Chapter 1 In the beginning:
How to Be An Overnight Sensation with POWER DIRECT MARKETING
POWER DIRECT MARKETING began in 1960. I didnt know it then, but that is when it all started.
I was working in the passenger department of Matson Lines, a major Pacific steamship company, working with travel agents and people who wanted to take luxury cruises to Hawaii and the South Pacific.
The steamship carriers then, as today, ran glorious, full-page color advertisements in travel magazines and key placements in newspaper travel sections across America.
Most of the ads had coupons. No telephone numbers to call (The 800 number had not been created at that time.), just a coupon with the address of Matson Lines headquarters in San Francisco.
Every day the mailman would bring a batch of coupons from people seeking literature and schedules and prices and information on the various island destinations Matson sailed to. I would make certain the appropriate fulfillment package was prepared and shipped by return mail to the prospect.
Each of the coupons included a line that stated:
My travel agent is __________________________.
If that line was filled in, the lead would be passed on to the appropriate travel agent. If it was not, I got involved and made an outbound telemarketing phone call to chase the lead to make the sale.
In those days the word "telemarketing" didnt exist. What we were doing was simply making follow-up telephone calls to prospects in an effort to turn them into customers. To us it was basic, good common sense. We really didnt know what we were doingthere were no scripts, no call guides. We just picked up the phone and called.
Amazingly enough, the program was outstandingly successful (rarely did I ever meet my customers . . . unless I got invited to their bon voyage party!). For about 20 months during 196061, the majority of my time was spent chasing individual business for Matson Lines and booking it.
All as a follow-up to a direct response space advertisement in a magazine or newspaper, followed up by a good fulfillment package, followed up by a telemarketing call to get the order. An integrated, multimedia direct response marketing program. And, it worked.