Direct marketing is a channel-agnostic form of advertising that allows businesses and nonprofits organizations to communicate straight to the customer, with advertising techniques that can include Cell Phone Text messaging, email, interactive consumer websites, online display ads, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, targetted television commercials, response-generating newspaper/magazine advertisements, and outdoor advertising. Amongst its practitioners, it is also referred to as Direct Response Advertising.
Direct marketing messages emphasize a focus on the customer, data, and accountability. Hence, besides the actual communication, creation of actionable segments, pre and post campaign analytics, and measurement of results, are integral to any good Direct Marketing campaign. Characteristics that distinguish direct marketing are:
Publishers Clearing House (PCH) is a direct marketing company that sells merchandise and magazine subscriptions and operates prize-based game, search and lotto websites. Its products are promoted through sweepstakes and prize promotions. The company is known for the Prize Patrol, which surprises sweepstakes winners at their home in a televised event.
Publishers Clearing House was founded in 1953 by Harold Mertz to replace door-to-door, single-magazine subscription sales with a single vendor offering multiple subscriptions by mail. It introduced its sweepstakes in 1967. In the early 1990s, the company became the subject of concerns and legal actions regarding whether consumers were misled about their odds of winning the sweepstakes and whether purchases increased their chances. By 2010, the company reached settlements with all 50 states.
American Family Publishers was an American company that sold magazine subscriptions. It is best known for running sweepstakes in which a large amount of money was offered as the grand prize (in a range of several hundred thousand to one or more million dollars). The winner was chosen at random, by a professional auditing company, from among all who responded to the sweepstakes, regardless of whether a magazine subscription was purchased.
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks.
Most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film, and television are being reshaped or redefined by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet Protocol television (IPTV). Newspaper, book and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging and web feeds. The Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of human interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking. Online shopping has boomed both for major retail outlets and small artisans and traders. Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries.