5 Reasons Consumers Hate You

Three out of four consumers surveyed "reported they would resent a brand after being bombarded by emails," according to research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Emailvision. Half would stop favoring brands that got their names wrong, while only 40 percent would be offended by gender errors, finds the survey announced in January.

Automation Quickens Rapid Notify's Email

The decision to seek out a marketing automation tool was a simple one for Monica Seely, marketing manager of Laguna Hills, Calif.-based mass notification services provider Rapid Notify. "Well, I am a one-woman marketing department," she says. "It's just me. So my challenge is time." She had been manually manipulating software to avoid sending batch-and-blast email campaigns to Rapid Notify's 10 customer segments. She was over it.

Is Bigger Better?

When it comes to direct mail, you need to treat the mailbox like the toughest piece of real estate to occupy. The four keys to success include understanding your data, the size and dimension of your mail, the content inside the envelope and testing. It begins with determining a budget and best-case response rate results. The two go hand-in-hand.

Looking Back at 2012 to Survive 2013

If you tried to follow privacy issues affecting direct marketing in 2012, you were looking everywhere. While there was no single major impact from legislation, there was agreement among the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the White House and the Department of Commerce on the direction self-regulatory codes or legislation should take.

Media Usage Forecast 2013

Are doubts creeping into the marketing recovery—and the budgets of our readers? Marketers never did stop expressing doubts about the economy after our last recession. Yet, compared to the responses to our annual Media Usage surveys in 2012  and 2011, this year's survey of our subscribers' marketing media spending plans reveals more guarded budgets than the year before.

Social Hindrances to Progress

If you're launching marketing messages onto social media, please stop. Telling your unique, compelling story and humanizing yourself online? Stop that, too. Listening with social media all in hopes of selling B-to-B products or services? Beware.

Social Media Shakeout

Over the course of 2012, social media marketing finally solidified its place in brand building, marketing and social commerce. Worldwide, nearly one in every five minutes online is spent on social networks, and the effect of that activity on brands has become both measurable and scalable. Facebook leads the pack—three out of every four minutes spent on social networks are spent on Facebook and 55 percent of people online use the site.

The Battle of Prepositions

As I began writing this column, I was immediately struck by one of the words in the deck. Using "from" suggests fitting new marketing data into an existing process integration after new initiatives are introduced, while the word "with" requires a different approach altogether, indicating a process that considers the data before the initiative is launched. These are very different approaches.

What Are Marketers Reading?

Welcome to the "Seventh Annual Media Usage Forecast" issue. This is one of my favorite issues of the year, because it helps us understand what our readers are doing, what your concerns are and, hopefully, what topics we can cover that will be most helpful to you. Results from this annual survey translate pretty directly into the kind of content that gets read in our magazine and on our site, and the things it reveals are always fascinating to me.

When Less Is More

Do you know the No. 1 question I get asked when leading writing workshops? It's these five words: "How long should copy be?" The answer is simple. Copy and content need to be as long as they need to be to do their job: Make a sale. Generate a lead. Provide sought-after information. Establish credibility. As direct response writers know, the only way to know for certain whether longer or shorter "copy works better in a specific situation is to test, track and analyze results. But sometimes it's not feasible to test, so here's my suggestion: Use common sense.

Who Can You Trust on the Web?

2012 was a good year for us, and we decided to splurge on a joint Christmas present—the commemorative set of 22 James Bond DVDs to celebrate the 50th anniversary. We journeyed to Costco to buy some hamburger and the Bond DVDs. Got the hamburger, but Bond was nowhere to be found.