I'm back from the DMA Annual Conference in Atlanta, and I must tell you it was one of the best ever.
I congratulate President & CEO John Greco, Ann Schaefer and the rest of the DMA team who did such an outstanding job. A few highlights:
It was also a great opportunity for me to meet my clients, make new friends and enjoy long conversations with luminaries such as Grant Johnson, whose agency does some of the best direct marketing work in the country.
If you missed attending, you can purchase a copy of all the presentations on one DVD from the DMA. Just visit www.the-dma.org.
And you can get a free copy of my presentations at our new FTP site, which is listed later in this newsletter.
It's not industrial espionage but it's close.
Now you can view samples of what your competition is mailing without breaking into their offices; luring away their employees, or stealing other people's mail.
The service is called Comperemedia, and they monitor hundreds of thousands of direct mail packages in both the U.S. and Canada.
When you subscribe at www.comperemedia.com, you have access to:
And when you subscribe, Comperemedia will even alert you by e-mail, when a relevant campaign has been added to their database.
Comperemedia is more valuable for some categories of direct mail than others. Their website is also a good source of updated direct marketing information.
Guilty as charged. I gave four different presentations at the DMA Annual Conference, and over 100 people from around the world asked for copies of them.
Because they are so huge, I can't send them out as ordinary e-mail attachments. So I now have an FTP site where you can download them.
The addresses are:
You can also download a copy of my booklet "101 Ways" to Improve Your Response at:
Please be aware that these FTP addresses are case sensitive. Also, the files are rather large (40-100MB each) so the download may take some time depending on your system.
And please note there is some duplication in beginnings of the different presentations.
BED OF NAILS
Stavros Cosmopolous, one of the founders of the Hill Holliday agency is one of the few actual geniuses I've ever met. He came up with a terrific analogy that I used in my recent seminars.
He asks, "Has anybody here ever seen or heard of someone laying on a bed of nails?" Most people nod yes, it's been done.
"Okay," he continues, "Has anybody ever seen or heard of someone laying on just one nail?"
Everyone shudders and he makes his point.
"Advertising (or direct marketing) that tries to make too many points just doesn't break through just like a bed of nails.
"Advertising and direct marketing that makes just one point has a chance to break through the clutter." It's always tempting to try to add to a package, an advertisement or even an e-mail; to include more benefits; to provide even more information; but unless that one main point stands out you might be making it less effective.
WAY COOL STATISTICS
I've never met Marcia Yudkin, but I've been getting her weekly newsletter for years.
The reason I mention her is that each edition, which is e-mailed every Wednesday, makes just one point. And it's often extremely timely and useful.
Her most recent newsletter talks about the power of statistics which I've written about before. But Marcia has a different way of looking at it. She writes:
Last week, for instance, I read that Massachusetts, where I live, tops the other 49 states in the age at which couples marry. This fact bloomed in my mind as I envisioned clever companies playfully using it:
This fact could star in an ad campaign, a postcard or sales letter, a news release, a newsletter, a special event, a menu and more. To find captivating research, read inner pages of newspapers. Or browse web sites like www.census.gov, from organizations that collect and report statistics. You'll get greatest mileage from data that got little or no media attention or that debunk popular notions.
For a free weekly marketing tip, subscribe at http://www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm
GOD HAS AN IMAGE PROBLEM COULD OGILVY & MATHER HELP?
That was the challenge presented by a network of 150 Christian churches in Singapore.
Research showed that many people found God to be distant and unapproachable. So the agency's job was to "reposition" God as someone with a sense of humor, that you like to have around.
The agency used a variety of media including billboards, transit ads, e-mail and text messaging. And the creative was out of this world!
"I hate rules. That's why I only made ten of them."
On banner ads:
"I could make you click here. But I believe in free
On cell phones they sent text messages targeted for the day of the week. For Friday, the message was:
"Thank me, it's Friday"
On Saturday, the message was:
"Coming over to my place tomorrow?
They even posted little stickers on fruit!
"I grew this apple especially for you."
The campaign was extremely successful and won a number of international awards.
My good friend, Erik Van Vooren is the founder of the Direct Marketing Institute in Belgium, and a world-class direct marketer. I've learned so much from him over the years. I recently gave a half-day seminar for Erik's group in Ghent, and he passed along a fascinating newsletter called Trendwatchers.
The most recent edition focused on innovative product placement which they call "TRYVERTISING." Get it? It's not AD-VERTISING, it's TRY-VERTISING.
The newsletter explained that "TRYVERTISING is not about old-school sampling, but about real-world product placements, integrating your goods and services into daily life, so that consumers can make up their minds based on their experience, not your messages."
This summer, Sony launched its new range of DVD handy-cams, teaming up with the London Zoo to offer consumers the chance to borrow DVD handy-cams for one hour, free of charge. After a two-minute demonstration, families were free to roam the zoo and record all their favorite family moments. After their visit, the DVD handy-cam obviously had to be returned, but participants could keep their DVD. And when they played it back at home they found it also included product and purchasing details!
As you can imagine, the campaign was very successful, and Sony sold a lot of handy-cams.
If you want to keep up with trends in advertising and marketing, simply register at www.trendwatching.com/newsletter/newsletter.html.
A SIMPLE THANK YOU
Is it possible to improve response just by simplifying your package?
Two years ago, I did a credit card package for First Bankcard, which works with hundreds of individual banks and other affinity groups.
The letter looks and feels like a personal letter, and it has the name and title of an executive at the bank right at the very top. The copy begins with a simple:
The lift note is also very simple. One side has a big "Thank You." The reverse side continues with "...for being a good customer. We know you have a choice of banks, and that's why we want to thank you for choosing ours. We hope you will take advantage of this special offer."
This package has improved response 70% above their control and consistently beaten much more complicated efforts. A simple thank you was all it took.
And by the way thank you for receiving my newsletter!
THE BEST ADVICE
Last issue, I asked you for the best advice you've ever received. And we received dozens of great responses.
I couldn't possibly include them all but here are some I'd like to share with you:
From a real direct marketing expert:
And one that I have on my wall:
OPT OUT, OPT IN, OPPORTUNITY
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© Alan Rosenspan & Associates