By Tracy A. Gill The golden rule of direct mail: Know thy audience. You can have the best teaser, the most compelling letter, a once-in-a-lifetime offer, but if it doesn't resonate with your customer, it's just not going to work. "The real key," says Michael McCormick, vice president of strategy and creative at Mason & Geller, a full-service direct response agency in New York City, "is to prepare the [direct mail] package from the perspective of the recipient rather than the perspective of the client. We call it 'WII-FM, everyone's favorite radio station' (What's In It For Me)." One company that tunes into
By Lois K. Geller Every year I look forward to judging The Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Echo Awards. It's interesting to get a bird's eye view of dozens of direct mail, TV and radio campaigns from business-to-business and business-to-consumer direct marketers. Recently, I walked over to The DMA headquarters on 6th Avenue to look at the winners. Many of the submissions were foreign campaigns. Sure, the Echos are an international competition, but in previous years there appeared to be many more U.S. entries. Maybe this year, after Sept. 11, we played it safe and mailed our controls, and didn't test as much.
If you were to take a peek into the file of catalog lead generators we house in the Archive, you would notice that none of them exceed 6"x9" in size--except for a humongous mailing from Mason Direct. It's 10 1/2"x14", to be exact (353MASDIR0199). Why such a large, expensive mailing to generate inquiries for the company's catalog? According to Herb Steinmetz, vice president of marketing at Mason Shoe Companies, this package is part of a two-step campaign that includes an offer of credit to qualified prospects. In the company's experience, mailings based mainly on making an offer of credit tend to draw their