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The Proof is in the Proofreading

It's every copywriter's worst nightmare. After several (sometimes dozens) of rounds, copy is finally approved, type is set, the files go out, the job is printed, and ... there's a typo!  (Cue the slashing/screaming soundtrack of Psycho here.) Typos happen. Maybe the client added a new bullet point at the last minute. Maybe the art director had...
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Mailbox Monday

A few weeks ago, we talked about retailers and how postcards can be efficient and effective ways to promote in-store sales. The Queen B received a postcard this afternoon from one of her favorite retailers: Chico's. We'll set the stage for you. The Queen B has been a loyal (and frequent) Chico's shopper for more than 20 years. She knows their diffe...
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There's No Business like Direct Marketing

This week, the Bs had the pleasure of presenting a session at NEDMA's annual "5 Ds of Direct Mail" symposium. We were assigned the second D, Design, and it occurred to us that infusing a little show business into the presentation would make the morning more fun.  In case you couldn't join us, here's what we talked about ... What business are w...
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Subject Lines: A Few Words Can Make or Break Your Campaign

Email marketing. Love it, hate it, it's here to stay. (Well, at least for now or at least until we all have Google glasses surgically attached to our heads.)  So, let's start at the very beginning: subject lines. When we talk to old school (read, direct mail) marketers about email, one of the first things we do is compare subject lines to some...
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More About Offers Because ... Why Not?

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about offers that generate quality and those that result in quantity. But, whether you're looking for sheer numbers or highly qualified leads, coming up with a good offer can be key to whether your next campaign is a hit or a dud. Like any creative undertaking, brainstorming offers can benefit from a combination of ...
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Mailbox Monday

We stopped recommending "stealth" direct mail packages many years ago. Back in 2001, shortly after the World Trade Center attacks, direct mail marketing was plagued by a terrifying biohealth scare. Two waves of mailings, laced with deadly anthrax, were sent to media locations and members of the U.S. Senate. Sadly, five of the recipients/mail handle...
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Direct Marketing Disasters — Or, Results That Go Bump In The Night

Here at B Direct, we've just launched our new and improved (and, we admit it, overdue) agency website. Anyone who has ever launched a site will agree ... it was a PROCESS. But, with 15 years and hundreds of projects for dozens of clients under our belts, the process was also a CELEBRATION. We've been privileged to work on some fantastic projects, e...
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Digging In to LinkedIn

As professional adult marketers, who grew up in the days of word processors, fax machines, stat cameras, and mechanical boards, it's tempting to criticize or discount social media. But, we'd be ignoring something very powerful, something that isn't going away anytime soon. Nearly 2 billion people use Facebook — and many if not most of them are very...
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Digital Direct: Old Rules, New Rules

The Queen B recently told us, "The other day, I took a survey about media consumption. Among the several dozen questions was one about how much time I spend online for business or pleasure. When I did the math, I was fairly stunned. Granted, I'm in the communications industry. But, I'm also middle-aged; I'm definitely a digital immigrant, not a nat...
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Quantity or Quality? It's All About the Offer.

In direct marketing, it's all about the offer. But, it's also a balancing act between generating lead QUANTITY and lead QUALITY. If the offer is sweet, you'll get response. If it's too sweet, you may get more response — but from people less likely to buy.  Do you want quantity? Or quality? There's no one right answer. Like everything else in y...
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Mailbox Monday

Not-for-profit is quite possibly the most tested segment where direct mail marketing is concerned. We've talked to clients who could tell us exactly what ROI they could expect if they added address labels or a referral slip. Or included a lift note. Or a petition. Or a "To Do" list pad. Today, the Queen B received an impressive package from Save th...
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Integrated Media Marketing: Yes or No?

Wouldn't it be nice if you knew exactly where your prospective customers were at any given time? If you could send out a single message via a single medium and know they would receive it? Sorry. Prospects and customers engage with multiple channels. A lot. Estimates vary, but the average consumer is exposed to between 5,000 and 10,000 marketing mes...
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Postcards: More than Pretty Pictures

​"Back to School," summer savings, a teenager in the house. All of these things mean that the Queen B gets more than her share of promotional postcards from retailers. Brands like Macy's, Nordstrom, American Eagle Outfitters ... and that's just the three we bothered to scan for this post. Online retail sales may be booming, but major stores st...
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Email Marketing: The Long and Short of It

As B Direct goes into its 15th year, there's always something new to learn. But, there are also questions we hear from clients over and over (and over and over). One of these is: How long should an email be? Here's the obvious (and slightly obnoxious) answer: As long as it needs to be. Of course, we know that people are busy, lazy, easily distracte...
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The Unsinkable Iceberg Theory

Developing a successful direct marketing campaign is a little like an iceberg. You know … A mythic disaster. Elegant dinner parties. A sweeping but ill-fated love story. Leo and Kate standing in the bow of the ship. Celine Dion singing "My heart will go on." Actually, we're not talking about that iceberg. We're talking about the metaphor iceberg, a...
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Yes Virginia, Mail (Still) has Merits

Whenever a new advertising or marketing communications vehicle emerges, we hear the same old song … "TV's here. Radio is dead." "The Internet's here. TV is dead." "Email's here. Direct mail is dead." If we've learned anything, it's that people have quite a large capacity for consuming a variety of different messages across a variety of different me...
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If Marketing isn’t “Direct,” Why Bother?

There's more to direct than … well ... direct. At B Direct, we're proud of our direct marketing heritage. But, too often people assume we're a direct mail agency. We are. But, there's more to us than direct mail.  Just like there's more to direct marketing. Direct marketing is media agnostic. Any advertising medium can be direct if it follows ...
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