Bill Baird

By Hallie Mummert Rigorous. That's the best word to describe the work involved in developing a stellar renewal series. But as in all direct mail campaigns, rewarding is the word that illustrates what it means to roll up your sleeves, crunch the numbers and test your way into a high-performing series. If you think you've left a few testing stones unturned in your renewal series, the following trends might provide some food for thought. In print, quite a few specific approaches seem to be hot at the moment. But what's interesting is to note how little progress has happened in migrating to e-mail

With Paul Barbagallo To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Inside Direct Mail, I asked industry experts to shed some light on the trends of today that will have the most impact on direct mail in the next 20 years and beyond. "The shift of purchasing onto the Internet. On one hand, it will produce added direct mail volume as Web sites continue to discover that it's a great tool to increase repeat visits from existing customers. And postal mailers will also continue to find more ways to use Web-acquired postal addresses profitably, leading to more mailable names. But at the

By Paul Barbagallo The 6" x 9" outer envelope format seems to be quite popular with the folks at The Atlantic Monthly. Since the late 1990s, the award-winning literary publication has been dropping a myriad of 6" x 9" acquisition efforts, all with varying copy, creative and offer approaches. Arguably the most notable was its one-time control mailing, which featured the compelling carrier-envelope teaser copy: "The Future of the Past. What Men Don't Tell Women. How to Start Your Own Country. Where to Drop the Other Shoe. ... Plus a Free Gift! (see inside)" And, another, new to the Who's Mailing What! Archive

"B-to-b direct marketers will capture more customers if they offer American Express as a payment option in their targeted marketing efforts. Most business people would rather use their corporate card for expense reports, and American Express owns a ton of the corporate card market." —Bill Baird, president of Baird Direct Marketing 

New Offers: A Checklist for Rollouts By Bill Baird Here's a checklist of the seven primary factors to consider before rolling out with a new offer. You'll generate the most profit with the smoothest rollout if you consider these issues. You'll also find tools to help you with your decision by visiting the Reference Library at the DMU Web site (http://www.directmarketinguniversity.com). 1) "What are our test results?" Obviously it's best if you can test offers before rolling out, and preferably more than once for greater reliability. But if you don't have that luxury, roll out only if the likeliest benefits

By Hallie Mummert The most obvious way to increase response to your offer is to improve upon it. Premiums are one way to sweeten the deal by giving the prospect or customer an extra incentive for accepting the main deal. Bill Baird, a direct marketing consultant and the creator of a customized training seminar called the Direct Marketing University, has found that you will get the biggest lift when a premium is added to a "plain vanilla" hard offer with no other bells and whistles. But the opposite situation also is possible, where a "high octane" offer that features a free

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