From $.12 each
From $.06 each
From $.28 each
From $.0225 each
Terry Doland, Owner
Amid the ongoing debate about whether direct mail vs e-mail is the best method to market to customers and prospects, very little is being said about the one thing that is crucial to the success of both – the message. Unless the message is relevant to the audience and persuasively presented, it doesn’t matter how it is delivered. So while the discussion about direct mail versus e-mail continues, focus on developing good content and honing your writing skills.
Why market with mail?
The objective of both direct and e-mail marketing is to persuade a customer or prospect to take action, either now or later. When a seller consistently and regularly sends a communication such as a mailed post card or a newsletter (either mailed or web-based), a buyer is more likely at a future time to take the action desired by the seller. In other words, direct or e-mail marketing is less about an immediate sale than about positioning the business or organization to be top-of-mind when the potential buyer is ready to make a purchase.
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The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 covers all e-mail whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, known as commercial e-mail. The Act defined requirements for commercial e-mail senders (including penalties for spamming) and gave e-mail recipients the right to request removal from an e-mail list.
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Active voice: a sentence construction in which the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the sentence.
CAN-SPAM: an acronym for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. Legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in December 2003. Establishes the first national standards for sending commercial e-mail.
CMYK: the four process ink colors – cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The CMYK color system is used for printing but is not used in HTML.
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A very useful tool for any writer is a swipe file, a place to collect examples of effective writing that comes to your attention. A swipe file can contain anything you want it to – headlines, introductory paragraphs, body copy, guarantees, interesting phrases or slogans, display ads, direct mail marketing pieces, e-mail messages, graphics, photos – anything that might serve as a future idea starter. It is a good idea to organize your swipe file into subsections to make searching for ideas easier, and to base it on hard copy rather than digital files.
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I believe the current debate between whether traditional direct mail or e-mail is best for marketing purposes is obscuring what is really most important – the content. Until what you say in your marketing communications has value to your customers and prospects and is well-presented, then how you get it to them is irrelevant.
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Novice writers sometimes fall into the trap of writing to impress rather than inform. It is easy to spot this style of writing, as it is full of verbs used as nouns, nouns used as verbs, multiple words when one simple word will do, and passive voice. Here are some examples...
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