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A direct marketing primer for the beginner

Direct marketing September 24, 2014

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.

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How to drive response with the right messaging tone

Direct marketing July 29, 2014

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.

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Direct mail disasters: Learn from others’ mistakes

Direct marketing July 16, 2014

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.

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Direct mail: The words that work

Direct marketing July 9, 2014

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.

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Zen and the art of selecting a direct marketing agency

Direct marketing July 2, 2014

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.

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Desperate measures: Why every agency secretly wants to be a direct marketing agency

Direct marketing June 24, 2014

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.

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Great opening lines in direct marketing

Direct marketing June 12, 2014

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.

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6 Reasons Direct Mail Packages Flop

Direct marketing June 10, 2014

Your mailing looked great. The list was ideal. So why in the world did it flop so badly? If one or more of these red flags is present, it’s time to rethink your creative.

1. Message isn’t crystal clear
If you’re lucky, you have seven seconds to grab a prospect’s attention. In fact, your potential customer is probably standing over a garbage ready to throw away your mailing. In that moment, you must explain: A) what it is you’re selling; B) how it’ll make their life better; and C) why they should keep reading. To do all that, your message needs to be absolutely clear. Leave the clever headlines and fluffy set-up copy to the branding folks. Every good direct marketing agency knows that if a prospect has to think about what you’re trying to say, your mailing is going into the circular file.

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Direct marketing FAQs: The questions should start the conversations

Direct marketing May 21, 2014

Working in new business development for a direct marketing agency, I have the pleasure of receiving many weekly inquiries regarding our services. Quite honestly, I am starting to think that there must be a book out there titled, The most general and vague questions to ask a direct marketing agency.

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The mysterious case of the vanishing direct marketing agency

Direct marketing April 17, 2014

A few short years ago, I remember celebrating with my direct marketing agency co-workers. It was the night of a major marketing awards dinner, and the judges had been very good to Jacobs & Clevenger. We brought home shiny, new trophies for interactive, viral games, marketing strategy and something called “direct marketing.”

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