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Articles by Marcus Johnson

Blog Archive


Does Your Direct Mail Package Pass the Test? An Essential Checklist—Rules 7-9

Posted July 22, 2020 by in Direct Mail Tips, Strategy and Analysis

We’ve come to the final three (of nine) questions that every direct mail producer should ask before, during, and after you create a direct mail package. Reminder: these questions come courtesy of Paul McQuillan, who turned his experience at a marketing seminar into a piece for Target Marketing. His article appeared a few years  […]

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An Essential Direct Mail Checklist. Does Your Direct Mail Check the Boxes?—Rules 4-6

Posted July 17, 2020 by in Direct Mail Tips, Strategy and Analysis

Continuing our review of the nine questions that should guide every direct mail user— courtesy of Paul McQuillan and an unnamed marketing seminar speaker. Paul turned that seminar encounter into a helpful direct mail checklist and wrote a piece for  Target Marketing a few years ago. Let’s move on to questions four through six. All  […]

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outer envelope

What Should Your Outer Envelope Say?

Posted April 22, 2020 by in Creative

You probably know the expression “the eyes are the window to the soul.” It’s much the same with direct mail: the outer envelope (OE)—with or without a window—gives insight into the inner contents. The OE is a blank slate for your direct mail package, and has the potential to telegraph what someone will find inside.  […]

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Avoid These Three Direct Mail Bad Habits in 2020

Posted March 4, 2020 by in Creative

I’ve built a shiny metaphorical bandwagon, and I’m inviting you all to jump on and help me improve the quality and effectiveness of creative direct mail writing in 2020. At the same time, we’re going to—once and for all, I hope, although I know better—say a final farewell to a few nagging direct mail bad habits.

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Woman at home checking her mail

Reading vs. Scanning: Sidebars Can Engage Any Kind of Mail Recipient

Posted August 20, 2019 by in Strategy and Analysis

Are you a reader or a scanner? The world is full of both. That matters to those of us who include direct mail and direct response advertising as part of our marketing mix. If we don’t create direct mail designs that account for both of those information intake preferences, we risk losing a big chunk of our audience and their potential to respond.

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Play by the 3:33 Rule for Direct Mail Success

Posted July 2, 2019 by in Strategy and Analysis

You just launched a big direct mail acquisition campaign. Close to a million pieces are fanning out to carefully segmented audiences in areas where your research indicates high concentrations of verified prospects. Will it be a hit or a miss? Grab a stopwatch (or your mobile phone with its many timing apps) and let’s consider.  […]

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