Direct marketing naysayers and negative nellies

I had a recent question come in from a guy doing some direct marketing.

He is a student of direct marketing, a solid writer, and received some negative feedback about a direct mail letter he wants to test.

Direct marketing and direct mail in particular can get a bad rap. People tried it once – didn’t make a fortune – and say direct mail doesn’t work.

Or the “branding” evangelists that have never built a start-up of their own – with their own money (and I don’t consider starting a “branding” agency with prior experience in ANY other business is considered a real startup.

Tell them to go start consumer service business – or sell a B2B software solution with their own money FIRST.  If they can use “branding” with a minimal budget (avg. startup budget of a couple grand maybe TOTAL for marketing) and be successful, THEN they can say branding worked for a startup.  They usually go after bigger companies with bigger budgets.

Those guys and gals LOVE to criticize the direct marketing field – mainly because they HATE to see the dollars and cents that come as a result of their campaigns.

We LOVE seeing responses, and numbers.

Which is why the direct marketing naysayers and negative nellies need to take a flying leap off the highest cliff, building, or bridge they can find.

Their advice is USELESS to you!

Here’s my comments back to the guy who emailed me: 

I find too many people love to nitpick our type of direct marketing.  The worst part is that its easy to let them sway us to actually believing them.

The people who nitpick usually have no vested interest in the success of the project.  They also have rarely invested a dime of their own money in advertising or direct marketing.

The answer to all of (in my opinion) is to just get it done – set it aside for a day or two – review it yourself – make sure it includes a strong headline, talks about the problem, and your solution or proposition (with testimonials if possible).

Then test it. The market will tell you if that approach is a winning one.

If it doesn’t work – try another approach. Then another.  There is always a message that the market wants to hear (and respond to).

But listening to all the naysayers out there can rapidly diminish your enthusiasm for a campaign.

Forget them – 99% of the time their advice is wrong – and could cost you a bundle if you listen to them!

My thoughts anyhow.


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