Target Marketing May 2010


April Fools’ Day Fun

Who says creativity in direct marketing is dead? Whether companies are celebrating the end of winter, the possible beginning of the end of the recession or simply how social media allows you to prank a much bigger audience than your more gullible co-workers, April Fools' Day 2010 brought scads of tongue-in-cheek promotions.

Buyer Beware

Renting an e-mail list can be an effective way to do e-mail marketing. But it also can be a minefield. While the industry has come a long way in the past 10 to 15 years, it's still good to go into any e-mail rental situation with a "buyer beware" attitude. Here are some tips to help you be a smart e-mail list renter:

Direct Mail Is Alive & Well!

When my wife, Peggy, and I ran the Who's Mailing What! newsletter, we would receive around 2,000 
pieces of junk mail a month. I would eyeball each piece quickly, pick out those worth a second look, and then analyze and illustrate about 12 or 15. All the mail would then be coded, listed and added to the archive so subscribers could order folded paper dummies and "steal smart."

Don’t Break the Bank

When working with clients to create engaging online experiences for their customers, I recommend iterative usability testing—essentially repeated testing—as part of the design and development process. However, I've noticed that few of our clients are interested in conducting formal usability studies, particularly over the past couple of years as the economy has slowed.

Marketing Automation, E-mail Marketing and Social Media

Marketing Automation: Sometimes marketers just want a one-stop shop. Enter ClickSquared of Waltham, Mass., a cross-channel and e-mail marketing solution provider, and its third generation SaaS platform, Click 3G.

Marketing Overdrive

In the early days of 2008, when financial experts were just starting to argue about whether the U.S. was in a recession, Michelin North America rolled out a sales program that would provide exactly the kind of support its network of dealers and distributors would desperately need by year's end.

Personality Hotels Finds Its Twitter Stride

What direct marketers care about is how Twitter generated $70,000 in bookings for Personality Hotels from June 1, 2009, to Feb. 23, 2010. What Erin Finnegan, the San Francisco hotel chain's marketing and social media manager, cares about is that she's providing fun, engaging and relevant information to those considering a visit to the City by the Bay. And that, she says, is how she achieves that metric.

Playing Keep Up

The ever-shifting landscape of search marketing can create unexpected obstacles if marketers don't stay on top of the latest industry developments and consider how these changes can affect their campaigns. The search engines already have announced a number of big changes for 2010. Here are the ones that are sure to affect your campaigns and what you can do now to stay ahead of the competition.

Return on Brand

Database and direct marketing have always been driven by tracking, measurement, analytics and in some ways, ROI. Historically, the idea of "brand" has been given a relatively free pass when it comes to direct, measurable accountability. To explore the ways to bridge this divide and help establish some analytical approach to measuring the value of your brand, let's consider the concept of return on brand (ROB).

Social Media’s Real Role in Lead-Gen

The lead shouldn't represent the beginning of the sales cycle. Sales cycles should start with thought leadership that informs prospects about future trends that will result in business challenges and opportunities—enough so the prospects have an "epiphany" about their needs and enter the sales cycle.

The Power of Typography

I guarantee this column is worth reading if you're responsible for using words to generate more clicks, calls or traffic through the door. No, this isn't about writing copy. It's about increasing readership by increasing readability—the importance of the specific typefaces and fonts selected.

What If We All Decided 
to Do the Right Thing?

In the 1990s, the Direct Marketing Association ran a campaign called "Do The Right Thing" focused on getting marketers to follow industry guidelines and best practices. "Do The Right Thing" is the title of the association's expanded FAQs on its Ethical Guidelines. But what would happen if we actually took this tagline to heart?