Archive for September, 2008

To formulate your direct marketing sales success plan, first determine your direct marketing purpose. Is it to acquire sales leads, to gain public awareness of your product, or make direct sales? Before going full scale you may want to test 4,000 to 6,000 sales pieces.


A common direct mail return rate is 1% on mailing businesses or business people. Your ability to write a proper eye catching letter and attractive envelope may jump the rate to 1.3%, a significant 30 extra leads when mailing 10,000 prospects. The direct mail return rate, of 2% applies to mailing consumers. Direct mail success is measured as return on investment. How many total sales were generated compared to the cost of the marketing campaign. Next determine how many replies you need to make the direct mail return rate successful and then track the results.

HERE ARE THE MUST DO PROCEDURES to maximize your direct mail return rate on investment. Make sure your direct mail list is only targeted at actual prospects. Refine this list till it closely profiles your most frequent responders. Highlight in bold print the benefits of what your services, products, or opportunity will do for your prospect. Choose only the top 3 or 4 benefits. Make your limited time offer, so desirable, that it is too good to pass up.

When determining your direct mail return rate of investment you need to know the value of a new client, or sales agent. This is termed the Lifetime Customer Value or the true profit. You take the sales amount less the costs of gaining the prospect.. Then you multiply it by the average times a sales transaction will take place. Let’s say you received overrides on sales made by agents of 20%, with an average sale of $1,000 and 15 sales over 3 years. Your direct mail return of investment would be $3,000 per agent minus the average costs incurred for the list, postage, printing, and follow up. Lifetime customer Value. is $2,500.00

For every dollar spent on the direct mail campaign, a return of $5 is realized. With every factor considered the direct mail return rate on investment was 500%.


You have heard the saying that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Don Yerke likes to concentrate on what you don’t already know or what no one else dares to print. Tell it like it is, and more people listen.. The website address is

My client, a fairly big financial company, struck some sort of deal with a radio station. They would be able to use station announcers for a radio spot.
I wrote the spot, which required a character. Needless to say the announcer sounded like an announcer, not the  character I wanted. So I told them they needed to find an actor that can sound like  the character.

Lesson: be cautious with deals using staff announcers. If the spot is just an announcement, you’re fine. But if it requires some acting – get an actor.

In my recent interview in AWAI’s copywriting publication, Monthly Copywriting Genius, I talked about the importance of creating a theme/concept for your marketing. It’s certainly no different in political campaigns – only the stakes are a lot bigger!

When Obama seized the “change” theme in Iowa, the other Dems tried to take it from him. In the following debate, the word “change” was repeated by the Democratic candidates at least 50 times. But they couldn’t take it away. Obama now owned it.

But the Republicans with Sarah Palin have done something remarkable. They are challenging Obama for the change theme. Obama is fighting back.

“When John McCain gets up there with Sarah Palin and says, `We’re for change,’ … what are they talking about?” Obama said recently, arguing that they aren’t offering different ideas from President Bush and they are just trying to steal his campaign theme because it seemed to be working.

“It was just like a month ago they were all saying, `Oh, it’s experience, experience, experience.’ Then they chose Palin and they started talking about change, change, change,” he said.

In political campaigns, the right theme can make or break a presidential bid. Change is the right theme. Now let’s see who will own it.