Mar 25, 2010

The History of Digital Direct Marketing

What do you know about the history of advertising? Here's what little I know about the history of digital and direct marketing.

Who invented direct marketing
60 odd years ago, a man named Lester Wunderman created the term 'Direct Marketing.' Today Lester's foundation lives on as global Wunderman agency network grows. At the same time when the 'direct marketing' term was introduced also another pioneer was experimenting with it. That man was David Ogilvy, he introduced it under the name 'Direct-Response Advertising' during 1950's.

While Wunderman is a respectable agency, it was Ogilvy who applied those tested and proven lessons of direct marketing to general advertising most widest. But it wasn't Ogilvy who was the first to use direct marketer's secrets to mass media advertising.

The grand father of digital direct marketing
The real pioneer of advertising that sells is Claude C. Hopkins, who was paid an amazing one million dollar yearly salary in 1920's as a copywriter. Hopkins is the author of Scientific Advertising which is a bible to many advertising people around the world –including me. Drayton Bird notes that "It's the best book ever written" and Ogilvy said "Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until they have read this book seven times."

Scientific advertising
Hopkins learned from mail-order advertising which measures the success of its advertising based on sales. When some technique worked it was documented and used to again and again. Thanks to testing and following responses, the motives why people buy started to become more clear, and the principles of scientific triggers which make people act were discovered.

Many products launched by
Claude Hopkins are still famous today – almost 100 years later – such as Palmolive and Pepsodent. If you study ads made by him, you will see that most of his techniques still work today. What you will also learn how simple persuasion really is – and how very few people have actually studied it. And how an even smaller percentage have documented what works and how to make people buy.

What is the purpose of advertising
Most copywriters, designers, account executives and clients have never heard that advertising should to sell something – until now. Digital revolution has made everything measurable and accountable. You know by noon whether your online campaign works or not.
It's a dream come true for many of the early practitioners.

Your timing is perfect
When the whole world seems to be over-whelmed with the internet, there is a lesson to learn. The opportunity with the internet is greater than Ogilvy, Wunderman or Hopkins had in their time. If you are willing to test direct marketing principles, methods and techniques to your advertising, especially to online advertising, you will see that advertising is profitable, measurable and powerful weapon in right hands.

To learn more about internet marketing that works read my article Digital Direct Marketing


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Mar 23, 2010

Ad Man's Book Club: March 2010 Choice


Wooden on Leadership - John Wooden
and Steve Jamison


This month's book choice is about leadership. John "Coach" Wooden won 10 NCAA Basketball Championships in a row. It's the Stanley Cup of college basketball.

Wooden won those titles while 40 percent of his team changed positions or left
every year. 20 percent of the team graduated and another 20 percent of freshmen came in – every year. How would you handle that kind of employee turnover in your company?

As former English teacher Wooden believed in written principles like many other architects of great institutes such as David Ogilvy. Here are a few excerpts from the book which you may find interesting.

The book's message is simple:

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable."

"Set standards high – namely do the absolutely best of which you are capable. Focus on running the race rather than winning it. Do those things necessary to bring forth your personal best and don't lose sleep worrying about competition. Let the competition lose sleep worrying about you. Teach your organization to do the same."

"Star of the team is team."

"When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'" –Lao-tse

"You must earn the right to be confident."

"Never lie; never cheat; never steal. Don't whine; don't complain; don't make excuses."

"Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character."

"Emotion is your enemy. Intensity makes you stronger. Emotionalism makes you weaker."

And last, "In the end the choice you make makes you."

You can get the book from Amazon

Previous book of the month choices:

Mar 19, 2010

AdEffie: How to Advertise for Free and Pay Only for Results

Would you like to know:

  • How to advertise for free to a million Finns online and pay only for results?
  • How to increase your sales and profits today without risk?
  • How to beat your competitors with a secret weapon?

First, I’m going to tell how you can increase your sales without risk.

AdEffie Inc. is an online advertising network that reaches one million Finns and counting.

Advertising in our network is free. You only pay for results, such as sales, new orders or subscriptions.


No results, no charge. Does that sound fair to you?

In the worst case, you get your product and brand in front of a million Finns – for free.

In the best case, well, you do the math. How many customers do you need? How much sales and profits would you like? We can deliver them to you.

Powerful and accurate weapon
We can automatically personalize your ads to make them more effective. For example, people who read a news story about Madonna can see our ads served by our network that advertise Madonna's albums or concert tickets. Relevant and personal? Yes. Effective advertising that sells? You bet.

There are several more ways how to improve your advertising campaign's power and impact, but those secrets are revealed
only to our clients.

Who are the people behind AdEffie Inc.

Our team includes the previous CEO of AOL Advertising.com Finland, Pasi Hokkanen, who is also the founder of Digitoday.fi portal, and Jari Torvelainen, the previous CEO of advertising agency Viherjuuri, which was listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange under the corporate name Evia Oyj.

We have an IT wizard called Joni Seeste, who is the man behind the machine. Joni has extensive professional programming background starting from the time when most people still played Tetris with their computers –if they even knew what a computer was. Mr. Seeste is the chief system architect and leads our IT-team.

I work as the direct marketing specialist of the team and handle new accounts. My job is to make sure that your ad campaign increases your sales and profits.


  • Why is this team important to you? Because our purpose is to combine advertising, media, online and direct marketing expertise to maximize your profits from our online advertising network.

So far, the popularity of AdEffie's pay-for-results (CPA/CPC) advertising model has been outstanding in Finland.

How to increase your sales today
If you have your banners and website ready, you can start advertising in hours. Our system allows you to reach every third online user in Finland at once.

You deliver the advertising material to us and we deliver the customers to you. There are no additional costs or set-up fees if you act now.




UPDATE: THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED


Best,

Timo Jäppinen

P.S. I urge you to act, because we can only handle a very few new advertisers right now.

P.P.S. Do you know a friend or colleague who wants to advertise for free to a million Finns? Why not share this message with them?


UPDATE: THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Mar 13, 2010

How to Test the Power of Your Advertising – and Why?

Last week I had an argument with my colleagues about the importance of testing your advertising.

Let me give you reasons why should test.

Would you like to save money and increase your sales? Testing can do that.

How to increase the selling power of your ads? Test different versions and use the one that brings in most SALES. You usually create a few different versions as you write your ads. Let your customers choose the best version through a test campaign. Test new approaches, but never change something just because you think you should. Judge the success of your ads based on SALES.

How to avoid mistakes and save money? Run a few test campaigns before you spend your whole budget. You can't trust only to your judgment when it comes to advertising. On direct and digital marketing you trust the RESULTS, not your gut.

I have seen an ad sell 60 percent more just because a letter font was changed. Here is my point: you can't guess what works, you have to test to know. Watch Drayton Bird's
any presentation and he will show you what ad it was that sold 60 percent more thanks to testing.

  • The reason why I love direct marketing is simple. On direct marketing you know what works, you don't have to guess. You and I doesn't have to argue between our tastes and views on marketing. We can do a simple A/B test and figure out whose version of the ad sells more.

Today testing is cheap and quick
, thanks to the internet. You can do a simple test in the morning and by the noon you have the answers of what works.


By the way, did you know that you are in a privileged position compared to your competitors? If you understand and use direct marketing disciplines, such as testing, to the web your marketing will became bullet-proof.

Do you know who first said, "There are only two rules in advertising. Rule one: test. Rule two: refer to rule one." ?


You may also find these related marketing articles useful:
  1. Do You Make These Mistakes in Marketing?
  2. How to Create a Web Site that Sells
  3. 10 Coca-Cola Social Media Principles
  4. Why Direct Marketing Grows
  5. How to Brief Your Advertising Agency

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Mar 11, 2010

100 Marketing Articles: Readers' Top 5

How to tell that the author has problems to write? He lists old posts under a new headline – just like this.

To celebrate the 100th article of this blog, here are readers' top five list based on popularity:
  1. 3 Signals: Why The Future of Advertising is Digital Direct Marketing
  2. Top 5 Advertising Agencies in Tampere, Finland
  3. 29 Tested Advertising Methods: How Make Your Email Marketing Sell More
  4. Digital Direct Marketing
  5. How to Create an Effective Viral Marketing Campaign 1/2

These articles gained special attention on the social media:
  1. Do You Make These Mistakes in Marketing?
  2. How to Create A Website that Sells
  3. B2B: How This New Business Can Increase Your Sales and Profits

PS You can expect less repeats – like this post – and more useful articles in the future. Thank you for reading.


Mar 9, 2010

How These Tested Online Advertising Methods Can Increase Your Sales

What is the most important thing in business?

If you ask the question from IBM's former president Thomas Watson Jr. he would say, "Nothing happens in business until something gets sold."

This article shows how you can increase your sales and profits with these tested online advertising methods. Let's start from your banners.

How to design an effective banner ad:
  1. Is it clear?
  2. Does your banner communicate a benefit to the reader?
  3. Does the banner arouse curiosity, instead of telling a whole story?
  4. Does it say, "why should I click?"
  5. Is there a strong call action?
  6. Is the banner consistent with the brand image?
  7. Is there a reason to act now? A deadline for the offer or a gift, for example.
  8. Have you tried customer testimonials in your banner ads?
  9. Do you show pictures of real people in your banners? People are interested in people.
Now you have created a banner that people click. They are on your landing page. The next step is closing the sale.

How to creat
e a landing page that sells
Your goal can be to get your visitor to sign-up to your service, subscribe a newsletter, download a case-study or simply make purchase from your web store. You need to know how to create a
landing page that interests your visitors and makes them act the way you want. Here is how.
  • Make your landing page easy to read. Avoid all unnecessary effects and flashy moving graphics. Get to the point at once. What is it exactly you are selling? According to studies you have less than 10 seconds to capture your visitor's attention or they are gone.
Do you have a quick, easy and simple check-out process? Smooth as silk is the way to online success. Don't ask more than necessary information from your customers to make the sale, especially with consumers. After the first sale you have plenty of time to get to know your customer better.

How to write a landing page copy text that sells
The way to sell is to get read first. Begin your la
nding page copy text with a strong reason to continue reading. Make your landing page interesting. Why should someone read it? The reader thinks, "what's in it for me?" Your job is to answer that question.

Use testimonials. Your landing page is the place to tell the full story. Show real people and let them do the selling for you.

Long copy sells more. Your advertising should overcome every objection why NOT to buy from you. Unlike in print advertising, on the internet your advertising space is unlimited. A hint: make your landing page look like editorial content to increase your sales and readership.

"As much as 40 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned"

Do you suffer from this problem? The visitor has watched your video, read your copy, filled the shopping cart, but hesitates at the last step and leaves your website. It's frustrating, isn't it? What you need is one last push to sweeten the offer and close the sale.

How to create irresistible online offers
"Why should I act now?" Here are four tested ways to get your prospect act.
  • "Limited edition"
  • "Limited supply"
  • "Last time at this price"
  • "Special price for promptness"
More tips how to increase your online sales
1. Use video. It is the third most effective media. The first is a real sales person and the second is telemarketing.

2. Try to collect email addresses from your website's every visitor. Use them for marketing. It is amazing how few websites actually do this. Even if they have the email address, they usually don't use it. According to direct marketing study in the USA, email marketing has return on investment (ROI)
43. It means that for every dollar, euro or rupee you spend to email marketing, it brings back 43 more. Is it a good deal?

3. Excellent technical skills, but poor salesmanship is a common problem on online advertising. Technology is only a fraction of marketing. Now that you have the latest online publishing system, so what? You need someone who understands how to get people respond and buy from you.

4. Consult a direct marketing professional always to guarantee that your online advertising sells as much it should.
Is your copy text reviewed and edited by a professional direct marketer to maximize your sales?

5. Use clear page elements to make navigation easy. Every time you stop me online, I get confused. If I don't now what to do next, I'm gone. Did you know that "back" button is the third most used feature on the web?
Be clear. Clarity above creativity.
And last, don't fall in love with possibilities of this new fascinating tool called the internet. Find always the cheapest and quickest way to make the sale.

You may also find these five related marketing articles interesting:
  1. How to Create a Web Site that Sells
  2. How to Brief Your Advertising Agency
  3. 29 Tested Methods: How to Make Your Email Marketing Sell More
  4. Digital Direct Marketing
  5. Do You Make These Mistakes in Marketing?

PS Do you have a friend or colleague who is interested in advertising? Why not share this article with them?


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Mar 4, 2010

7 Ways to Improve Your Mobile Advertising

Do you think that the next big thing in marketing is going to be mobile advertising?

I think it's over hyped, but here are tips for you that work, especially with SMS text marketing.

How to improve your mobile advertising:

1) Is your message clear?
Eliminate empty words.
Would your grandmother understand it?

2) Use your customer's name in the message if possible. This works equally well on email marketing and direct mail.

"Remember that the person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

–Dale Carnegie

3) Send more messages.
This is an odd tip, isn't it? But test it. I read a study about an email marketing campaign that sent email to the customers every other day. Their sales increased three times compared to the period where they sent only four messages per month. If you have time, you can watch 45 minute "Optimize Email Response" webinar here to learn more.

4) Test. Try different creative work, offers, call-to-actions, words and timing. Test, test and test again. Documented your successes, use and try to beat them.

5) Get your prospect's permission and make it easy to opt-out. Would you believe that I get SMS marketing messages from Nokia, but in them they don't tell me how to opt-out from their list?

6) Don't leave it to juniors. Get involved to learn what is possible to do with mobile advertising. Too often mobile advertising campaigns are run only by an outsourced IT-firm and junior executives who are in no connection with other agencies. That's the best recipe to kill your consistent brand image. Poor campaigns can do more harm than good because the medium in your pocket is so personal.

7) Strong call-to-action.
A hint: Copy best call-to-actions from banners and direct mail letters if you see them repeated over and over again. There is a fair chance that those words and techniques work in mobile advertising too.

Dear reader, here is one more thought before you go. A mobile phone has something that no other media has – a payment system within. If you know how to add mobile payment to your business, it can do the same what credit card did to direct mail. Direct mail exploded when the credit card came. In fact, a mobile phone works as a credit card, even little kids have it – and it's legal.

Do you have tips or thoughts how to do effective mobile advertising? Please comment. Maybe you know a good book or a blog about it? I recommend the book "Mobile Advertising" by Chetan Sharma, Joe Herzog and Victor Melfi, if you want to learn more.



Mar 2, 2010

Digital Direct Marketing Principles

I spent last two days making enemies around the world.

My first target was an Advertising Age article about digital advertising which wondered why traditional advertising agencies get it wrong.

Another casualty of my hate crime was an advertising agency new business blog that published a survey saying, in the future agencies need to know how to use more "pull interactions."

Seriously, what's wrong with these people?

When will the day come when they admit that interactive, relationship, digital, viral, social media, online and search marketing are just accelerated direct marketing?

Instead of wandering in the dark looking for answers on how to get people respond to advertising, why not study professionals who have made interactive marketing a science – over 60 years ago? It's all documented in hundreds of books, videos and seminars.

Yes, I'm talking about the notorious direct marketers. They are the ones who have practised the art of persuasion with scientific methods for decades to learn what works. Direct marketers know how to make people buy. They know how get people respond to advertising on every media whether it's print, TV, radio, mobile, internet or even outdoor.

My life – and I hope yours too – became a lot easier when I accepted the fact that human nature hasn't changed dramatically after the internet became popular about 15 years ago.

Why on earth marketing people run around like turkeys before Thanksgiving Day yelling how it is the end of the world? And how everything you know about consumers doesn't work any more?

I don't know about you, but here are three digital direct marketing principles I have found still work. Beware, they were invented before the year 1995.

Digital direct marketing principles:

  • Is it clear?
  • Is it personal?
  • Does it sell?

“It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary. It is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own.”

–Bill Bernbach
(1911-1982)

You may also find these related marketing articles interesting:


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