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Articles by Marcus Johnson

Blog Archive


In Praise of the Direct Mail Letter

Posted July 28, 2021 by in Creative, Direct Mail Tips

“Letter schmetter,” said the marketer who wanted to cut the cost of her direct mail package. “Let’s mail an oversized postcard.” Maybe your first thought is, “Sure, we could do that.” But then another thought chases that one away and you say to yourself, “Self, wait just a minute. The letter is the most important  […]

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The Seven Magic Words of Direct Mail

Posted June 9, 2021 by in Creative

Magic words of direct mail? That seems a little “out there” for such a hardworking marketing tool. Especially with the strategic, data-driven approach IWCO Direct uses for performance marketing. But, yes, there are magic words you can use in direct mail; they’re “magic” because they can cause a dramatic increase in response to your mailing.

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The Johnson Box—What, Why, Where, and How

Posted March 3, 2021 by in Creative, Direct Mail Tips

Before we dive into the value and inner workings of the Johnson Box, a little family history. The Johnson Box was invented by my great great great grandfather Eustice Aristotle Johnson, a pioneer in direct mail. This breakthrough in marketing occurred shortly after he created boxed cereal and sliced bread. I’m a little fuzzy on  […]

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How to Write Direct Response Copy in Any Channel

Posted November 18, 2020 by in Creative

Staring into the abyss of writing direct response copy for a multichannel marketing campaign? Pull up a chair and let’s discuss. First, define the scope. Say you have direct mail, email, ad-like objects (think banner/display ads, including those for different online platforms like mobile, tablet, and desktop), and social media. We could go deeper, but  […]

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Six Direct Mail Don’ts

Posted November 11, 2020 by in Creative, Direct Mail Tips

The usual focus of my wildly entertaining blogs (hold your applause until the end, please) is ways to improve your direct mail—writing, strategic thinking, presentation, etc. In other words, what to do. This month’s topic is based on one of my father’s favorite phrases, dating back to my youth. At some point during an average  […]

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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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