Direct Marketing Mastery: Direct Response Lessons From The Coach Who Never Punts! (Yes Really)

In the middle of the Christmas break and the harsh Australian summer, there is a seldom watched event in these parts that I find totally fascinating.College Football Bowl Season.Maybe I should have grown up on the American continent considering my love of some American sports – the again, Australia is a great place to live.Early in bowl week I was watching a fairly minor bowl game, and I found myself down a wormhole trying to understand various football offences.I’d drifted around and I found myself reading about Kevin Kelley head coach of the Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas who NEVER punts because it is statistically disadvantageous, he almost always onside kicks. There is a video on the YouTube about him where he talks about his philosophy.After watching the video I had to admire the guy. Didn’t care what anyone else thought, the conventional wisdom says he is dead wrong. Yet he knows he has statistical advantage on his side -so he acts in accordance with it.And the guy just wins with it.To me, this is an outflow of the same core problem as understanding your direct marketing metrics and statistics.Strangely, there are sports stats fanatics who are rejoicing because this guy is implementing what they’ve worked out.Moneyball comes to football.Marketers are not fond of sharing their numbers and even more marketers are fond of not knowing their numbers, so in marketing (especially for small business) there is probably never going to be a parallel group of statisticians telling us what we *should* do.We need to be able to work out how to do it ourselves.Have you ever known you should do something and not do it because someone told you not to?Your job as a marketer is to stack the odds and payoff of success in your favour as much as possible. Marketing is about taking calculated risks in order to grow your business.When someone says ‘know your numbers,’ that is only the first step. Those numbers need to create a picture for you. And then you need to be able to understand how you should act in light of those numbers – is a $200 cost of sale too high? Is it acceptable or is it highway robbery?Can you improve conversion so that cost of sale comes down? Can you change your business so the $200 cost of sale is acceptable?However, many times when we seek advice we often get told not to do things because of the beliefs of the person we explained it to.Understanding your numbers and then having the conviction to act based on the information they provide is certainly going to be a breakthrough in almost every business.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.


Direct Marketing Support Services and Lettershop Services: A Key Role in Your Marketing Campaign

Most marketing firms do a lot of direct marketing. One might even suggest it’s traditionally the bread and butter of a marketing firm’s income. However, in order to properly manage a direct marketing campaign your firm will need to have adequate direct marketing support services, including lettershop services. These support elements will do the grunt work in your direct marketing campaign.

Direct marketing support services many involve such things as printing, mailings database management, and campaign management. While lettershop services handle issues tied to the distribution of your direct marketing campaign. This includes many mundane tasks such as labeling, presorting, folding, tracking and so on. However, as mundane as these tasks may be they are critical to the completion of a successful direct marketing campaign.
In most direct marketing campaigns, direct marketing support services, and lettershop services are handled by an outside vendor. As with the selection of any outside vendor, we suggest you do your research. But there’s a problem with this. Obviously, competitive marketing firms may be loathing giving you any information about the companies they use for direct marketing support services, and lettershop services. But we have found a way around that one, and it may sound silly but it actually works.

Call your congressman.

Stop laughing. We are serious.

Why, you may ask, we are not trying to get a bill passed? We are just looking for some good vendors for direct marketing support services and lettershop services, how could our congressmen help with that? Well, it is quite simple, political candidate do a lot of direct mailings, and they usually use local companies. Also, you are a small business in your congressman’s district; he will have a reason to help you.

Okay, so now you have found a good company to handing your direct marketing support services and lettershop services. Are there any other pitfalls? Of course there are. As with many other outside vendors, those dealing with direct marketing support services and lettershop services make money on volume. Meaning that quality control, though a priority, may not be their top priority. So you need to be especially carefully that all printed material, databases and instructions are given both verbally and in writing.

In our experience, if you have never worked with the vendor, we suggest you do this in person. Although thanks to digital printing a lot may be done via phone, FTP and email, we still feel that these initial contacts should be done in person. And do not give this job to a new hire or an intern. That is just asking for trouble. This needs to be done by someone who has been at your firm for at least a year. Someone who can think on his or her feet.

Another important thing about vendors who offer direct marketing supports services and lettershop services is that they see direct marketing campaigns every day. They have a sense of what works and what does not. If they question some aspect of your campaign, listen to them. They probably know what they are talking about. And, as you and vendor build trust; you may find them giving you pointers that they only share with valued customers. We might add that the referral from you congressman, might also help grease the early client vendor relations. And you thought that was a crazy suggestion, right?