A Cost/Benefit Approach to Postage Used on Mail Questionnaires
As postage rates continue to climb, the optimal postage for direct mailings and response media becomes increasingly important. The effect of type of postage on response rates can help determine optimal postage strategy. Four postage alternatives were studied to reveal whether different alternatives resulted in differing response rates, responses to dependent variable questions, and/or elicited responses from different demographic groups. A questionnaire was mailed to a national probability sample of 1,000 new automobile registrants. There were no significant differences found in response rates, responses, or demographic groups responding. It was concluded that the optimal mailing strategy uses third class postage on the sending envelopes and a business reply permit on the return envelope.
McCrohan, Kevin F.
Lowe, Larry S.
Full text: [Journal of Marketing] Winter 1981
International Direct Mail Difficult but Rewarding
Direct mail communication can mechanize the tasks of keeping customers sold, obtaining a larger share of their business, and converting key prospects to customers. A multinational direct mail program can have great rewards since low direct mail volume outside North America makes programs in these areas highly visible. Personalized mail is usually read and acted upon at a higher level of management than in North America. Acquiring an effective list in the foreign markets is the most important factor and involves either a search for available lists, the development of one’s own lists, or a combination of the two methods. Direct mail uses include: 1. advertising, 2. attracting prospects to exhibits, 3. direct selling, 4. advertising with distributors, 5. qualifying inquiries, 6. direct response marketing, and 7. to fill in media gaps. Direct mail has been successful in direct response marketing, location of prospective buyers, contact between sales calls, and speeding message delivery.
Roth, Robert F.
Full text: [Direct Marketing] Jan 1981
A Community Bank ATM Success Story
Brookhaven Bank and Trust Company found that it needed longer hours and more young adult customers, and so it decided to install automatic teller machines (ATMs). Original goals were to attain 7000 cardholders in one year, increase the number of services used by the customer base, and increase the number of demand deposit accounts. Internal cooperation was an essential part of the program, and product development required about a year. The marketing program for the new service involved all of the bank’s staff and directors and saturated the market. There was no mass unsolicited card issuance. An original card base of over 3000 cards was established. Intense internal promotion introduced employees to every facet of the program. The campaign became more intense as prospects became more difficult to sell. Testimonial ads, direct-mail, and on-the-spot solicitations have been used. Large volumes of transactions at the ATMs have cut labor costs, longer hours were avoided, and a valuable service provided.
Vaughn, Rebecca N.
Full text: [Bank Marketing] Jan 1981
HMTS: Improving the Quality of Public Service Announcements Through Standardized Pretesting
The standardized Health Message Testing Service (HMTS) was developed with the objectives of: 1. encouraging health planners to incorporate pretesting into public service announcement (PSA) production schedules to reduce the risk of misleading or alienating target audiences, 2. identifying production techniques for more effective PSAs, and 3. upgrading the quality of PSAs. Analysis of audience response to 28 PSAs on various health subjects, using HMTS, showed 30- and 60-second PSAs to score lower than commercial advertisements. The HMTS analysis also distinguished stronger PSAs from weaker ones. Those factors that contribute to higher levels of main idea recall of PSAs include: 1. direct delivery of dialogue, 2. audio-video integration, 3. early identification and repetition of problem/issue, and 4. emphasis on health problem and solution. The specific characteristics for better audiences predicted by HMTS analysis may be used by PSA producers. HMTS is also designed to make the producer aware of such vital steps as audience segmentation and feedback into production budgets and schedules.
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Full text: [Academy of Marketing Science. Journal] Winter 1981
Industry Discovering the Future Is Now
While continuing the time-tested, proven methods of advertising via the media of television, radio, and ads, insurers are beginning to take advantage of direct mail and are indulging in mass marketing. According to Jack Allison, of the Mass Marketing Corporation of America, such unification of the agency system and mass marketing could help secure the life insurance industry from bureaucratic invasion for the foreseeable future. Mass marketing can help in achieving maximum distribution of products to all people. Also, the pooling of industry resources in a mass educational campaign can aid the public’s understanding of how insurance works. The industry is challenged to maintain an intelligent advertising program, keeping it fresh, vigorous, and in step with new times, new needs, and new people. As social, political, and economic concerns and issues become more complex, insurers will find it necessary to more clearly present objectives and commitments in all these areas, via public relations, sales promotion, advertising, and marketing.
Maher, Thomas M.
Full text: [National Underwriter] Jan 3, 1981
Coffee and House Calls
Lack of effective bank direct-mail marketing is disturbing because many bank services cannot be handled effectively through mass media. The following are examples of some marketers successfully using the direct-response medium. Continental Illinois National Bank introduced its Financial Reporting to Management (CONFIRM) with a ”Continental breakfast”, a cardboard box including coffee mug, instant coffee, sugar, creamer, spoon, Danish, and the CONFIRM sales brochure. Sales jumped from 5 a month to 30 a month. First Georgia Bank based their campaign on ”the bank that makes housecalls” theme and mailed die-cut doctor’s bags which opened into 3 spreads explaining that the bank could prescribe the financing needed, turn cash management into a smooth operation, and would make office calls. Michigan National Corporation used the theme ”easy as pie” to arouse interest in their automatic teller machines (atm). Central National Bank’s mailing of a miniature truck trailer to 327 prospects drew attention to their interline clearings program and brought a 29% response rate.
Eirinberg, Alan B.
Full text: [Advertising Age] Jan 5, 1981
National Media Group … And Academy Life
National Media Group generated not only a front-end marketing media program, but also put together a loading program for Academy Life’s policyowners-various riders that are attached to the policy. The marketing plan maximizes the use of every name generated, including non-applicants, owners, and lapses. The use of a well known endorser is essential to a successful program. The use of General John S. D. Eisenhower and Glenn Ford are the 2 examples in the marketing plan for Academy Life. Direct mail is the basis of this plan and every detail, strategy, and decision must be followed through. An information kit is mailed to every inquiry resulting from the television commercials. Then a follow-up call is made to see that the information kits have been received and understood. Academy Life’s programs are tailored to the particular regulations of each state legislature.
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Maher, Thomas M.
Full text: [National Underwriter] Jan 17, 1981
Taking Care of Business
McGraw-Hill estimates that an industrial sales call in 1979 cost $137.02. Since 80% of all major sales take place after the fifth call, the final cost of a sale can be $685.10. Business-to-business direct marketing (DM) can be used to ”soften the marketplace and cull out the interested buyers.” Between businesses, DM’s main responsibility is to generate leads, not to sell. Therefore, it must be regarded more as a marketing tool than a form of advertising. Two in-depth studies were conducted by Dun’s Marketing Service on DM in the industries that now use it most often, office technology (1979) and printing (1980). Both studies revealed a surprising inconsistency. Of the 328 printing companies that use DM, 90% rated it as ”somewhat important” to ”critical” in their marketing efforts. Similarly, of the 169 office equipment manufacturers who use the medium, a high rating was given by 95.8%. Yet in both categories, 55% and 49.3%, respectively, very seldom or never set objectives before mailing to business prospects. Testing was just as lax. Only 14.8% of the manufacturers and 19.5% of the printing companies tested their mailing first as a matter of course. As far as salespersons are concerned, DM can help a great deal in paving the way for their sales calls.
Full text: [Advertising Age] Jan 19, 1981
Direct Marketing: A Basic Part of the Plan
When the advent of sophisticated electronic technology in the 1970s made direct marketing applicable to a wider range of consumer and business clients, general advertisers saw that they would have to be able to provide clients with direct marketing expertise. In the early 1970s Young and Rubicam (Y & R) acquired Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline (WRK), the largest direct marketing agency in the country, Stone & Adler, Chicago, and Chapman Direct, New York. Besides helping WRK expand and broaden its client base, Y & R has given WRK help in areas in which it didn’t have experience, such as television. Today, a third of their business is television. Since the major direct marketing agencies have been acquired, general advertising agencies who want direct marketing capabilities in the future will have to start their own. Regardless of how direct marketing capabilities are added to existing general agency structures, direct marketing will continue to play an increasingly important role in all kinds of advertising and marketing campaigns.
Full text: [Advertising Age] Jan 19, 1981
Marketing via Direct Mail
Direct mail is the third most effective means of making sales. Because of the escalating cost of telephone and direct sales, many industrial companies are switching to direct mail. Direct mail techniques are becoming more popular and are gaining respectability. Direct mailing is used by the most prestigious of companies as a cost efficient means for marketing supplies and services. In order to determine if direct mailing is appropriate for a company’s needs, a corporation must analyze its existing and potential market. Direct mail can be used to sell directly, to cultivate good prospects, to encourage reluctant buyers, to motivate salespeople, and to induce dealers to stock products. Several mthods can be used to accomplish these goals: 1. conditioning, 2. developing a customer list, 3. helping distributors sell, 4. maintaining company identity, 5. assisting regional salespeople, and 6. getting feedback. Successful direct mailing requires the development of a systematic approach in 4 areas: 1. choosing the product or service to be sold, 2. developing an effective package and offer, 3. formulating a mailing list, and 4. testing carefully, monitoring results, and making adjustments.
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Full text: [Small Business Report] Feb 1981