The Wall Street Journal

Creative Techniques That Work
March 1, 2001

By Pat Friesen What's the difference between direct response copy and creative for front-end prospects vs. back-end customers? In a nut shell, it's the credibility you have with your audience—or how you establish it and then use it to your advantage. Your customer knows your company and hopefully trusts it. He or she has a relationship with your company. You've already met or surpassed your customer's expectations. But a prospect is daring you to: "Show me." What does this mean as you're developing the creative strategies for your direct response advertising? To answer that question, start by defining your objective, including the audience(s) you

Market Focus?Women Investors (842 words)
October 1, 2000

Professional women with Web savvy and an interest in personal investment. Should be a rich marketing source, right? Well, yes. But you'll have to find them first. One look at general investment lists suggests why women investors are so elusive. The Accredited Investors list is 90-percent male; one of the selects of the Active Investors Masterfile is "wives of executives." Clearly this is considered a man's domain. Lee Kroll, president, Kroll Direct Marketing, says: "On [investment-related] subscriber files women generally account for approximately 10 percent of names." An Untapped Resource Buffalo, NY-based Junction List Services rents one of the few terrestrial

Is the Internet Eden or Armageddon? (1,887 words)
September 1, 2000

by Denny Hatch In the place without place, anarchy reigns once worked for a cherubic-faced, hard-drinking publisher named Franklin Watts. "Good morning, Frank," I would say each day. "How are you?" "Happy as a country without a history," he'd respond. How long has it been since the Internet was without a history and considered the new Garden of Eden—a paradise of investor and intellectual euphoria unmatched in the entire spectrum of human endeavor? Less than eight months. Remember the thinking of those heady times? • For investors, here were infinite horizons of obscene profits that turned traditional business models on their ear. "Those who

Marching Orders Using One Voice Over All Media
February 1, 1999

by Pat Friesen Whenever I teach a seminar or workshop on the basics of direct marketing, we talk about the fact that direct marketing uses a variety of types of media—not just direct mail lists. It's interesting how often businesses overlook the opportunity to send "one message"—no matter which medium they're using—whether it's broadcast, space, package inserts, direct mail or online advertising. One observation I'll make is that direct marketers tend to be better about sending the same message and using the same voice in all their advertising efforts than do traditional marketers who are crossing over into direct. Here are some elements of

The Grand Controls - A History
December 27, 1998

Even though the direct marketing community has gone Internet-dippy, direct mail is still the workhorse of direct marketing—and will be for a long time to come. For starters: •More money is spent on direct mail than any other medium—$80 billion in the year 2000 vs. $7 billion on the Internet. (Telephone marketers will insist that their medium is bigger. However, half of telemarketing is inbound—much of it a response to leads, orders and contributions derived from direct mail, DRTV and space ads.) • Direct mail is the medium of choice when it comes to talking to your customers. Many different media are employed

Creativity Boosters!
November 26, 1998

by Pat Friesen Creativity isn't magic. Creativity is taking what you know to be true -- whether factual or instinctive -- and looking at it from a new perspective. It's rearranging what you know to solve problems, create new opportunities, influence established ways of thought. And contrary to popular belief, being "creative" is not just the responsibility of copywriters and art directors. No matter what your job or profession, being creative is part of it. The following are some helpful pointers to get your creative juices flowing. Borrow without embarrassment. No, I don't condone plagiarism, but I do encourage you to look for ideas

Ugly Mailings that Make Millions (1,396 words)
October 1, 1998

Looks can be deceiving, as the old saying goes. And it's espcially true when it comes to the mail. Often, what you might call "plain Jane" direct mail packages get the job done as well, if not better, than their fancier counterparts. Why? The answer is simple, really: These successful mailings were not designed to be beautiful; they were designed to get response...because that's the name of the game in our industry. Highly successful direct mail pieces—long-term controls that have made a lot of money for the companies that mail them—don't necessarily have slick brochures, colorful poly envelopes or expensive interactive devices