Thursday, October 19, 2006

On the Mark...

I don't remember what I got in the mail yesterday. Do you?

What recent marketing effort HAS impacted you, recently? Chances are if it has had an impact on you, it has had to break through the clutter of advertising that we are surrounded with everyday. A decade old Ad Age/Roper Study says we're assailed by 4,000 ads a day. That was then. The numbers have surely gone up in the last 10 years. I see more ads in more different places.

Case in point: a new ad medium called WizMark. It's touted as the "first and only interactive urinal communicator" --the product can "talk, sing or flash a string of lights around" your promotional message to any man using a public restroom. That's definitely breakthrough. Obnoxious, but breakthrough.

But aside from the truly outrageous, direct marketing response rates are relatively low.

In a newly released Direct Marketing Association study, the two most effective direct marketing methods were telemarketing with 5.8% response and dimensional mail with a 2.3% response. That means for every 100 prospects you contact, about one out of 17 will respond to a phone call and one out of 43 a dimensional mailer.

Telemarketing is expensive and, to many, offensive. Dimensional mail offers a more novel approach. You send prospects a package -- often with a promotional product and message inside. The box is more likely to get opened than an envelope because it piques curiosity. It's also more memorable. The cost is much higher than mailing a simple envelope -- but that's off-set by higher response rate.

So if you are looking for a way to get more impact for your ad dollar, consider a dimensional mailing -- or a WhizMark. But please, not both!

- Phil Sasso

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