Steve Penn

In the world of direct mail, sometimes it feels as if the postcard format is on trial, defending its basic two sides against the prosecution's long letter, freemium, brochure, buckslip and reply. The letter package promises a whole entourage of elements buffering an offer, while the bare-bones approach of a postcard arguably loses the touchy-feely, hold-your-hand sell of a letter package. "I was against postcard use except for very retail-oriented transactions like notifying somebody of a dollars-off or percentage-off sale, or trying to drive traffic to

In the world of direct mail, sometimes it feels as if the postcard format is on trial, defending its basic two sides against the prosecution's long letter, freemium, brochure, buckslip and reply. While testing a postcard format, marketers may be surprised by its many benefits. Here's three key ways to design …

The self-mailer, including the postcard, has been around for decades, and it's often used in a straightforward manner to present a simple offer to a prospect, usually unpersonalized.

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.

Getting prospects inside the envelope often hinges on the teaser. When employed, it may only be a short phrase, but it must simultaneously capture prospects’ attention, address their needs somehow and then spur action on behalf of the mailer. Here are three teaser tactics that may strike the careful balance. 1. Handwritten teasers When properly worded, handwritten teasers supply a more personal note to the mailing, says Herschell Gordon Lewis, copywriter and author of the recent “Creative Rules for the 21st Century—the Richest Resource of Copywriting Secrets for Today’s Market.” But he warns to not overdo it by getting too descriptive or lengthy—save

After decades of use, the 1970s inspirational office poster that says, “Hang in There, Baby!” and shows a very serious little kitty hanging by its paws is a completely exhausted image. We’ve seen the poster re-imagined with different cats on tree branches, jungle gyms, building ledges—you name it. With the advent of stock photography and illustration Web sites, marketers need to keep the above example in mind and be wary of making trite or obvious choices in their campaigns. Steve Penn, CEO and executive creative director of Minneapolis-based direct response firm Penn Garritano, also recommends the following best practices for marketers to successfully incorporate

More Blogs