Russell Kern

Provide value. Be relevant. That's what the mobile prospect wants. They don't have time to waste, so they want to be served content, offers, surveys, etc., that matters to them. The concept of using the phone to get something in return is not new, as "text to win!" SMS campaigns have been very successful. It's the same trigger for QR codes.

The US Postal Service literally guaranteed the effectiveness of integrating direct mail into marketing campaigns when it launched a postage-back assurance program in mid-May to attract the business of large marketers. The USPS is conducting the “Mail Works Guarantee” to convert large advertisers into direct mail marketers and to counter the large yearly drops it is seeing in First Class mail.

Now that buyers can use the Internet to research solutions, communicate with peers to get insider insights and remain somewhat anonymous during the interest and even consideration phases, B-to-B marketers are tasked to adapt their approaches to fit this new B-to-B prospect.

New media sources might be multiplying like rabbits, but it's comforting to know the tried-and-true best practices of direct marketing tend to perform no matter the channel or medium.

Amid tighter budgets and higher postal rates, more direct mailers are pondering whether or not to test the self-mailer format. "I think direct mail budgets (and client requests) have been trending toward smaller, more cost-efficient formats for some time, well over a year," states Steve Penn, CEO and executive creative director of Penn Garritano Direct Response Marketing in Minneapolis.

Like other misunderstood newcomers, the use of URLs in direct mail was not too long ago a novelty item that companies liked to trot out with pride for their customers, but had yet to figure out its intrinsic value. “I started seeing [URLs] in direct mail in the mid-90s. It was before the bubble, so everyone was so enamored of the idea of having a Web site, but didn’t quite know where they were going with it,” says Neil Feinstein, director of creative strategy at New York City–based True North Inc., an advertising agency that specializes in direct marketing, print and Web design.

More Blogs