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Phone: 631.924.3888 • Alt. Phone: 631.775.6075 • Fax : 631.924.8555


Direct Mail Selling



First of two parts

Direct mail is one of the best cost effective ways in selling books, videos, cassettes, disks, CD-ROM and other information products. DM workd best to hard to reach consumers, libraries, special sales (premium or catalog sales), wholesalers, corporations, universities, and other retail outlets. This precisely targeted form of direct response marketing has many other uses and virtues. One of them is turning satisfied customers into repeat buyers. Here are 51 more.

by Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. , The Copyologist®


Direct mail (DM) is any communications delivered by the postman or any overnight delivery service i.e. FedEx. It can be an association newsletter like the one you are reading, books you ordered, or a packet of ‘travel brochures’ convincing you into taking that special cruise vacation you’ve been putting off—of course a postage paid response card (BRE) is included.

It can be used to increase sales to present customers, to sell past customers, to sell prospects and to help companies suppliers. It can also bring results within your own publishing organization and accomplish a host of general chores.


DM Increase sales to present customers.

  • Increases demand among present users: friendly, personal reminders, creative suggestions of new uses.

  • Keeps customers in the buying habit: spaced reminders, announcements keep your accounts active.

  • Brings in book orders, between other sales calls: important in keeping clients adequately serviced year-round.

  • Builds up weak territories: provides pin-point intensity wherever you wish to bolster sales.

  • Keeps customers and prospects informed: newsletters and magazines can win intense readership and promote enlightened buying.

  • Helps keep your outside sales reps active: reminds them of the advantages of having your company behind them and of selling your products.

Sell past customers.

  • Wins back inactives: specific campaigns for this purpose are often most successful.

Sell prospects.

  • Brings customers into your website: friendly, direct appeals telling about new titles and new product opportunities now available.

  • Creates demand for your books and related products: sales points appealingly presented, illustrated; consistent use important.

  • Promotes credit card affordability: special campaigns aimed at likely prospects with good credit standings.

  • Secures direct sales-through you: mail-order marketing can bring you sales from far beyond your home territory.

  • Helps keep prospects interested: a series of mailings can link your first inquiry and make your initial sale.

  • Drives home sales arguments: educates prospects to your products and fast fulfillment program.

  • Helps build acceptance: consistent use of mailings breeds familiarity and favorable impressions.

  • Develops sales among special groups: often the only sure way of appealing to an important but scattered group.

  • Can get your catalog recommended by others: trade book publishers can target wholesalers, libraries, and other institutional buyers. experts, specialists whose word reaches many.


Supports your sales reps.

  • Paves the way for sales reps: helps procure leads and pre-sell prospects; reduces per-sale costs.

  • Opens up new territories: educates prospective new affiliates, customers, and produces measurable response sales you can bank on.

  • Brings prospects/buyers to trade shows: invitations to open houses, cruise nights, etc.

  • Follow up representatives' calls: important to closing sales, not losing them.

  • Follows up shows: satisfies all inquiries fully and quickly.

  • Pin-points your prospects: a broadcast mailing draws inquiries from real prospects.

  • Distributes sales materials: vital to increasing sales of established best sellers, introducing new books/products.

  • Helps secure new sales reps: interest them in selling your imprints.


Extends your territory.

  • Stimulates interest in planned events: advance promotion of a "week," a "day," an opening, a sale: personal appeal important.

  • Presents your full story: flyers, brochures, catalogues help most marketing programs.

  • Develops territories beyond your own reach: answers staff limitations, transportation difficulties.

  • Helps suppliers help their field personnel: boosts your image in their minds, can generate buyer referrals.

  • Keeps your reps informed: tells them about plans, available aids, ads to which they can tie in.

  • Keeps your reps alert: regular newsletters or bulletins remind them.


In your own organization.

  • Educates your employees: your customer service reps are your key sales people: give special stimulation.

  • Builds employee moral: newsletters and house magazines keep workers enthusiastic.

  • Helps train new employees: sales manuals, indoctrination manuals, bulletins.

  • Sells stockholders, investors: when your continued vitality or expansion requires new forms of financing.

  • Helps collect accounts: a planned, diplomatic approach keeps accounts current, customers friendly.

  • Corrects mailing lists: special mailings, secondary enclosures cover changes.

  • Classifies clientele: record all inquiries for permanent list: note customer buying/interest preferences.

General chores.

  • Raises funds: personal appeals to pin-pointed prospective contributors.

  • Builds prominence: develops consumer awareness of business if consistently used.

  • Builds good will: every mailing should do it: special mailings can be designed just for the purpose.

  • Spreads news quickly, uniformly, dependably: new address, phone number, hours, holiday specials, prices, policies, products, services.

  • Offsets competition: meets many sudden, localized developments with certainty.

  • Tests sales ideas: different presentations tried on different typical lists reveal your strengths, weaknesses.

  • Secures important data: questionnaires to prospects, customers, VIP’s, valued employees, the media.

  • Acknowledges orders: often expected, nearly always appreciated: ensured repeat business.

  • Welcomes new customers: starts the association off on a continuing, active basis.

  • Avoids waste: inquiries from a low-cost mailing show whom to send a costly catalogue.

  • Capitalizes on other advertising: enclose reprints to reinforce massages.

  • Makes "offers" of other promotional materials: get them to send for brochures: arouse interest, inquiries and sales.

For a copy of Linick's report "15 Costly Mistakes in Direct Mail that Kill Sales and Bankrupt Budgets," send $5.00 and a 55 cent self-addressed stamped #10 envelope to: Andrew Linick, Ph.D., the Copyologist® • Direct Marketing/Mail Order, Book Publishing Expert, Linick Building, P.O. Box 102-PAS, Middle Island, NY 11953-0102. 631.924.3888. Email:

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