SELLING BY MAIL by John W. & Susan K. Jones Graham


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A first-rate primer on direct-response marketing from a couple of pros, which focuses on the needs of firms with advertising/promotion budgets ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. Assuming no prior experience on the part of their readers, Graham and Jones start with the fundamentals of direct marketing (DM), which involves using mail, broadcast and/or telephone solicitations to generate leads as well as actual sales. Without making extravagant claims on DM's behalf, the authors explain how it can help avoid the constraints inherent in other media, e.g., poor color reproduction on newsprint and limits on copy length for TV commercials. In addition, they probe DM's economic aspects (it's cost-effective). Most of the text is devoted to an A-to-Z overview of a DM campaign's elements, beginning with the composition of an offer, to the rental and testing of mailing lists, the formatting of printed material, and ending with order fulfillment and canvassing for repeat business. Along the way, they examine the potential of both industrial/commercial and consumer outlets. Covered are the use of computer systems, Postal Service regulations, tricks of the catalog trade, vendor relations, buying space or time, the development of in-house mailing lists, and layouts (discussed down through the keylines on camera-ready art). Equally useful are periodic evaluations of the trade-offs involved in the choice of different media. In the authors' book, mailing pieces rank high for selectivity. TV is unrivaled for demonstrating products with mass-market appeal. By contrast, they note, newspapers and magazines can be used as extensions of DM programs or even to create new markets where none existed, owing to prospects' pluralistic traits. Telemarketing, the authors conclude, makes the most sense for companies that want to qualify likely customers for big-ticket goods and services. A reliable and ready reference for merchandisers interested in getting a bigger bang from their advertising bucks.

Pub Date: Nov. 26th, 1985
Publisher: Scribners