Tomarkin/Greenawalt’s Peggy Greenawalt on Copy Strategy
March 26, 2008

Facing spiraling postal costs and impatient prospects, many direct mailers are rushing to cut the letter down and, sometimes, altogether. Fortunately, Peggy Greenawalt keeps a cool head. Part of that has to do with her 25 years of direct marketing experience, and the rest is explained by her in-depth involvement with the three bigs in direct mail: creative strategy, copy and design. Greenawalt began her career as a copywriter at Wunderman, and now she’s president and creative director of the direct marketing agency Tomarkin/Greenawalt in Hartsdale, N.Y., where she mostly works with publishers like Hearst, Time-Life, Condé Nast and Rodale Press. Here, she

You Can Bank on It
January 1, 2008

If the thought of banking brings to mind stodgy institutions that haven’t entered the Web 2.0 world, you’ll have a different perspective when you read our cover story.

Linking Branded Communications to Better ROI
August 22, 2007

For decades, there’s been a discrepancy between how general agencies and direct marketers approach communication. General agencies, so it is said, begin communication from the “top down,” or from the perspective of the brand, while direct marketers begin communication from the “bottom up,” or the vantage point of the customer. But does that mean that direct marketers shouldn’t be focused on work that builds brands as well? Unfortunately, for us, we often operate under this assumption. Many long-time veterans of direct marketing will say that what we do is founded on “quick hit” profitability and that no branded campaign could ever spike sales as quickly

Trashing Brands and Other Stuff
January 23, 2007

The idea that Bostonians would wake up one morning and find out that the Ritz-Carlton Boston was suddenly the Taj Boston is astonishing. Built in 1927, the Ritz-Carlton was to Boston what the Plaza was to New York; the Palmer House was to Chicago; and the Adams Mark was (and is) to San Francisco—a home away from home that offered unmatched elegance, service and ambiance. I’ll take it one step further: perpetual perfection. The motto of the Ritz-Carlton staff: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” A second Ritz-Carlton exists in Boston. But if you Google “The Ritz-Carlton Boston,” the following is

The Ultimate One-to-One Tool
November 1, 2005

By Irene Cherkassky and Jeffrey Lattner Marketing know-how and technical savvy combine, bringing the Web closer to a one-to-one experience. In just a few short years, Web personalization has transformed from a novelty into a discipline. Although many marketers still are new to the intricacies of personalization, the promise of achieving a truly one-to-one dialogue with customers is driving both strategic and technical e-commerce innovation.   Back to Basics Optimizing personalization on the Web is more than seeking out the latest technical bells and whistles. In fact, effective personalization is grounded in the basics of good marketing techniques. "Personalization has moved [away]

The Promise of Permission
February 1, 2004

The balance of power has shifted: Consumers have put a premium on their time. Inundated with countless marketing messages competing for their attention, the American public has expressed its displeasure through its demand for Do-Not-Call and Can Spam legislation. Moving forward, successful marketers will be those who embrace the principles of permission-based marketing and begin to court consumers’ favor by building relationships. Break Through the Clutter “The days when all can graze cattle on the village green are gone,” says Don Peppers, founder of the Peppers & Rogers Group and co-author, with Martha Rogers, Ph.D., of a series of international best sellers on relationship

If the Media's Walls Could Talk Here's what they'd say about buying ad space
October 1, 2003

By Paul Barbagallo Buying media for direct response advertising campaigns can be either painfully complex or amazingly simple. Decisions almost always depend on one element: arithmetic. Once a buyer knows the selling price of the product or service and the allowable cost per order (CPO), they then can determine how much a client can afford to pay for every thousand impressions in the marketplace. Sheri Rothblatt, managing partner at Wunderman Media, explains that the weight you put in the market also depends on a client's seasonality, business trends and when the client needs the lead or sale. "When we're planning from a

How to Act Like a Good Copywriter: Part II
September 1, 2003

By Mark Hallen Knowing your target's mind-set—being able to put yourself in his place—is the basis of "mind-set marketing," and it can greatly influence the creation of your mailing, TV spot, ad, Web site, etc. In Part I of "How to act Like a Good Copywriter" (August 2003) I demonstrated how you can create communications to appeal to what your prospect thinks about your product category, your company and your product. Now, I'll discuss the other three factors: what your prospect thinks of your competition, what his needs and desires are, and what's going through his mind as he holds that stack of

How to Act Like a Good Copywriter: Part I
August 1, 2003

By Mark Hallen While a direct marketing copywriter need not pose a threat to Meryl Streep or Tom Hanks, the ability to do some role-playing can be very helpful in creating successful communications. Of course you should learn as much as you can about the product or service that you're selling. But it can be just as important, if not more so, to know as much as you can about the person you're selling to. You need to put yourself in his shoes, not to mention his mind and his mailbox. This goes way beyond knowing basic demographics. It means knowing what your

TM0203_Cover/10 Big Things
February 1, 2003

By Alicia Orr Suman An interview with Lester Wunderman. Often called the father of direct marketing, Lester Wunderman has said, "I am not sure whether I discovered direct marketing or it discovered me. I found its components one-by-one during a lifetime of trial and error." From that wealth of experiences, Wunderman, who is now chairman emeritus of direct marketing agency Wunderman, created his list of rules: "Nineteen Things All Successful Direct Marketing Companies Know" (from his book, "Being Direct," Random House, 1996). Several of the ideas on that list seem especially important—even urgent—now. So when I recently spoke to Wunderman in an exclusive interview,