Our 5-Point Checklist for Evaluating Direct Response Creative

How do you know if your direct marketing creative -- the integration of copy and design ­­-- is up to the task of connecting with the target audience and doing its part to drive a successful campaign? Nothing—no direct mail piece, email, website or social media ad—makes its way out the door without careful evaluation.

  • “It’s pretty” doesn’t necessarily equal “It’s effective.”
  • “That’s such a cool idea” doesn’t always translate to “It’ll resonate with our target market.”
  • “Wow, that really pops!” doesn’t mean “It’s on strategy.”
  • “I wouldn’t respond to that” doesn’t mean “It isn’t right for the target audience.”

Our creative team, which consists of art directors, designers, and copywriters, approach each project with a clean slate—and fresh ideas. But they also takeRead more


37 Power Words to Use in Direct Response Marketing—and Why

From the time we were kids, we’ve been told by family members, teachers, and marketing gurus to “use the right words” and avoid using the wrong ones. Most of us have figured out how to communicate effectively—in most situations, anyway—and we know how powerful words can be. The right ones can make your heart sing, and the wrong ones can cut like a knife.

Write the Right Words, All Right?
In direct response marketing, the right words can work like magic. Word choice is fundamental to creating a message that resonates and building an offer and call to action that performs. Let’s take a look at which words tend to “work” for today’s direct response marketersRead more


The Customer Persona: Your Guiding Star for Direct Response Marketing Success

Person holding a star

When you’re writing a marketing message, developing a sales offer, or designing a piece of creative, who, exactly, are you creating it for? As marketers, we need to tailor our communications as tightly as possible to the specifications of our target audience so our offers adequately reach, resonate, and drive response.

Thankfully, there’s a handy tool—the customer persona—that can help your strategic and creative teams deliver effectively targeted messages and offers that convert. Let’s take a closer look at this guiding star of direct response creative success.

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3 Steps to Success: Direct Response Marketing and the Up-Sell

There’s more than one way to motivate your existing customers to buy more or spend more, either at the point of purchase or after the sale. Usually, sales and marketing folks employ the cross-sell or the up-sell; those with the greatest success know when, how, and with whom to use each technique.

Cross-sell vs. Up-sell
Straightaway, let’s get our terms straight. Cross-sell and up-sell aren’t the same thing, as we explain in our simple example from The Art and Science of the Direct Response Marketing Cross-Sell: Instead of suggesting to a fast food customer that fries would go excellently with their cheeseburger (a cross-sell), you entice them with an upgrade to a double cheeseburger (up-sell).

Put another way, a cross-sell encourages existing customers to purchase a complementary or related product or service, while an upsell promotes the purchase of a higher-end offering (i.e. a more expensive model or one with more “bells and whistles”).Read more