DM Tips #23 - 5 Most Important D.M. Ideas June 2003

Published as a resource for your direct marketing work. Depend on FCC for imaginative, results-producing creative work, including direct mail - web - e-mail - ads - more!


--The 5 Most Important D.M. Ideas by _______ ______by Albert Fried-Cassorla

- News - FCC helps International SOS achieve a ______17% sales boost for consumer product with new ______brochure

- Integrating your Marketing across all Media and ______Channels by Robert Goldfarb of Upland Mortgage

- PDMA Golf Classic to be held on July 14th

--Photos - Our Fabulous Spring (before the endless rain!)

_Movie and Play Comments - Bruce Almighty, A Mighty Wind, Dream a Little _____Dream (the Mamas and Papas musical), Les Miserable and Kaiju Big Battel

--Poem - Cat Drama

--Humor - Understanding Engineers



Dear Friend,

This month, we have a varied issue for you -- from thoughts on what works in DM, to integrated marketing ideas by Robert Goldfarb, to views of Spring and more. On another note, do you have a project you'd like to discuss? Sure, we're busy, but we always have room for one more exciting job. So give us a call. And enjoy this issue!

The 5 Most Important Direct Marketing Ideas

By Albert Fried-Cassorla

Why 5 ideas and not 2 or 47? Because 5 is an interesting number, that's why! Which brings me to my first point

1. Be interesting. In advertising, there is nothing so unforgivable as being boring. Ouch! Think about it -- you can get away with other inadequacies and make the best of the situation. Maybe your offer isn't as strong as it could be. Your product is an also-ran. But if you find a way to sing and dance before they pull the hook, you've got a chance!

Not that you should shout "SALE! SALE!" when you're selling funeral plots. We're talking reasonable here.

2. Think like the customer. A copywriter must be like a playwright. He has to project himself into the character. In this case, the character is the customer. How does she think? What are her hot buttons? Never mind what you think about that camisole top, Herbert. What counts is how she feels about it and whether she feels it goes great with that skirt. And there's nothing like talking to the target market to deepen your understanding.

3. Dream up a great offer. Every offer can be improved. Brainstorm about how the deal can be sweetened. Selling guava jelly? Throw in a spoon and a mini-booklet about cooking with the product. Selling a more complex product, like investment services? Offer a premium such as a high value-perceived prominent investment book, CD-ROM or a video. And do the unthinkable - test your assumptions vs. the actual marketplace with multiple variables.

4. Be convincing. I know that emotion is supreme in selling. But sometimes, I wish advertisers would speak to my intelligence. I know I try to respect the customers' natural skepticism when I'm copywriting. I give them honest facts and figures. Speak to customers' reservations; don't ride roughshod over them. Yes, sometimes we just have to prove it to the folks.

5. Create genuine (not feigned) excitement. Everyone can spot a hyper-ventilating copywriter. I try not to be one, though I may breathe hard from time to time! "Exciting" goes way beyond the need to "be interesting" that I mentioned in the first point. It's the juice that sells.

I remember how the copywriter-cataloger Drew A. Kaplan used to get me so stoked with his DAK catalogs. You could tell he lived, breathed and enjoyed all the computer gadgetry he was hawking. Drew spoke of machines that "crushed your workload" and backed it up with facts. And so I bought an office full of the stuff. That's the power of creating true excitement! Hard to achieve, but worth mustering the energy.

Albert Fried-Cassorla is a direct response copywriter and president of Fried-Cassorla Communications, a direct marketing agency. He also serves as a board member and newsletter editor of the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association and has won their Best of Show Benny Award. He may be reached at or 215-635-5189.

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Find out how Fried-Cassorla Communications has used direct mail, e-mail and other media to achieve spectacular results! Visit -- read our Success Stories on our work for Merck & Company, UNISYS, GMAC, CIGNA, Scott Paper Company and others! Then contact us at to see how we can help you with your challenges!

Add muscle to your direct response creative work!

Let us help boost your response with powerful copywriting and design! Contact Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. now at 215-635-5189 (USA) or 

Fried-Cassorla Communications helps International SOS achieve a 17% consumer product sales boost with new brochure

Fried-Cassorla Communications has helped International SOS increase sales of its Global Traveler consumer product by 17% through creation of an effective print and online brochure.

The marketing challenge was to give a tool to SOS in-bound telephone representatives to help sell the program using the Internet and individual in-bound conversations to close sales. The tool had to be readable, promotional, comprehensive, easy to follow and complete, and "sendable" via e-mail. as well as available on the SOS web site. International SOS provides medical, security and emergency assistance for travelers, including corporate employees and consumers.

The Global Traveler product makes this service available to consumers. It includes a variety of services,

such as: medical evacuation by SOS-owned air ambulance when warranted; telephone assistance in English from MD's; access to multi-lingual MD's who can speak to MD's in countries visited; e-mailed alerts about special security and health dangers of particular countries and more.

Online sales of the Global Traveler product increased dramatically after the introduction, and use of the pdf sales tool (our brochure). The percentage of Global Traveler sales which had been achieved online in 2001 was 25%. Sales jumped to 42% online after general use of this pdf brochure. This saved SOS considerable expense in printing and mailing the brochure. Online sales for Global Traveler during this period all reflect use of this pdf sales tool. The results were considered by the client to be very positive and exciting.

The Global Traveler product makes this service available to consumers. It includes a variety of services, such as: medical evacuation by SOS-owned air ambulance when warranted; telephone assistance in English from MD's; access to multi-lingual MD's who can speak to MD's in countries visited; e-mailed alerts about special security and health dangers of particular countries and more.

To learn more about International SOS and its products, visit Or, in the U.S., dial 1-800-523-8930. For examples of prior successful campaigns in varied media by FCC, visit 

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Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. is a full service advertising agency specializing in direct marketing, electronic marketing, e-mail, and web design. Since 1988, the company has generated over $220 million in sales for such prestigious clients as Merck & Co., UNISYS, GMAC, CIGNA, and firms of every size.

03:4 ____________________________# # #

Want to boost your e-mail results?
Let us help you turn pixels into profits! Call Fried-Cassorla Communications at 215-635-5189 or e-mail!


Cat Drama - Nothing more than a cat catching a mouse.

We think we can ignore the scene. But can we?



 Integrating your Marketing across all Media and Channels

by Robert Goldfarb

As a direct marketer, one might be willing to argue that Charles Dickens had it right 200 years ago with his opening of a "Tale of Two Cities" when he said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…".


Just look at the proliferation of new media and channels that technology has wrought:

  • Wireless communications via cell phones, pagers, personal digital assistants
  • The Internet being integrated into TV's and radios
  • Streaming email.
  • TV, Radio, Print, catalogs and good old direct mail

More opportunities for more targeted messaging every step along the new information superhighway of life, but also more expenses and more difficulties in measuring what is working.

But with all these opportunities to make contact with current and potential customers, how can a marketer maximize the effectiveness and be most cost efficient with the dollars allocated for various programs? If one follows the direct marketing maxim, "test, test, test", one might be able to find new opportunities in this new evolving digital age.

5 Critical Direct Marketing Areas

To illustrate this point and offer a practical guide in moving from real world direct mail experience to the digital world and email experience, lets examine the key elements to a successful direct mail campaign. The 5 critical areas for direct mail marketing success are List, Timing, Offer, Product, and Creative.

I am fortunate in my current endeavor in the financial services arena to have been able to test direct mail and email side by side and measure the 5 key elements to a successful direct mail/email campaign. Let's start by looking at the effect creative can have.

Several months before I started with my employer, they ran an email test and received poor results. In reviewing the message that went out, I noticed that it did not stress the key benefits used in my employer's control direct mail message. By adapting the control direct mail kit language, and sending out an email campaign to the same file 3 months later, click through rates went from 5/M to over 50/M.

While this response rate was encouraging, in the lending industry, the response or lead is only the first qualifying step until a sale is complete with a mortgage loan that has funded and closed. Comparing qualified lead rates from this e-mailing to what direct mail results that our company was experiencing (at this time) pointed out the importance of List and Offer.

Credit data made a big difference in direct mail's success

The direct mail universe of names we use includes credit information. At the time the available universe of email names with credit information was small but slowly growing. Because of the credit information available in the direct mail world, we are able to make an offer to consumers based on this information. By matching the direct mail file against an email database where real world data had been matched to email data, we gathered enough names for a test.

In this test mailing we used the same names, with the same offer, using basically the same copy as in the direct mail world, and we were able to replicate our offline experience in the online world.

What we learned from this was that what we knew to be the underpinnings of our success in the existing channel of direct mail correlated almost exactly in the online world. That is, we measured increases in response and closings when using a list of model names from a list of individuals who only indicated an interest in what our product is. Using the credit data from the model allowed us to have an offer that is based on credit data. And adapting an offline creative control position that stresses the key benefits for responding to our strong call to action does translate into the online world. The challenge in the online world is in finding data/list sources who can provide you with a growing universe of names, so this channel has an opportunity for continued growth.

Solid DM practices will deliver the goods

Just because we can now go from downtown London to central Paris in 3 hours via the Chunnel versus the days it took in Dickens's time, doesn't mean that every new technology improves what preceded it. For example, the modern sealed-window skyscraper is not so delightful on a balmy Spring day.

By the same logic, we should not abandon direct mail and rush to pin our hopes on email -- because if methodologies and assumptions are wrong, you lose any advantages that can be gained by potential lower marketing costs and shorter lead times for launching marketing campaigns. Recent events in the dot-com landscape point the way to following solid direct marketing fundamentals in growing your business across various channels.

Reaching across the digital divide -- for success

Yes, for most of us in the direct marketing industry it is the best of times -- a strong economy, new channels to get our companies' and clients' messages out faster and often at a lower cost. But it also can be the worst of times if proven direct marketing methodologies are overlooked.

To make the most of opportunities available to us in the direct marketing community, we should plan to migrate business strategies from existing channels to the new channels of the digital world. This includes acquisition strategies, customer relationship strategies and fulfillment strategies too. But to maximize the chance for success, one must understand why their offering works in the offline world, and follow sound direct marketing principals and test, test and test, into control positions across the digital divide.
Robert Goldfarb serves as Vice President for E-Marketing for Upland Mortgage - American Business Credit. He is a long-time friend and client of Fried-Cassorla Communications, as well as a former PDMA Board member. He may be contacted at



Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association Golf Classic to be held on July 14, 2003 at Green Valley Country Club, Lafayette Hill, PA

PDMA's annual Golf Classic is a great way to have fun in the sun and meet people. Find out about green's fees, sponsorships and more. Don't miss this exciting event. For full information and registration for this event click HERE.


Spring! Lovely shots of flowers, mainly taken in Melrose Park over several years. Included are azaleas, irises, clematis and more.See my tulips shot - amazingly gaudy! Other additions include: cherry, magnolia, and a replacement iris photo (I aim to improve my "best in class" each Spring.)


 Movie and Play Comments

I've been busy this Spring, seeing both the wonderful and the weird! To see my takes on MOVIES, such as Bruce Almighty, and A Mighty Wind, click HERE. For too many opinions on Dream a Little Dream (the Mamas and Papas musical), Les Miserable and Kaiju Big Battel, go THIS WAY.




 Thinking about your own e-newsletter?

Done correctly, it can perform beautifully.

We have the experience. Contact FCC now!

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Understanding Engineers - Take Two

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

For all 9 "Takes" on Engineers, click HERE.


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Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc.
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