Here are 30 timeless direct marketing principles:
1. All customers are not created equal.
2. The most important order you ever get from a customer is the second order. W
3. Maximizing direct mail success depends first upon the lists you use, second upon the offers you make, and third upon the copy and graphics you create.
4. If, on a given list, “hotline” names don’t work, the other list categories offer little opportunity for success.
5. Merge/purge names — those that appear on two or more lists — will outpull any single list from which these names have been extracted.
6. Direct response lists will almost always outpull compiled lists.
7. Overlays on lists (enhancements), such as lifestyle characteristics, income, education, age, marital status, and propensity to respond by mail or phone will always improve response.
8. A follow-up to the same list within 30 days will pull 40 to 50 percent of the first mailing.
9. “Yes/No” offers consistently produce more orders than offers that don’t request “No” responses.
10. The “take rate” for negative option offers will always outpull positive option offers at least two to one.