Heidi Hoyt Wells

By Tracy A. Gill The burden of any winning magalog is that the very element that led to its success—its ability to stand out in the mailbox—will eventually lead to its failure—the inevitable fatigue that comes with being so recognizable. Because of this dichotomy, magalogs, perhaps more than any other direct mail format, require vigilant testing to thrive in the mailstream. And vigilance in this sense does not just require regular testing, but outside-the-box testing as well. From its eye-catching cover and carefully designed interior to its long-form copy and compelling offer, a magalog has so many facets to test that if you

The harder your offer, the stronger and more visible your guarantee needs to be, says freelance copywriter Heidi Hoyt Wells. This is also true for new companies or those marketers without a household name.

A Round-up of What's Working in the Mail Right Now By Hallie Mummert This year has been no bed of roses for many direct marketers. A stagnant economy paired with increases in postage and other fixed operations costs have dealt marketers a double whammy in budgeting for direct mail programs. A mature market offers another challenge to direct marketers looking for a creative approach that's going to get the job done in the mail. The result is a good deal of uncertainty about what might work best. In years past, you could identify clear trends in format and offer strategy—such as when the double

Edited by Amanda Feingold & Hallie Mummert Where do you get your testing ideas? If you're extremely fortunate, your company uses consultants to guide your marketing efforts. If you're like most marketers, you turn to colleagues, conferences and industry trade publications. The economy being what it is right now, your budget might not allow for the time or money expended on attending a conference, much less the luxury of a consultant. What to do if you can't get to the mountain? Sit back, and we'll bring the mountain to you! We've extracted the best testing tips from industry experts who appeared at

Even when a direct mail effort is garnering good response, there comes a time when it must be tweaked to maintain that response rate. Beating the control, on the other hand, requires crafting a whole new look, and sometimes a new message. Health magazine saw a more modern and eye-catching polybag mailing (202HEALTH1200) upset its long term-control, a 9" x 12" white envelope effort produced by the renowned creative team of Bill Jayme and Heikke Ratalahti (the letter re-written by Judy Weiss). Not only did the wrapping change on this winning package, but a good deal of the content. Ultimately, Health cut costs and

More Blogs