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How Direct Marketing is Like a Classic Novel

How Direct Marketing is Like a Classic Novel

A simple definition of marketing is elusive because there are so many variables at play. For that very reason, we’ve shared the myths that surround marketing and how you can handle them.

That topic got us thinking… In many ways, the direct marketing side of the marketing plan is actually a lot like one of the great classic novels.

The obvious correlation between, say, a Mark Twain novel and direct marketing, is that they are both classics. Business owners have turned to direct marketing time and time again to get the results they need to expand brand awareness and grow their businesses. Just like people turn to Mark Twain for an insightful and well-written novel time and time again.

However, there is more to the correlation than you might think. Let me explain.

Tried and True For a Reason

A classic novel generally follows a formula that is known to be successful. This formula includes dynamic characters, a strong plot line, a plot twist, and a strong climax that leads to a profound ending. The story itself may never be the same, but the foundation for a great story is still there.

Direct mail marketing, at its’ core, follows a tried-and-true formula as well. It includes a targeted mailing list, an enticing offer, visually appealing graphics, great body copy, and a strong call to action at the end. Companies can use this foundation to reach customers with a compelling piece of marketing that works time and time again.

Something New Every Time

When you re-read a classic novel, whether for the 2nd time or the 10th time, something interesting happens. You find new meaning you didn’t catch before, or you notice another detail you had never noticed in the past. The great novels become classic because of this timeless characteristic. It allows you to read it as if it were new over and over again.

Direct marketing is similar in that you can always find something new. That might be a new and improved way to target your customers. You may also gain new technologies that allow your direct marketing efforts to be multiplied. No matter how many times you go back to your direct marketing campaigns, you can always find a new way to make it even better.

Tell a Great Story

I don’t have to explain how classic novels tell a great story to their readers. However, great direct marketing campaigns also tell a great story about the business behind the offers. Successful direct mailers reveal a story about the business behind them that draws customers into the human aspect behind your company. That emotional factor is key to gaining new and loyal customers.

How do you make your direct marketing classic and timeless like a great novel?



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.
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