April 23, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 46
"Response" by Lois Geller
Although I've known Lois Geller for some time, it wasn't until we were in the same city at the same convention, each of us speaking, that I really began to know her.
And to truly like her.
This is one bright lady. Who has built a DM agency that does good stuff. She enjoys the platform, where she weaves stories with experiences as you learn a marketing lesson. She also teaches one of the States most famous direct marketing courses at New York University. Lois writes articles that say something. And books that say more.
This is about one of her books; "Response - The Complete Guide To Profitable Direct Marketing". Long and descriptive titles like this are always fascinating to us in direct ... we've found they work well to gain action. So, of course, when Lois combines the word "response" with a description, she has a winner. This book is! I know ... I've read it cover to cover.
One of the reasons this is a good book is Lois is a mail-order buyer. She knows what really happens when she shops through a catalog or online. Another reason is she went into the mail-order business herself nearly 30 years ago. Got first hand experience - and then put it to work with clients in Canada and the States.
The book begins with a section on both the advantages as well as myths of direct marketing. Complete with "live" examples to not only make the point - to prove it. For small and mid-size companies, and big ones, too.
Each chapter ends with a questionnaire or check-list. If you did nothing more than copy and learn from these pages, you'd learn a lot.
As with any worthwhile book about direct marketing there is a full and detailed chapter on the "Elements of an Effective Offer". And another about the people who buy what you sell ... "Identifying Your Customers". In these two chapters - in fact in every chapter of the 15 - there are a collection of TIPS. Bold boxes in the middle of the page which proclaim a specific sound idea you just don't want to miss.
The book is full of lists, too. If you've read me before, you know I truly love lists. Why? Because I've seen the re-action in my seminars when a list is offered; people sit up and pay attention. They count the points made - and focus on those important to them, their product and service, their company, their industry. Lists work. Lois offers many lists.
The old concepts are not ignored, either ... such as Recency - Frequency - Monetary. RFM was created before most of us were born. It is still valid today, in the 21st Century. Lois talks about it.
The emphasis in the book is mail-order. Although lead generation and traffic building are addressed. Direct mail is the lead medium discussed, with a heavy chapter on print and another on catalog marketing. The web is included, too.
Within the prime direct mail chapter there are scores of "how to..." creative ideas. A grand laundry list of things to know so your mail package is the best it can be. Lois talks about the importance of the envelope, the letter - all the elements. Again, with "live" examples and stories to support each point. And several of the famous Lois lists. She does the same with print and catalogs.
"Costs and Mail Order Math" gets its' own chapter. With charts, checklists and more lists. As well as a collection of formulas to help you know how to both measure and analyze your direct marketing program.
Although I think Chapter 9 should be in the front of the book - it is in the book. It is "Planning Your Campaign". My theory being you plan before you do anything. Yet, that is a detail - as Lois believes like me; you must think, plan and organize first.
Because, as she says "the most important thing to remember is there is no one right decision to be made in any of these areas." i.e., there are many ways to get from where you are to where you want to go. A plan is necessary to get there - no matter what path you take. To help you Lois includes a full and very complete sample marketing plan.
The chapter on Loyalty is of particular interest to me - as I'm working with a client today on creating their loyalty program. The section I liked the most was that which talked about all the ways to stay in touch with your customers;
Flyers, Newsletters, Educational materials, Birthday cards,
Holiday greetings, Thank-you notes, Personalized letters.
Not that this list is complete (it is not). Instead, to let you know - again - there is more than one way to get from here to there. And you should maybe try them all!
Lois pulls it all together with a chapter on international direct marketing ... and ends with several classic stories of how repetition did in fact build a reputation. I remember Jo-Von Tucker and I know a bit about Boardroom Reports. Lois fills in with the complete story of what these folks did. The message is you can do it, too.
"This site is devoted to businesses who want simple and inexpensive marketing solutions that boost sales, generate new customers and increase cash flow."
Sounds pretty darn good to me! And I'd guess you, too - no matter your size.
These are words from Debbie Bermont at the opening of her web pages; www.simpleprinciples.com. I've known Deb for 2 decades. She, after convincing her family she needed to move to warm southern California from Milwaukee to go to school, came to work at our little place. Since that time we've meet in Chicago, St. Louis, San Diego, been on the platform together in Stockholm (that's in Stockholm, Sweden), and visited in each others homes scores of times. Deb is a very good friend.
So, "yes", I'm prejudiced. It's easy - 'cause Deb is bright - and her Source Communications company could be just what you're looking for. And, when you're looking for a seminar leader or keynote speaker, Deb could be your pick, too.
Let's talk about www.simpleprinciples.com - her updated web site. Written and re-worked by Deb over a years time, it is now "ready for business". It is full of knowledge, which she willingly shares.
There are a dozen plus "how to ..." articles you will get ideas from. She offers FREE "10 Secrets To Marketing Success In Tough Times" ... "click" and you'll get a copy. You can opt-in for her bi-weekly E-zine, with the great title "Marketing Made Simple".
Of course she is selling, too. Her consulting and coaching services. Her speaking. And an array of product that will help you with your marketing, direct marketing and sales.
Deb uses the word "planning" as if it were manna from heaven. No plan, no action. So, she'll help you with your marketing plan, too. As she says: "You get a solid blueprint that makes sense and generates results."
Debbie is a family girl. She has been very close to all her family ... especially her grandfather. Deb takes lessons of family and ties them together in her business.
i.e., Grandfather, Dave Schuster immigrated to the USA from Russia in 1911, at age 8. He made more than a life - he made a mark. That is still powerful today. I'll let it sit at that - Deb will share with you the discipline and feelings she learned from her grandfather. And today is still learning from her grandmother.
Here's a quote from her web site about grandfather Dave;
Well, you get the idea. This young lady has something to offer. You may wish to surf to her site, and take a look. And then give her a call. Or send her an E-mail; DBermont@aol.com - tell her Ray sent you.
The world's most famous philosopher is ... Anonymous. At least I think so!
So, every E-zine issue of The Works of Marketing with Ray will have a quote from this infamous writer. Here's one for this issue.
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
Bob Bly is a wonderful writer. And a good business friend.
From his most recent E-zine I'm stealing this list of real, live headlines. No, Bob did not write these. He is only sharing them. EnJoy
"See" you next week.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.