Go Directly to Direct

Maybe you thought this was old news, but Brandweek reports on a survey by Direct Partners that found “e-mail is now the most popular form of direct response marketing. . . . E-mail is used primarily by 35% of companies compared to 25% which use traditional direct mail and 21% who use package, statement stuffers or free standing inserts.” We’re not talking spammers here. This was a survey of large U.S. corporations.

Other findings:
– 68% market to their prospect database
– 82% market to their customer database
– 57% said their direct response budget will remain the same this year compared to last, while 23% reported their budget would increase by 10% or higher
– 47% said that less than 10% of their marketing budget went to direct response media

With rocky times for retail, many book publishers are looking more closely at direct response. Tom Woll devotes a chapter to direct response marketing as well in Publishing for Profit, which I’ve been reviewing here chapter by chapter. His word to the wise comes in two basic points:

* Results must always be quantifiable.
* Results must be constantly tested and refined against a control.

Woll offers fairly detailed help in how to plan and analyze direct response (which can include e-mail, mail, telephone or other programs). He even thinks that

once you start tracking your sales and promotional efforts, you’ll become addicted to the numbers. Just because this method of marketing is so calculable and analytical it is a refreshing change from the vagaries and sometimes whimsical nature of trade sales. (p. 272)

Every publisher needs to find its own mix of trade, direct and special market sales that makes sense for its editorial program and its readership. For some, that might mean going directly to direct.

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.