Book about direct mail
I edited this 29-page book, “Direct Mail Success” by Phillip Turk. After 20 years in the business, he learned a thing or two about direct mail, and shared them.
Direct Mail Success

A comprehensive, informational reference source for the planning, creation and execution of promotional direct mail marketing, compiled for marketing, advertising, promotional and sales executives.

By Phil Turk, General Manager, Response Mail Express

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Direct Mail Delivers
  • What Guarantees
    Direct Mail Success
  • The Creative Abyss
  • Face It: Pushy Pulls
  • To Gimmick or
    Not To Gimmick
  • The Mailing List
  • Mail Delivery and
    Timing Issues
  • 12 Good Business Reasons
    to Use Direct Mail
  • The 12 Most Common
    Direct Mail Mistakes and
    How to Avoid Them
  • Recommended Readings
  • The 12 Most Common
    Direct Mail Mistakes and
    How to Avoid Them
  • Recommended Readings



Direct Mail Success is a comprehensive resource, designed for marketing, advertising, promotional and sales executives who are involved in direct mail. Whether you are brand-new to this selling methodology or a seasoned direct mail veteran, our hope is to help you maximize your direct mail effectiveness.

We are pleased to show you proven direct mail strategies, hundreds of great ideas and practical implementation techniques. Ultimately, Direct Mail Success hopes to help you grow your business through improved response.

Mistaken Thinking About Direct Mail

Direct mail is a compelling medium that brings in billions of dollars to the U.S. economy every year. So, let's dispel the biggest direct mail myth right away – the mistaken notion that direct mail equals junk mail. Not true! Almost everybody orders something from a solicitation received in the mail! If your prospect is not interested in your offer, only then it is considered junk mail. Golfers buy from golf equipment catalogs, Cadillac owners go to their dealerships’ private sales and investors respond positively to direct mail invitations to attend financial seminars. Love it or hate it, direct mail is a big area of opportunity.

In fact, direct mail is commanding high respect from the top advertising agencies and large corporations who now spend $37.4 billion spent annually on direct mail. That's 14.2% of total U.S. advertising expenditures and 24.4% of total direct marketing expenditures. Since 1980, for example, we've seen a compound annual growth rate of approximately 16% in terms of the number of catalogs mailed to U.S. households, and about 20% in terms of the number of lists available to rent. And in a 1997, Gallup study of marketing directors at large- and mid-size firms, despite the Internet (used by 28%), those executives interviewed said that direct mail budgets will continue to grow for the next five years.

Why? Because, according to the executives, direct mail was "the best," because it achieved six out of their seven critical marketing objectives:

And there’s more growth ahead!

Direct Mail Delivers – Striking the Mother Lode

The growth of technological advances, including database marketing, represents a rich vein of opportunity for direct mail. Large and small companies are building customer databases with historical information, buying habits and preferences, enabling them to categorize their customers for marketing purposes. Database marketing and data mining techniques now help to segment markets, so now companies can market smarter to small, profitable niches. In fact, most analysts describe the data they're discovering as “gems” and “nuggets.” It's no accident that some companies are using direct mail to mine “the mother lode.”

There’s Riches in Niches

In our 20-plus years’ experience, we've see the amazing and measurable value of direct mail. In fact, the best direct mail success story that we can share with you is our own. Through direct mail, in just five years, our own business grew from:

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