Direct Mail Effectiveness —Farquharson/Tedesco

Cash registers ring, are you listening?”

We know three things. One, the holiday season is coming up (please pass the eggnog); two, the upcoming postal rate changes will give the direct mail industry an even bigger headache; and three, oodles of promotional clutter always get in the way of our selling messages being seen and heard.

Don’t cower under the Christmas tree yet! There’s a time-tested formula called the 40/40/20 rule that offers proven guidelines for direct mail campaign creation. Campaigns run according to this principle are likely to have a greater impact on more prospects, and your customers will have a very merry Christmas 2010 (and 2011…and 2012). Without further ado, we present Tedesco and Farquharson’s 40/40/20 Direct Mail Rule.

Developed by Dr.’s Tedesco and Farquharson after years of laboratory studies (OK, years of managing successful direct marketing campaigns), the 40/40/20 rule is a handy guideline for understanding the three main components of a direct marketing campaign, as well as just how important each aspect is to the campaign’s overall success:

• 40 percent of your time and resources should go toward developing your list/database;

• 40 percent of your time and resources should go toward creating and paying for the most compelling offer you can imagine; and

• Focus only 20 percent of your time and resources on the creative.

Heresy! The leader of a 15-year-old design and marketing services agency like Tedesco is advocating only 20 percent of effort toward the creative? Yep, you betcha. See, the purpose is sales growth.

Think back to your last direct mail campaign: Did you pour half your time and resources into creating a beautiful design? If so, how many calls did you get from enthusiastic prospects saying: “Your offer was OK…but your promotion just looked so good, I had to take you up on it?”

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
Related Content