Oldschool direct marketing still good?

by hf1664 13 replies
Hey guys,

I've been studying some of the classic books on advertisement and direct mail (the ones recommended by Gary in his letters and in some seminars) but I keep having these interrogations while reading...

I've read somewhere that Direct Mail is still viable today, but I'm wondering if the same writing style as the one used in these books is working today? Maybe it's just me, but after seeing so many "shady" web sites trying to write like the old school copywriters, but make unbelievable claims, it just screams SCAM all over the place.

Same question as above, but regarding the headlines. Again, almost every popular news site has some "click-bait" ads with titles using the techniques from these books. The problem is that once you click on them, it just opens some really "shady" malware type of page... When I was younger, I obviously got tricked into clicking these ads because the headlines were inviting, but I never did again since I associated them with "spam" websites.

Now, since the web is so common and people probably saw/clicked on these "click-bait" ads and experienced disappointment, do you think that such headlines are now considered as "spam" for most people?

P.S: I'm mentioning the usage of this type of writing copy/headlines on the web, because that's where the "spammers" over-used it... But my questions are regarding the effectiveness of the informations in these books in general (offline or online).
#offline marketing #direct #good #marketing #oldschool
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  • Profile picture of the author cynthiaSEL
    Originally Posted by hf1664 View Post

    But my questions are regarding the effectiveness of the informations in these books in general (offline or online).
    Learning from experts, including those you reference, is more about getting a feel for what works. I find that taking action and putting what I learn into practical use gets me to be able to figure out what works for me. There's a big learning curve in online entrepreneurship. The idea is to learn a little, practice a lot... and repeat. Test what you learn in the market place. See what works for you. You will make mistakes. That's part of being human
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by hf1664 View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been studying some of the classic books on advertisement and direct mail (the ones recommended by Gary in his letters and in some seminars) but I keep having these interrogations while reading...

    I've read somewhere that Direct Mail is still viable today, but I'm wondering if the same writing style as the one used in these books is working today? Maybe it's just me, but after seeing so many "shady" web sites trying to write like the old school copywriters, but make unbelievable claims, it just screams SCAM all over the place.

    Same question as above, but regarding the headlines. Again, almost every popular news site has some "click-bait" ads with titles using the techniques from these books. The problem is that once you click on them, it just opens some really "shady" malware type of page... When I was younger, I obviously got tricked into clicking these ads because the headlines were inviting, but I never did again since I associated them with "spam" websites.

    Now, since the web is so common and people probably saw/clicked on these "click-bait" ads and experienced disappointment, do you think that such headlines are now considered as "spam" for most people?

    P.S: I'm mentioning the usage of this type of writing copy/headlines on the web, because that's where the "spammers" over-used it... But my questions are regarding the effectiveness of the informations in these books in general (offline or online).
    Short answer... YES, the psychology of the old masters is still very viable today. While some of the language may be outdated, human (consumer) psychology hasn't changed for thousands of years. People are still people, and they still buy things for very specific reasons.

    As far as the scammers and spammers you refer to... There will always be those people who learn a legitimate method of doing something, and then go on to abuse it unethically. (that hasn't changed for thousands of years either)

    So, definitely study the masters (past and present) for their style and structure of writing copy. Then use that as a basis for developing your own style.

    Based on your post, you sound honest. So I trust you'll use your powers for good... not evil?
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    Professional Sales Copy - For small business owners who are spending money on advertising, but are not getting enough sales (and would like to get more sales)
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  • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
    Administrator
    I have to admit my own experience in marketing is highly skewed towards newer stuff. What are the books you've been reading?
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    I'm part of the Warrior Forum team, hit me up with any suggestions that could help improve the forum!

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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    My short answer is also "yes".
    Originally Posted by hf1664 View Post

    I've read somewhere that Direct Mail is still viable today, but I'm wondering if the same writing style as the one used in these books is working today?
    Follow the principles - they're timeless - but develop your own style and personality.

    Books I refer to frequently:
    Obvious Adams: Reminds you to simplify.
    Scientific Advertising: Hopkins didn't get it all right, but still one of the best advertising references ever.
    How to win friends and influence people: Best sales manual ever :-)
    From Mediocrity to Millions: Best JV reference
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    I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
    Then it dawned on me...
    What I do for a living

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  • Profile picture of the author Courage
    Not only do they work, they work a lot
    a lot better than anything you'll see online.

    There are companies out there making
    100's of millions of dollars using old
    school direct mail techniques.

    Consider the fact that the letter is more
    than likely going to a suburban house
    hold...instead of random on the internet.

    The reason why that type of copy never
    appealed to you is because you weren't
    in the market for whatever they were selling.
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  • Originally Posted by hf1664 View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been studying some of the classic books on advertisement and direct mail (the ones recommended by Gary in his letters and in some seminars) but I keep having these interrogations while reading...

    I've read somewhere that Direct Mail is still viable today, but I'm wondering if the same writing style as the one used in these books is working today? Maybe it's just me, but after seeing so many "shady" web sites trying to write like the old school copywriters, but make unbelievable claims, it just screams SCAM all over the place.

    Same question as above, but regarding the headlines. Again, almost every popular news site has some "click-bait" ads with titles using the techniques from these books. The problem is that once you click on them, it just opens some really "shady" malware type of page... When I was younger, I obviously got tricked into clicking these ads because the headlines were inviting, but I never did again since I associated them with "spam" websites.

    Now, since the web is so common and people probably saw/clicked on these "click-bait" ads and experienced disappointment, do you think that such headlines are now considered as "spam" for most people?

    P.S: I'm mentioning the usage of this type of writing copy/headlines on the web, because that's where the "spammers" over-used it... But my questions are regarding the effectiveness of the informations in these books in general (offline or online).
    The Old School Direct Mail Methods work as well today as they did 50 years ago.

    The strategies are sound, just don't use them in a "shady" way.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    I read it somewhere, maybe Denny Hatch, but the results from last year are in and DM is the same today ROI wise as it was in the 80's.

    Disney just sent me a true "old school" direct mail package with the order form, stickers, brochure. It was impressive.

    Blue Apron is doing a folded self mailer to a lot of houses. We got it and so did my parents.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Business owners who serve their local community,
    who are generally a conservative bunch, invest more
    of their hard earned money into direct mail than any
    other advertising media, both online and offline...

    as seen here...



    Best,
    Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by ewenmack;10994028 as seen here...

      [IMG

      http://i63.tinypic.com/5ltbap.png[/IMG]
      How now its MY job to bust out demographics! LOL
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      Tools, Content, and Strategies to Develop Your Online Commerce Business - Coming Soon
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  • Profile picture of the author Unlimitlists
    Direct mail marketing totally works. For some reason, consumers still love to get "something" in the mail. Emails get deleted before they are open but mail pieces are always seen before they are either thrown away or saved. Regardless the consumer can see the deal and remembers the name and logo.

    Unlimitlists focuses on providing consumer and business leads and over the last 2 years we continue to work with customers that drive significant traffic through direct mail marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Young
    Yes, it is viable today.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThePromotionalGuy
    Hellor hf1664,

    Originally Posted by hf1664 View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been studying some of the classic books on advertisement and direct mail (the ones recommended by Gary in his letters and in some seminars) but I keep having these interrogations while reading...

    I've read somewhere that Direct Mail is still viable today, but I'm wondering if the same writing style as the one used in these books is working today? Maybe it's just me, but after seeing so many "shady" web sites trying to write like the old school copywriters, but make unbelievable claims, it just screams SCAM all over the place.

    Same question as above, but regarding the headlines. Again, almost every popular news site has some "click-bait" ads with titles using the techniques from these books. The problem is that once you click on them, it just opens some really "shady" malware type of page... When I was younger, I obviously got tricked into clicking these ads because the headlines were inviting, but I never did again since I associated them with "spam" websites.

    Now, since the web is so common and people probably saw/clicked on these "click-bait" ads and experienced disappointment, do you think that such headlines are now considered as "spam" for most people?

    P.S: I'm mentioning the usage of this type of writing copy/headlines on the web, because that's where the "spammers" over-used it... But my questions are regarding the effectiveness of the informations in these books in general (offline or online).
    Direct mail works...

    ...BUT

    To be effective, remind yourself

    Smart Target your direct mail to the interests of the group as shown below.

    Smart Targeting:

    Group = Fisherman
    Interests = fishing, tackle, bait, boats, etc...

    Group = Christian
    Interests = bible, prayer, holy trips, counseling, etc...

    Group = Mechanic
    Interests = cars, tools, repairs, tires, etc...

    Bad Targeting:

    Group = Fisherman
    Interests = dry cleaning, sewing, lawn care, etc...

    Group = Christian
    Interests = blinds, horses, office supplies, etc...

    Group = Mechanic
    Interests = nail salon, wigs, homeopathic medicine, etc...

    Chinchilla
    Signature
    Force-Communication - "It is the noble art of causing a client, a customer, or a prospect to perform a positive act as the direct result of reading your words." - Herschell Gordon Lewis
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  • Profile picture of the author graceallen
    Yes, direct mail marketing campaigns work well. There are great opportunities that can be captured through direct mail marketing despite the digital revolution. It depends on how you put your campaign in the market.
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