We've won 27 Gold & Silver SouthStar Awards, presented by the Direct Marketing Association for the challenging combination of Strategy + Creativity + Results.
USE DIRECT MAIL MARKETING AS YOUR SECRET WEAPON TO GO 'OUTBOUND'… AND BREAK THROUGH ONLINE CLUTTER WITH MORE POWERFUL LEAD GENERATION!
David Ogilvy — likely the single most famous ad guy of all time — called Direct Response Marketing his "Secret Weapon." You might think if it that way, too. (Even if you've tried it and swear "it doesn't work!)
Many businesses sink thousands of dollars monthly into Google ads, with limited results. Or they can't reach key prospects and buyers at mid and senior levels, who just don't scour social media looking for your post. Or clean up their inbox from emails of no interest faster than you can say "delete."
You might dream of breaking through the online clutter — what better way than to put an engaging communication directly into the hands of your prospects?!
If you're looking to generate leads… if you're looking to generate sales… you'll want to look into the apprach and media of Direect Response/Direct Marketing.
Yes, there are postage and printing costs, and you can get pretty elaborate with 3-D packages. But if you need to break through big-time to hard=to-reach prospects, with your higher-value products and services, it's tough to beat.
Direct Response Marketing has got a good bit of nuance, so you don't want to be a beginner in this area, that may get costly. You want to nail it upfront with strong branding, direct response marketing orientation and techniques — so you don't miss critical opportunity cost. We've got major league experience, certifications and awards doing this, working with large and small companies, and can support your interests.
It don't get no better than that!
Direct Response (aka Direct Marketing) is an approach to marketing — it's media seek a specific response, i a variety of media including direct mail, email, social media marketing, direct response television, or even a billboard with an 800 number.
Direct Mail is a unique Direct Response Marketing tool. Direct Mail brings you targetability…highest flexibility… high impact.
Cut Thru The Online Clutter with in-hand, full-attention, brand development, lead generation and marketing promotion. Reach all kinds of prospects — especially CEO's and senior management — with these powerful integrated approaches
Capitalize on Social Media contacts. — Higher engagement higher impact, higher response. Without waiting months or years to build followers
Full control: timing (you send it when you want response)… targets market segments and recipient list (prospects, customers, purchased, +)… offers…segmented/split offers… personalized messaging… and provide pivotal data for your AI initiatives
Digital Integration gives you "salespeople in every mailbox" and retargeting on the web…qualified prospects are engaged and respond … they hit your landing page and your selling process with higher interest
Hugely flexible — use Direct Mail for Brand Development, Lead Generation, Special Events, Sales Campaigns:
Target your best (or worst!) prospects
Takes advantage of less snail mail being sent, because of cost and lack of expertise to develop. Done well, mail is way more effective… converts at a much higher rate… and has the potential for far greater profitability!
Infinite Flexibility: high-impact formats include:
envelopes, self-mailers, boxes… custom formats and folding… multiple enclosures… specialized papers… finishing techniques (such as foil embossing)… flat & dimensional
Engage Powerfully, Cultivate Clients & Cross-Sell: build more powerful cross-channel campaigns based on previous contacts and their activity
FYI, Direct Marketing -- also known as Direct Response Marketing, Database Marketing, One-To-One Marketing, even just Targeted Marketing -- is about identifying prospects, and targeted that database. Benefit-oriented selling. Strong offers. Persuasive, action-oriented content. Media you might not have considered. It is highly-targeted marketing with unusual characteristics, designed to produces results. Even taking this Secret Weapon further — to empower AI !
"Your team’s direct mail piece was tested against another direct mail package we had developed elsewhere -- yours pulled three times the response.”
Direct Mail Manager
OUR DIRECT MAIL MARKETING IS FRESH
AND TIME-TESTED, WITH AWARDS
AND TESTIMONIALS FROM CLIENTS
AMPED ABOUT THE RESULTS
Should Direct Marketing — particularly Direct Mail — be part of your mix?
Direct Marketing — also known as Direct Response Marketing and Database Marketing — is a highly-targeted marketing approach. Why would you waste time and money to "target" just anybody?
If you've got a targetable market there ain't no better. faster, more efficient way to target and convert prospects into customers.
(No long social media tapdance, only to cultivate tire-kickers… you're targeting a select group of prospects with a targeted offer, and they respond!)
Direct Marketing is an approach, a subset of marketing and usually includes Prospect and Customer Data, Offer/CTA, sophisticated benefit-oriented creative selling approaches designed to elicit response. It can include almost any medium — email, direct mail (flat and 3-dimensional), print ads, digital ads, Direct Response TV and radio, billboards, retargeting, even social, using channels effectively.
You can gain leads and sales via phone response… provide promo or access codes and links, and drive people to a landing page or website… build a higher level of awareness and engagement.
With testing, you can gain critical intelligence to roll out your "full market program, and figure out how to market most successfully. And if you've dived into AI, the specifics of response and conversion will provide the real data that will make all the difference.
So you say "I've tried Direct Mail Marketing, and it doesn't work? Just what have you tried?!
When we talk about helping clients reach targeted markets, and recommend Direct Mail Marketing, we often hear:
"We're tried it… it doesn't work."
"It's too expensive… email is no cost."
Yes, that's what some people say. But don't tell that to people who are killing it with Direct Mail! And good direct mail gains and holds the attention of prospects longer, and converts at higher rates — than any other medium.
Behind our work for you are multiple certifications, and truckloads of experience with a wide range of clients
“I find your mailing pieces well thought-out, well-written, and well-designed.”
President, Leo Burnett Agency
President, Ed Burnett Consultants
Legendary Direct Marketing Industry Expert
3-D - Dimensional Mail
Direct Mail • 3-D Dimensional Mail • Direct Response Digital • DRTV • Direct Marketing Media
3D "blueprints" mailer in a tube, marketing a not-yet-completed subdivision, for an ad agency client in Mississipi
'3-part campaign to introduce IBM/CD Group's new eCommerce software platform, resulting in successful launch of the program (after 2 other agency attempts)..
3 square colorful pieces were mailed, building brand interest, driving webinar attendance; third piece is tabbed and expands into a rocket launch in stages.
4-part 3-D campaign targeted for shipping managers, to introduce or expand their use of CSX Transportation's intermodal services
"You’ve created a major problem for us. The direct mail piece that you did for [our client] did so well that we had to hire extra temporary help for a larger-than-expected response. We didn’t even run the newspaper space ad you developed, the response to the mail was so good. It’s kicking tail!”
Ken Sandridge, President
Maris West & Baker
Direct Mail, Self-Mailers and Email
Disruptive direct mail for Champion Mortgage
AirTouch/Verizon: Self-Mailer "customer satisfaction survey" also identified interests of high-end purchasing accounts
Email promoting a consulting offer from a specialized insurance company
Final email in a campaign promoting a community event, scooping up a 15% increase in attendees within an hour
Postcard invitation, part of a series, promoting annual insurance conference. We also developed the event branding and logo.
Postcard marketing for a trade show, including our branding and conference logo
"Amazing" 23% response rate for this Kimberly-Clark product introduction promotion, which we rebranded. Our letter pulled out of the "box" like a Kimwipes wiper!
"Joel is truly a person that has taught me and impressed me with his deep and wide understanding of Direct Response Marketing when I had the opportunity to work with him. Even though he is a Master at his craft — he never stops being a student of the discipline. Trust him."
Digital Response Media
Animated banner ads for Jetstream, a company that decompresses gas cylinders
Linked email graphic promoting a special event
Location-based (LBS) smartphone app creating immediate response and new business for service providers
Animated banner ad targeted to trade show attendees, and retargeted
"Static" banner ad retargeting a CTA/Offer from an IT consulting firm
Joel Alpert (middle) with recognized industry icons Bob Stone (left) and Martin Baier (right) at the Professional Direct Marketer certification program at the Center For Direct Marketing.
WE'VE WORKED WITH SOME OF THE WORLD'S LEADING EXPERTS
IN DIRECT MARKETING
INCLUDING THE LEGENDARY BOB STONE AND MARTIN BAIER, FOUNDERS OF THE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Bob Stone co-founded the renowned Stone & Adler agency, known for strong strategic and creative thinking. He is author of the acclaimed "bible of Direct Marketing, Successful Direct Marketing Methods" (14 editions, translated into multiple languages), and he said:
"Joel is a talented and creative marketer... with a flair for the unexpected!"
Martin Baier, author of Contemporary Direct and Interactive Marketing, and one of the inventors of the ZIP code system. said:
"Joel has given us some of the strongest
strategy, creativity, and presentations we've had.…"
Stone and Baier founded the PDM certification program — an application-only program designed for industry professionals in Direct Marketing, who had at least 5 years of hands-on experience.
When Joel and these pioneering experts got to know each other through the program, they asked Joel to work shoulder-to-shoulder with them as part of a "Direct Marketing Dream Team" engineered by one of program graduates.
Most notably, the team was asked to brainstorm and engineer a Direct Marketing profit center at a major energy conglomerate.
That consulting work quickly produced the strategy, framework, and tactics, and initial creative direction for a business engine that brings in billions of dollars in revenue across their companies. And in part we used the techniques these pioneers developed, to drive business on a large scale to the company.
Drop the mic.
Key perspective and FAQs to consider when doing Direct Marketing, especially Direct Mail
What factors are needed to make Direct Mail Marketing successful?Factors for Direct Marketing Success? No campaign is the same as an other. Here are some guidelines which usually apply… Good understanding of your audience before you start Good database to reach your targeted audience — these can be "house" lists, purchased or traded A segmented approach — if your messaging really meets the needs of the target segment, you're way ahead of the game Your Offer/CTA must be strong — why should they respond now? Your Creative must be engaging — get their attention with benefits- oriented thinking. You've made a good choice of format, appropriate to the task You are testing key components noted above, and tweaking further with elements such as formats to gain response or reduce cost. Analyze your results, and level-up in the next round of tests, and your roll-out. If you put all that together properly… many companies can use direct mail to "print money."
Is Direct Mail Marketing an outdated medium?Is higher engagement outdated? Is stronger conversation outdated? Is AI outdated? Nope! While Direct Mail Marketing has taken a back seat to digital — because everyone is doing some of it, and because direct mail has postage and printing costs — it is hugely powerful. In great part this is because everyone is doing digital, and fewer people are now doing Direct Mail. We're talking about "breaking through the clutter"... not just as an abstract idea, but in reality!
When does Direct Response Marketing work best?This approach works best when highly targeted... and it's highly valuable for small and large companies, and non-profits. Your customer database is your strongest resource in this regard. And if it's segmented and ready to go to market via an effective CRM system, even better. Email and direct mail are proven workhorses for this targeted marketing approach. And an integrated approach — using multiple media in your campaign is always the most effective of approaches. (Guess what, it can also work "less targeted," going to overall customer base with an offer of interest.)
Direct Mail ain't dead. It never was!Mark Twain said "the report of my death has been greatly exaggerated." Since the early 1980's Direct Mail's demise has been reported by those who don't do it, or can't do it effectively. So wait… if it's "dead," why do organizations — like Google, Amex, Burger King, Geico and so many more — use it so powerfully? David Ogilvy's "Secret Weapon" is used very effectively in a range of areas — lead gen to promotions, brand and product promotion to targeted new business development. So why is there less direct mail these days? Because people don't know how to use it… or they are concerned about the cost of printing and postage… and they don't want to cut down trees to make paper. (FYI, paper is produced in tree farms, quickly-grown as a "paper crop". No paper producers cut down any old growth! And you're not recycling?! Task, tsk. Used effectively it can be very profitable. And those folks who know how to use this medium are specialists, who help you protect your investment and make these efforts successful.
Direct Mail's infinite formats makes it the most flexible and powerful medium you have in marketing!"Paper" puts your message in the hands of your prospects and customers, in an infinite variety of formats, with an exceptional opportunity to engage and gain their full attention. Mail provides a unique opportunity to gain interest with your target audience and really engage, with … dimension folding enclosures that gain attention, and feature different elements paper texture color special effects (like gloss, emboss and foil stamp) and 3-D enclosures (called a "hot potato") Your prospects sift through your offer with their full attention. And direct mail has longer "legs"— often people start to read, put it down then pick it up, creating additional impressions. Shorter or longer, depending on its mission.
What response rate can we expect from our campaign?That's even a tougher question than "How much does a car cost?" Every client asks this. And we've lectured on this topic (and others) for the Direct Marketing Association, and the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation. If any professional says "You can expect a 2% response"… bop them on the head with a big thick postage-paid envelope! It's just not true. Its an often-quoted stat's supposed to be an average, that's completely meaningless. Some campaigns yield higher or lower response rates. The far better question, and the one that is meaningful, is what is the ROI from the mailing or the overall campaign. We did a mailing selling used airplanes for a midwest dealer... tens of thousands of pieces went out, and "only" 3 sales were made. ONLY? The client was ecstatic. We sold airplanes, and the fast ROI was exceptional. Truth is, lots of factors affect response. These include factors directly and indirectly related to the mailing itself. Here are the key factors: The List is the #1 factor. Is it a customer list, a prospect list, rented, bartered Is it up to date? How recent were the past purchases or key factors of this list? "The Offer" Is #2 — the "deal" or "reason why" people are responding to The Creative is #3 — s the messaging strong, benefit-oriented, engaging? Done well, the right offer in the hands of the right prospect with a compelling creative pitch at the right time is killer.
Wait a second… you have a way to break through the clutter, and sell directly to high-value prospects, especially CEO's and top executives?If you have select high-end prospects, or a must-sell higher-ticket offering, we can help you gain high impact among these key prospects, C-Level executives, and other special must-get audiences, with 3-Dimensional promotional mailings. We break through here, where other approaches fall flat. Dimensional mailings cut through the clutter with highest response rates — engaging key prospects with this highest-impact breakthrough messaging, engagement, and response. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Other formats are right for different offerings — including self-mailers, oversized formats, pop-ups, and more. Samples of all of these formats and the work we've done are right here in this page.
Direct Response Marketing is one of our "secret weapons"…don't tell anyone, or it won't be a secret!
Joel is certified as a Professional Direct Marketer — part of a select group of working professionals accepted into this certification program at The Center for Direct Marketing.
Not only has Joel studied and worked with pioneering Direct Marketing industry strategic and creative experts including Bob Stone, Martin Baier, Ed Nash, Emily Soell, Sol Blumenfeld, John Francis Tighe, Herschel Gordon Lewis, and more…
He's also worked for 5 of the world's leading Direct Marketing
agencies in the world, in New York City and Atlanta — Ogilvy & Mather Direct, Rapp Collins, Stone & Adler, The Stenrich Group, Kaiser Kuhn Bennett (KKB Direct)… and as a Secret Weapon (shhh!) for other respected agencies and consulting firms in the Southeast.
And have you see his client list? The testimonials? The response rates? They're not too shabby….
“By the nature of our business, we don’t get a huge number of responses on any of the material we send out... but your group’s work is doing so much better than anything else we’ve done.”
Sharon Tanner, CEO
Jackson Liability Solutions