If you’re involved in direct marketing, your judgment day will come.
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In Part 1 of the Direct Marketing Dictionary, we explored the hidden meanings behind some unique marketing terms, including “test cell” and “lift.”
If the title of this blog post prompted you to click and read more, you’re most likely either new to marketing in general or eager to add a new arrow to your marketing quiver. In either case, learning about the basics of direct marketing can help you get started quickly and on the right foot.
To begin with, despite what you may have heard, direct marketing is more than just direct mail. While its roots are in traditional mail order, direct marketing has grown beyond that to encompass a host of new technologies, customer relationship-building techniques and performance measures. Today, companies of all kinds use direct marketing, which now accounts for 25% of the U.S. marketer’s budget, surpassing newspapers and broadcast TV.1 Some might even argue that digital media is really direct marketing, increasing this number even more.
Marketers have the ability to drive response by employing a certain tone to support their objective. Often, the product or service being sold determines the tone. A billboard featuring an energy drink will likely communicate its message in a spirited tone, while a PSA might take on a more serious one.
The writer meant well and undoubtedly spent many hours carefully crafting the copy. The designers did their best to make certain the layout look great. And the marketing manager came up with a pretty compelling offer. But despite all that, the direct mail package was a disaster.
One of the advantages of direct mail is that marketers have so many powerful tools to lift response. The list, offer, design and format all play key roles. None are more vital, however, than the words that detail the message itself. In fact, some words have proven so successful that we see them used again and again.
A great direct marketing agency is part beautiful-mind algorithm, part motorcycle-stunt fireworks show. If you find an agency that gets both parts right, you will achieve zen because it can help you increase customer engagement and conversion. How? This type of agency boasts right-brain and left-brain pros with the mojo and know-how to deliver multichannel, response-oriented communications.
The digital revolution has allowed marketers to make their communications even more measureable and personal. To that, direct marketing agencies have given a collective fist pump. Measurability is our bread and butter. It’s what any good direct marketing agency believes in.
Copywriters, especially those who work in response marketing, know that envelope teasers are extremely important. The same goes for email subject lines, the envelope teaser’s not-so-distant digital cousin. In fact, nothing good happens unless the teaser or subject line does its job. That job is to move readers along to the sales message. It’s that simple. However, it’s surprising how often these key components are treated as an afterthought.