Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

Power Direct Marketing article INDEX

Sales Promotion, Direct Marketing
and the The DMA in New Orleans

For literally decades I've attended the Annual Direct Marketing Association, USA Conference & Exhibition.

This years 83rd was in New Orleans ... a grand place for any gathering.

As always, the trade show floor was an important part of the event. With nearly 1000 stands scattered over 25 rows.

Yet, this time the event was a bit different than previous, in 2 ways;

... the show opened early on Sunday, with full days Monday and Tuesday, then closed Wednesday, and

... the "E" world peppered the attendees for attention - both before the show and in New Orleans.

This is what I received at my office prior to the opening;

Description # %
3-Dimensional 8 6.8
#10 mailing envelope 16 13.7
6 X 9 envelope 6 5.1
9 X 12 envelope 3 2.6
"plastic" envelope 4 3.4
Jumbo Post Card (5 X 8 to 8 X 11) 38 32.5
"vacation" post card 14 12.0
self-mailer 17 14.5
E-mail 11 9.4
Total 117 100%

As you look at these numbers and the make-up know I was both a speaker and part of the Press this year. In addition to making a presentation as part of the Creative weekend, I also WebCast "live" from the Hoke Communications booth, on behalf of INB Communications Internet Radio Network.

Last year my total was just 89 mailers. With no E-mail. That means a 31% increase overall in the number of contacts. And a 19% increase in just direct mail.

It is quickly obvious post cards are in. And when you combine jumbo cards with regular size cards and self mailers, the total of 69 equals 59% of all promotions. The thinking being, so I'm told, to "grab attention quickly, as no one has time to read". At least this is the theory. Fact may be something entirely different.

Only a few did double contacts. Kodak sent a jumbo post card, followed by a similar size card in a clear wrap, with a "3-D thing" promoting their "DYNAMIC IMAGES!!!" (exactly their phrase). What was interesting is each mailer directed you to a different booth.

Experian sent a 3-D tube mailing with an invite to their movie party. And a single fold self-mailer chasing you to their booth.

EDS used the same booth number on each of their mailings. The first came in a 9 X 12 envelope, with a letter and brochure. And a mini-CD, with a graphic of a cowboy with a handful of cats.

If memory serves me right, these are the same fine folks who spent a zillion bucks on the cat herding television commercial seen on the Super Bowl. A creative marvel that everyone remembered ... yet, no one remembered who ran it. Just maybe they're going to get something out of this genius idea. With much less expense and very targeted direct mail. Amazing thought - direct mail!

Yellow Brick Solutions mailed a single fold very yellow self-mailer. And sent an E-mail, too. Then followed with a telephone call. Of course, the phone chase was to invite me to a new product announcement (press get these invites). And to invite themselves to be on Marketing with Ray @ DMA - my Internet WebCast, "live" from the show floor.

A "danger" with regular size post cards is the post office applied bar code strip. Several cards of the 14 came to me with the strip over vital information. Long ago I learned this the hard way, when several thousand of my cards went out with all contact data conveniently covered. Not good.

Usadirectinc used a #10 envelope package, with a "hand addressed" look. And an offer to mail 5 New Orleans post cards to anyone, just for stopping by their booth.

Irresistible Ink sent a Hallmark Card, with a "hand written" envelope, and a most personalized look. Which is good - it is what they do! The package had a formal invitation feel to it.

Western Union used one of their products - Priority Letter - with an invite to visit them.

Structural Graphics sent a thick 5 X 8 envelope, with a butterfly pop-up.

COX Target Media sent "gift" wrapping paper, and this note;

"Come Wrap With Us
at the DMA Booth 1445
... and unwrap a story"

Most e-mails and several mailers offered invitations to special presentations off-site. One such very colorful pop-up mailer suggested breakfast compliments Colorstream and IBM, making a joint presentation.

MSGI Direct used a clear "plastic" envelope, with a New Orleans Mardi Gras theme. And ... there were 2 feathers enclosed. MSGI needed 4 separate exhibit booths to tell their story. If you visited just 2 of them you'd "win" an authentic mask.

That's entertainment! used a #10 ep with teaser copy "Get The Big Idea In The Big Easy!" Inside was a flyer with The Big Idea! plastic card, directing you to their web site for a special show savings. This incentive company is using some of their own medicine to draw you to visit.

Deutsche Post used the famous "Big Easy" theme, too. On the invitation to their "Global Mail party".

Another "Big Easy" user was HoldenDirectMarketingGroup. Who used a self-mailer with a "game piece" nested inside.

MarketTouch used a jumbo 4-color card to make a most colorful blues music poster offer.

Westvaco Envelope used the most caller coordinated #10 envelope of all. With a jazz theme introducing a new product. This mailing also included a map of the exhibition floor - with a highlight of where you'll find Westvaco.

MailMutt, a very high-tech dot-com company could use some direct mail assistance. Their yellow envelope came complete with 2 ugly white labels pasted on ... one addressed to me, the other their corner card. Who tells these people this is a good way to get direct mail to work?

Jane Tucker's Supermarket of Savings sent, what appears to me, to be one of their "regular" self mailers. With a black/white insert. Very poor quality direct mail from people who do offer a most creative product.

Protagona offered a free boomerang - with no reason given why. Of course, they want you to come back. Yet, the jumbo post card offer did not tie their program and offer together.

Japs-Olson Company, a printer and mailer, used a self-mailer to present their laundry list of equipment. The front says "Your personal invitation!" And then there is nothing more ... just an equipment list. Who says this is good direct mail? It certainly is not a "personal invitation!"

Dynamictrade mailed a jumbo card, very colorful and bold on one side - with a BOSE Wave radio offer. The reverse side is black/white, with a large - and ugly! - address label slapped on.

Why do they do this?

Shift4 Corporation did 4/1 color, too ... yet, the black/white side is a LARGE BOLD ALL CAP running headline;


The payoff on the reverse side makes sense.

Jetson Direct Mail Services, a form print and lettershop service company, used their in-house technology to produce an interesting mailer. With an unusual fold in a 4 caller piece, with perfs and coupons and personalization on both the letter and outer envelope.

The ACCUDATA 4 color jumbo self-mailer encouraged response before you got to New Orleans; BRIBE ENCLOSED! When you replied early by phone, fax, via the web or by direct mail you get a FREE copy of The One To One Fieldbook. If you wait until you get to the Cresent City, you may miss out.

Royal Mail, a subsidiary of the British Post Office, mailed in the USA using a live first-class presort stamp. On a jumbo card. The graphics are a collection of most unusual stamp faces.

Well, I could go on and on. For me, this was a good DMA event. It began with more pre-conference contact then ever. More follow-up than previous. And for the most part, a lot of very good direct mail.

See you next year.

Power Direct Marketing article INDEX

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