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Is acknowledgement too much to ask for these days?

I’m old enough to remember all those years ago when direct marketing was in its infancy and many people would respond to a letter even to politely thank the seller for their consideration, and to say that their offer wasn’t required at that time.

People would then keep much of the direct mail they received behind the mantle clock, in case they might need the product at a later date.

Not surprisingly direct marketing was hugely successful back then.

One of the master figures of direct marketing, a real life Mad Mad fellow called David Ogilvy could spend days crafting a letter, and test several versions.

Ogilvy’s agency still thrives¬†although it has had various different names over the years.

They’d be long letters, but that didn’t matter, because every word was relevant. But they might also be used to sell seriously expensive products – such as a Rolls Royce. One of his famous direct adverts of the 60’s was a long copy piece telling you that at 60mph the loudest sound in the car was the ticking of the clock. Wow!

As with any success story the principle was milked, weakened and abused.

We were bombarded by DM as even conversion rates of 0.1% sill meant that many products were worth selling using the medium. But of course that meant that you were selling to one person in a thousand. What impact did that have for your brand on the other 999? MOst didn’t care probably, but some of them would have been pissed off – meaning that you were spending money to piss off potential buyers.


Actually, I’m warming to this topic, but I haven’t even got to the crunch point yet. I think I’ll carry on tomorrow as I think that the failings of communication between folk today stem from the excesses of the 80s and 90s when we were practically taught, or driven, to ignore communications from people.

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