July 21, 2008
Go Directly to Direct
Maybe you thought this was old news, but Brandweek reports on a survey by Direct Partners that found "e-mail is now the most popular form of direct response marketing. . . . E-mail is used primarily by 35% of companies compared to 25% which use traditional direct mail and 21% who use package, statement stuffers or free standing inserts." We're not talking spammers here. This was a survey of large U.S. corporations.
With rocky times for retail, many book publishers are looking more closely at direct response. Tom Woll devotes a chapter to direct response marketing as well in Publishing for Profit, which I've been reviewing here chapter by chapter. His word to the wise comes in two basic points:
* Results must always be quantifiable.
Woll offers fairly detailed help in how to plan and analyze direct response (which can include e-mail, mail, telephone or other programs). He even thinks that
once you start tracking your sales and promotional efforts, you'll become addicted to the numbers. Just because this method of marketing is so calculable and analytical it is a refreshing change from the vagaries and sometimes whimsical nature of trade sales. (p. 272)
Every publisher needs to find its own mix of trade, direct and special market sales that makes sense for its editorial program and its readership. For some, that might mean going directly to direct.