Direct Marketing Glossary

Do you know what a bingo card is? How about a buck slip. Or a bangtail? (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

These terms may sound mysterious, but they’re just part of the official language of direct marketing. That’s probably why one of my most bookmarked pages is the Glossary of Direct Marketing Terms.

Here are some of the most interesting terms from the glossary:

Bangtail – Return envelope with a reply form attached to the flap. The reply form tears off and is returned in the envelope. Also referred to as a “hot potato.”

Bingo Card – Reply card in a publication offering an easy means to request information from advertisers whose ads appear in the publication. Called a “bingo card” because it is often covered with numbers corresponding to offered information, making the card look similar to a card used to play bingo.

Buckslip – Small piece of paper inserted into a direct mail package to emphasize certain information.

Decoy – Name included in a mailing list to catch people who disregard the terms of the list rental agreement.

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Why slogans don’t sell

Here’s a little secret Madison Avenue doesn’t want anyone to know …

Slogans are losers. They don’t sell.

At least, most of them don’t sell. I ran across an article from USA Today I saved back in 2003 on this topic and it cited a consumer survey on whether people recognized the slogans of some of the biggest marketers in the U.S. The results were depressing.

Out of 22 supposedly “famous” tag lines, “only six were recognized by more than 10% of those surveyed — this for companies spending more than $100 million a year on ads.”

When you dig deeper into the results, it gets worse.

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Does Twitter drive traffic and sales?

Twitter logoTwitter has become a big topic in the marketing world. But is it driving traffic or generating sales?

I must admit that my experience with Twitter is limited. I’ve been testing it with a nonprofit political organization I help run in Ohio. The number of “followers” we have is fairly small at this point, but growing steadily.

Most of our “tweets” are actually generated by an automated tool to post our RSS feed, resulting in about 10 tweets a week. I and one other officer have been occasionally adding original tweets about important topics, events, or guests on our radio show. So there are maybe 15 to 20 tweets total every week.

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