Pam Linwood

By Tracy A. Gill From list selection and price points to offer and creative, market research can have a strong influence on just about every aspect of a direct mail campaign. "It's kind of like the old 40-40-20 method. We find that about half of the effectiveness of marketing research goes into list selection," says Alan Weber, president of Marketing Analytics Group, a direct marketing consultancy based in Cleveland, Mo., "and the other half can be realized by making better offers and more appropriate creative to those segments." Whether the data is scientifically generated or anecdotally shared, it can give you the creative

Letter Writing Tips From the Pros By Noelle Skodzinski All things can be tested in direct mail. But there are some things that shouldn't be—namely the inclusion of the letter. "I think I would carefully consider going to Iraq before suggesting that someone remove the letter [from a direct mail package]," says direct response veteran Mal Decker. As most experts will tell you, the letter is what gives a direct mail piece its legs. "The sales letter is the master salesman in the package," stresses Decker, who has created direct mail packages for clients such as The Wall Street Journal, Phillips Publishing

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