Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Yesterday during his press conference, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to bring jobs to the states whose voters helped him win. He talked about car manufacturing jobs that will remain in the U.S. once he takes office in a few days and the companies that won’t be offshoring work because of his intervention.

Buyer personas are essential elements in any inbound marketing strategy. The definition provided by HubSpot—semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research and real data about your existing customers—offers a great starting point for the development of these strategic elements for your organization. By visualizing your audience and their unique goals, challenges and processes, you can easily tailor your content and create purposeful messaging. Using real data to form these personas helps align your messaging with your customers' and prospects' specific needs and wants.

In 1984, Peggy and I launched WHO'S MAILING WHAT!—the newsletter and archive service for junk mailers. We started exhibiting at local direct marketing shows in various cities. We trolled for subscribers and I also got a lot of speaking gigs around the country and overseas. Everywhere I went—even London—I would run into a tall, taciturn, archetypical Texan in cowboy boots and Stetson hat. Often, he would be dragging a roller suitcase with an overcoat stacked on top.

CliftonLarsonAllen accountants have quite a reputation for their social skills. Really. Gone are the days of the laconic desk jockeys who could ply their trade behind closed doors. CPAs at his Minneapolis- and Milwaukee-based accounting company are firmly seated as social media influencers, says Patrick M. Byer, Sr., CliftonLarsonAllen's managing partner of federal government services and partner in charge of the Washington D.C. region.

Asking direct mailers about whether or not they use social media in their marketing strategy is a bit like asking anyone in their 30s, 40s or 50s if they've seen the movie The Social Network. "I've heard it's good, but haven't gotten around to it." So, are many direct mailers taking advantage of this popular, yet unproven form of communication?

The direct mail test is making a comeback in 2010. After the May DirectMarketingIQ webinar, Direct Mail Testing in 2010 - Copy, Offer, Lists, Formats, Personalization and More, two prominent direct marketers—Grant Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Direct in Milwaukee, and Steve Cuno, founder and chairman of RESPONSE Agency in Salt Lake City—took on questions that you might have yourself before testing your next campaign.

More Blogs