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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Direct Marketing?

Advertisements that present an offer or ask the prospect to take some form of action are all considered Direct Marketing, whether in print, on the internet, or in broadcast. Defining characteristics of direct marketing are:

  • Precise targeting and market segmentation.
  • Research and testing.
  • Quick consumer response time.
  • Benefit oriented advertising.
  • Results measurement.
  • Accountability of costs.

What are the Direct Marketing channels?

There are many different types of media to choose from, all of which have their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Direct Mail:
    Allows ads to be directed at specific consumers, and response rates tracked. When used effectively, text and graphics can create visual appeal, reinforcing the message. Mailings also have their disadvantages. Solo mailings can be expensive, and consumers are more responsive to mailings from advertisers they know and trust.
  • Internet:
    Ads are cheap, reach a large audience, and provide a trackable rapid direct response. Unfortunately, consumers have become aware of online advertising, and have begun blocking it. Consumers need to be seeking your product or company for it to stand out.
  • Yellow Pages:
    Although we are all aware of the yellow pages, they can be fairly limiting. Your ad will be lumped with all others of the same product, allowing customers to compare. These are also only published once a year so they cannot carry special offers.
  • Cable TV:
    Sight, sound and motion easily capture the attention of consumers, and ads can be targeted by channel and program. Unfortunately producing quality commercials is expensive, they only show your information for a limited amount of time, relying on the consumer to take the initiative to remember.
  • Radio:
    Although relatively inexpensive and fast to produce compared with TV, radio has a smaller reach, and may still have the same problems with message permanence as TV.
  • Newspaper:
    Inexpensive and trackable, newspaper ads can communicate detailed information. However, readership of the daily and sunday paper has declined nearly 10% since 1998. Ads also frequently suffer from ad clutter since 60% of the space in a typical newspaper is filled with advertising.
  • Outdoor:
    Size, color, and location allow ads to be attention getting and memorable through repetition. Getting the right combination of these elements can be expensive with a limited amount of billboards available in high traffic areas. Billboards can only effectively communicate 10 words when not obscured by trees and buildings.

What are the benefits of Direct Marketing?

Direct Marketing allows you to:

  • Get your name out to potential customers.
  • Make an offer that will entice them to do business with you.
  • Track your response rate to discover what works, and what doesn’t.
  • Find out more about who your best customers are.
  • Use the information you receive from each mailing to make the next one even better.

How can I make Direct Marketing work for me?

The keys to successful Direct Marketing are the offer and the audience. If you can get your best offer out to your best customers, your direct marketing will pay for itself. Tailor a marketing program with the right neighborhoods, products, formats, offers and frequency to assure your best chances for success.

Why is Direct Mail so effective?

Direct mail captures consumers’ attention in a way no other media can. Almost everyone checks his or her mailbox daily, and studies show 79% of households either read or skim advertising mail sent to their home.* When direct marketing provides an answer to a problem or offers a solution to a need, consumers are inclined to find it useful. Source: 2010 DMA Statistical Fact Book.

How can I get a great mailing list?

There are many factors that create a great list. What types of people purchase your product? Why do they purchase it? Are they repeat customers? Targeting by geographics, demographics, consumer behavior, and consumer expenditures ensure that you reach your exact audience. Revise your mailing list with each new promotion based on your results from previous promotions. The best mailing lists are customized to your company and product.

How can I track my ROI?

Every response to your offer gives you valuable information about your customers. Simply track these responses, and you’ll know how well your marketing effort went over. Compare your results to your initial investment in the promotion, and you’ll discover your ROI.



Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Media Group. With nearly 170 franchises throughout the United States and Canada, The Blue Envelope® delivers savings and value to nearly 40 million households each month.