171 DM Questions Answered

If you know more, you can do more. It’s that simple.

This section doesn’t pretend to answer every question you’ll ever have about marketing or direct marketing – but it does cover the most common ones.

Main Marketing Topics – Click a link to see the questions in that section

What is DM and how can it build my business?
How do I get started?
What are the economics of DM?
How do I plan my DM strategy?
How do I plan media for DM?
What do I need to know about lists and databases?
How can I get better creative work?

Click any of the section headers to see the answers to the questions

General marketing questions

1. What is my most intelligent business objective?

2. What is marketing?

3. What is “positioning”? And does it matter in DM?

4. What is a brand image?

5. What do you mean by a “strong” brand?

6. What are the benefits of building a brand?

7. How do you build a brand through DM?

8. How can you measure the impact on your brand of DM?

9. What is a Unique Selling Proposition?

10. What problems should international marketers watch out for?

11. How can I determine my product’s strengths?

12. Can direct marketing work as corporate advertising?

13. What’s the secret of making great speeches and presentations?

14. Who are you really competing with?

What is DM and how can it build my business?

15. What is Direct Marketing ?

16. How does DM differ from other disciplines like advertising?

17. Why has DM grown?

18. What is the aim of DM?

19. What can DM do for my business?

20. How does DM work for FMCG products?

21. How can DM help me serve my customer better?

22. How should DM fit in with my current business needs?

23. How can DM help me get more new business?

24. Where should DM fit in my firm’s structure?

25. How does DM work if I sell to other businesses?

26. What are the ten most important direct marketing rules?

27. What state should my database be in to use it effectively?

28. What are the major aims of direct marketers? How do I achieve them?

29. Which prospect and customer names get the best response?

30. Where should I invest to get the best return?

31. What are the benefits – and dangers – of promotions?

32. I’m not really a direct marketer – how should I recruit good DM people?

33. What sort of experience and talents should new staff have?

How do I get started?

34. How can I spot good DM opportunities?

35. How can I plan a communications cycle?

36. Can my sales people help with DM?

37. How can DM help my sales people?

38. How can I use the names I already have?

39. How can DM solve retail problems?

40. How can I attack my competitors’ customers?

41. Isn’t mass advertising more economical than DM?

42. Can DM help me recruit better people?

43. Can DM help me make better use of my catalogues or brochures?

44. Who are neglected prospects for my DM?

45. Can DM help in handling complaints?

46. What mistakes should I look out for when starting DM?

47. What else can DM help me sell to my customers?

48. Does DM success always depend on bargains and low price?

49. How can I learn if my products are likely to sell?

50. How much should I charge for my product?

51. How often should I mail or e-mail people?

52. How do I sell to customers who haven’t bought for a while?

53. What kind of results do reminders get?

54. When is it best to sell in one stage – and when in two?

55. What sort of response rates can I expect?

56. How do I get more replies?

57. How do I get better quality replies?

58. How much direct mail do customers read?

59. How much direct mail do business people read?

What are the economics of DM?

60. How do I determine my marketing budget?

61. How do I work out what I should spend to get a sale?

62. How do I calculate a break-even?

63. How do I work out my allowable cost per order?

64. What is the financial effect of offering an incentive?

65. How soon should I aim to make a profit?

66. What is customer lifetime value? How do I work it out?

67. How much profit should I aim to make?

68. How much better will mailing to customers do versus a cold list?

How do I plan my DM strategy?

69. Where should DM fit into my business strategy?

70. Which five factors matter most in planning?

71. Which prospects should I spend most money on?

72. What are the stages in planning a campaign?

73. Is there a simple, quick way to plan?

74. What are the most important questions in marketing?

75. How can I learn more about my customers?

76. Do the same things work in different countries?

77. How can I segment customers – and does it pay?

How do I plan media for DM?

78. Where do I start with DM media planning?

79. What are the criteria for planning media?

80. How long should I keep running an ad or mailing?

81. How often should I repeat an ad or mailing?

82. How soon can I re-mail someone with the same creative?

83. What can I learn from studying my competitors media plans?

84. What published statistics are helpful? And how helpful?

85. What big mistakes should I watch for in media planning?

86. What factors affect media cost?

87. How long should a DM campaign last?

88. How do traditional and DM media planning differ?

89. What are the most effective direct media?

90. How do I determine which media to use?

91. How far ahead should I plan media?

92. How often should I run an ad in one medium?

93. How many different media should I include in a campaign?

94. What factors affect responses?

95. When will you get the best results?

96. What do I gain from integrating media?

97. How long do people recall direct mail?

98. When will e-mail eliminate direct mail?

99. Which works best – direct mail or e-mail?

100. What are the main benefits of direct mail?

101. What are the main benefits of door-drops?

102. What are the main benefits of newspapers and magazines?

103. What are the main benefits of TV and radio?

104. What are the main benefits of the telephone?

105. What is the role of posters in DM?

106. Does the fax still work?

107. Which spaces do best?

108. Timing: when will you do best?

109. How can I pay less for media?

What do I need to know about lists and databases?

110. Where do I find mailing lists?

111. What does list rental cover?

112. What do list brokers charge? And who pays?

113. What if some of the names are out of date or inaccurate? Do I pay?

114. What different kinds of lists are there?

115. What questions should I ask a list broker?

116. How do I find out which lists are most likely to work for me?

117. When should I buy a list?

118. How do I check the quality of a list?

119. What use is the Electoral register?

120. Why do names and addresses get screwed up so often?

121. How do I avoid duplicating my mailings?

122. Which factors help most in determining list quality?

123. What is profiling? How does it help?

124. How can I benefit from a list profile?

125. What is the difference between a list and a database?

126. What should go onto a database?

127. How can I plan my database simply?

128. What’s a lifestyle database?

129. What is a mailing list worth?

130. What should I study on a database?

131. Which lists pull best?

132. Can I predict if a list will work – before I mail?

133. What if I have no historical data?

134. How do I build a database?

135. Collecting customer names.

136. How do I keep a list up-to-date? Do we have details right?

137. Who are the best new customers and how do I find them?

138. How responsive are compiled lists?

139. What is the effect of a teaser or advance mailing?

140. What happens if I send a follow-up mailing? When should I do so?

141. How long should I keep following up enquiries?

142. What impact does cold direct mail have on behaviour?

How can I get better creative work?

143. Is there a way to get good ideas?

144. Should I follow a formula?

145. What is “reason-why” copy?

146. What should I know about my prospects?

147. Is customer location and behaviour relevant?

148. How can research help with creative?

149. Can I adapt an idea from one medium to another?

150. What sins should I watch out for in creative?

151. How can I be original within a formula?

152. Which incentives work best?

153. Do limited numbers aid response?

154. What is a time close?

155. When does curiosity work?

156. Where will I find good headlines?

157. How do I keep someone interested once I’ve got their attention?

158. How do I make people want what I offer?

159. How can I persuade customers to try my products?

160. Short headlines or long?

161. Should I have an envelope message?

162. What about personalisation and gimmicks?

163. How many pieces in a mailing pack?

164. What matters most in direct mail?

165. How should creative for an insert differ from that for a mailing?

166. Which media grab the prospect’s attention straightaway?

167. How can I improve my catalogues?

168. How can I make the most of TV and Radio?

169. What makes a good brief?

170. How to plan your creative treatment?

171. How should I evaluate creative work?