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*A Book Review*

The Direct Mail Solution

By Craig Simpson with Dan S. Kennedy

by Michael C. Gray

June 4, 2014

Why write about a book about direct mail? Isn't direct mail dead? Hasn't everyone moved to internet marketing?

I have a fairly simple response. Do you open and look at every email marketing message that you receive? How many email messages do you receive each day in your "inbox"? How much mail do you receive in your mailbox? Do you at least look at the mail that you receive? If you give honest answers, it should be evident to you that mail can be more effective than email for communications.

How about web sites? They are great if the customer already knows about you when they want what you offer or stumbles on you in a search. That leaves an awful lot to chance. It brings to mind an old poster where a vulture says, "Scavenger, XXXX! I'm going out and kill something!"

Even Amazon and Google are using direct marketing approaches like telemarketing and direct mail. Why? Because they work.

Most of our readers know that Dan Kennedy is a guru of direct response marketing, including developing campaigns for Proactive skin products, Weight Watchers (the good ones), and many others. Craig Simpson owns Simpson Direct Inc., a direct marketing firm based in Grants Pass, Oregon. His company sends out nearly 300 mailings per year for private clients. His work experience includes working with Ken Roberts, who made mailings of hundreds of thousands of pieces selling commodity trading courses.

In The Direct Mail Solution, Craig Simpson and Dan Kennedy explain the "nuts and bolts" of direct mail.

How do you define a market for your product or service? How do you locate lists of similar customers who may want your product or service? How do you test a list to find out if it will respond to your marketing piece? How can you find examples of marketing pieces that they have responded to before?

How can you test to find out whether a marketing piece will be cost effective? How can you test whether another message will get a better response? When are the best times of year to mail your piece?

Is it better to mail first class, bulk, priority mail, express mail or Federal Express?

How can you use direct mail to attract people to your web site?

All of this and more is explained in detail.

What becomes evident is that direct mail is expensive and hard work is required. Cheap and easy usually aren't more profitable than expensive and hard. Darn! If you're serious about you business, you should buy and study this book.

Buy it on Amazon: The Direct Mail Solution: A Business Owner's Guide to Building a Lead-Generating, Sales-Driving, Money-Making Direct-Mail Campaign.

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

The Salesman of the Century, by Ron Popeil with Jefferson Graham, explains how to sell products on television and in person.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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