities still rely heavily on a distinctly low-tech fund-raising tool: direct mail. Indeed, nonprofits spent $1.8 billion on direct-mail solicitations last year. We asked experts to explain some of the strategy behind the carpet bombing. When Pasadena, Calif., marketing consultancy Russ Reid Co. asked donors how often they’d like to hear from their favorite charity, the typical answer was four times a year. But in follow-up tests, the firm found that fund-raising campaigns with 12 to 18 mailings a year were twice as profitable as those based on just three to six mailings. “It more than justifies the extra mailings and possible irritation factor,” says Russ Reid CEO Tom Harrison.
It's always nice to acquire prospects who not only develop a zealous habit of returning to your organization, but also a faith in your product, brand or cause. It's no surprise that marketers have taken taken up the term "brand evangelists" to describe those loyal customers or constituents who spread positive word-of-mouth about their companies.