Posts Tagged ‘The Direct Marketing Association of Washington’

Freshly Mentored: One student’s success story in DMAW’s Mentor for a Day Program

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

written by Brittany Barkes

Back in the spring of 2011, I was a generally confused junior at the University of Delaware who was sick and tired of hearing, “Well, what do you want to do with an English degree?” I can’t deny that I often felt insecure about my future when I was constantly bombarded with these types of questions. All I knew was I loved to write and I hated every moment of AP calculus.

By junior year of college I realized just how much I loved advertising and marketing. While the thought of entering the corporate business world frightened me, I couldn’t resist the appeal of combining creative writing with marketing strategy. That’s when I decided to pursue an advertising minor.

So there I was, sitting in my intro to marketing class, surrounded by an overwhelming number of business school students, when my professor mentioned the DMAW/EF Mentor for a Day Program. What did I really have to lose in applying?

By the summer, I had been accepted to participate and I headed off to Schultz & Williams.

The Philadelphia consulting firm was intimidating at first, as I bounced around to different offices learning about direct marketing campaigns and project management.

I spent time sitting down with various employees, from project managers to the VP of the department. It was overwhelming, but in just the right way.

I assumed I would have left my day at Schultz & Williams with new valuable marketing skills or at least an eye for creating the perfect business casual outfit. But my day taught me something more valuable than that—it taught me that I wasn’t defined by my major.

The office was filled with former English, psychology, and history majors who shared a similar passion for business. They made me feel as though they once had similar anxieties about finishing college and entering the dreaded “real world.”

While this lesson doesn’t seem like much, it helped me look at my future in a whole new way. I wasn’t limited by a choice I made before I came to college.

It was this same mentality that led me to search for jobs a little out of my comfort zone. Though I was frequently discouraged, I mastered the post-grad summer of endless cover letters and resumes.

A few months after graduation, I took a job as an intern for a web design and internet marketing company that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). Now a year later, I’m working full time as a copywriter and SEO consultant for the same company.

I don’t know that I would have applied to my internship if I was still in the mindset that I had to be a teacher, or a librarian, or a technical writer. But here I am.

If you are given a unique opportunity, like the chance to participate in DMAW’s Mentor for a Day program, take advantage of it. The lessons you learn from opening your eyes to new experiences are more valuable than anything you learn in a textbook (don’t tell my professors I said that). Your future is for you to define.



UntitledBrittany Barkes is a 2012 University of Delaware graduate who works as an SEO consultant and copywriter for Boom Visibility in Media, PA.


Let’s Geek Out Over Data!

August 19, 2013 1 comment

by Gay Bitter

I am a self-professed data geek, so Angela Struebing’s presentation on Multichannel Attribution at the August DMAW Lunch and Learn was right up my alley.  Calculators were not provided but there was plenty of math during this great presentation!

So, what is multichannel attribution and why does it matter?  This methodology provides a new tool to the campaign analysis process that allows you to more effectively give credit to the correct communications channel and touch point in a multichannel campaign. When used correctly, it enhances the ability to maximize marketing dollars spent.

This colorful infographic, The Mullen Marketing Ecosystem, is a somewhat overwhelming example of all of the communications channels potentially influencing your donors or customers.


Prospects don’t see a single message, so how do you figure out how to use your organization’s marketing dollars wisely?  Each channel has its own metrics, each brings in donors or customers with varying lifetime values, and each has its own rate of response decay.  Using attribution allows you to measure lift by channel and will help you determine which channels to continue to use and which to drop.

Current practices that many marketers use are Confirmed Response and Matchbacks.  Flaws in these analysis tools are that they don’t factor in organic joins, follow-ups are likely given undue credit, and only touches with a reply device can be measured.  Another practice, Fractional Allocation, is used in many iterations, but again, doesn’t provide true insight on the contribution that each marketing channel makes to a donation or response.

Using weighted multichannel attribution (yes, some math is required here!) gets you closer to seeing the value of each channel.  Angela shared an example measuring the effectiveness of mail, email, telemarketing and cookie ads on a campaign.  Using this method, she found that cookie ads were using 9% of the marketing budget, but contributed only 1% to donations, so this channel should be dropped.  Mail used 66% of the budget and contributed 52% to contributions, so reducing mail quantity is a logical step.  Telemarketing, which used 20% of the budget but contributed 33% to donations, should be increased.

So what are the pitfalls?  You need to withhold prospects during testing.  This gives you a baseline to measure against.  That means you are missing potential donors; you can correct this by increasing your prospect universe on your next campaign. The good news?  You only need to test once a year, and results for clients in similar industries can be used for others in the same industry, but be aware that results can differ based on geography as well as industry.

Here are a few best practices to consider before you engage in multichannel attribution for your organization.

  1. Make sure your offer and creative is consistent across channels – use the same imagery and message.
  2. Online interactions should be held to two clicks or engagement will drop.
  3. Contact prospects many times until you see diminishing returns or increased opt-outs.
  4. Plan your analytics and coding before you start.

Attribution is not a magic bullet that replaces all of your tried and true marketing analysis, so don’t throw out your old results.  It’s just another tool in your toolbox.  And, one last bit of advice from Angela, don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.  Know when to stop!


GayBitterGay Bitter is Vice President, Marketing at Relevate, a leading provider of comprehensive data marketing solutions. She can be reached at

Christmas in July? Not Quite, but Close…

August 7, 2013 Leave a comment

by Heather Marsh 

It may only be August, but if you haven’t yet started planning for the year-end giving season, now’s the time! You may think you have plenty of time to put together your year-end campaigns, but before you know it, we’ll all be bundled up, eating turkey and missing the warm weather. Don’t get caught scrambling later — here are a few tips to help you get started:

Test Your Controls

In the next couple of months, you should focus on testing into the very best creative for year-end. Part of this process entails retesting all of your controls. Take the time to reevaluate campaign elements such as:

  • From Line
  • Email Signer
  • Ask Strings
  • Timing – Day of the Week or Hour of the Day

Make a Plan (and Plan to Change It)

Spend some time now planning your holiday schedule. Make sure you factor in a mix of email communications — this is prime giving season, but it’s also important to thank your donors and advocates for all the support they’ve already given this year. Review last year’s plan and results, plan to roll out with the big successes and continue the testing you worked on last year.

By planning ahead now, you’ll be prepared for those last-minute challenges that always come up. Give yourself as much flexibility within the plan as you can. You never know when a news event, such as last year’s terrible Sandy Hook tragedy on December 14, will require an adjustment to your schedule.

Get Started Now

Now that you’ve made your plan, get started right away! Plan your creative brainstorming sessions. Get your technical specifications and gather your troops. Evaluate your strategy to determine what’s realistic with your current resources, and arrange for extra support if needed.

Live Test Your Program

We’ve all had times when the brilliantly designed campaign strategy doesn’t quite translate to real-life success. Perhaps your welcome series needs some updates. Or it could be that your audience segmentation (or suppression) isn’t capturing everyone you intended it to. Literally put yourself in your donor’s shoes — walk their path to make sure all the systems are working as intended.

Bring It All Together

The good news is that your direct mail counterparts are bound to be thinking about year-end well in advance! Planning for your online campaign isn’t enough; you need to think about the complete donor experience. Spend some time reviewing the makeup of your donor file. How many receive both emails and direct mail? Will you have telefundraising campaigns running at the same time? Consider the overall message, making sure your donors will get a clear, consistent message. Don’t forget to look at your data processes as well.  Make sure you can include or exclude donors in as close to real-time as possible.

Other elements to consider now: Are your forms mobile and responsively designed? Have you updated your Google AdWords accounts to account for the new enhanced campaigns? (Speaking of that — don’t forget to renew your Google Grant accounts!)

Whatever you’re planning, get started now!


Heather_MarshHeather is Director of Digital Marketing for ABD Direct, a division of AB Data, Ltd. She has 10 years of direct marketing experience, and has worked with clients such as Wounded Warrior Project, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The Wilderness Society, Disabled American Veterans, and many others. She feels strongly that it is time to take a holistic approach to marketing – bringing digital, mail and other channels together to maximize communication with donors. She can be reached at

Think your marketing efforts are ahead of the curve? Think again.

July 31, 2013 Leave a comment

by Danielle Hart

Just as organizations are catching up with content marketing and big data, there’s a new wave of technology being ushered in at an incredibly fast and overwhelming rate. And contrary to popular belief, marketers are not prepared.

“The most exciting thing about the future is that no matter what, history matters, and what makes people loyal to brands stays the same,” explained Geoff Livingston at the July EdVent on contextual marketing. He went on to say that while new technologies and communications tools are developing more rapidly than ever, context and relevance to audiences remain most important to successful marketing.

Today and here on out, our news and the media being produced is so intertwined with big marketing money that it’s hard to say what’s real and what’s a marketing ploy. For example, did the Discovery Channel choose to cover Red Bull Strato’s live? Or do you think Red Bull was ponying up a pretty penny to have this aired? Just like Robin Thicke’s hit new song, there are some “Blurred Lines” when it comes to these situations. And customers are picking up on this.

When Geoff asked the room “who here still trusts CNN?” you could hear the crickets chirping. Where are the news stations getting their stories? They follow what’s trending on Twitter, what’s being shared on Facebook, what YouTube video has skyrocketing views, and what corporations have paid them to cover a story. This is crowd-sourced news in a nutshell.

With all of this readily available information, and the fact that the public no longer fully trusts historically dependable news stations, where are people consuming their media? The answer is: it depends. Some people look to Twitter, Facebook, blogs or other social media, while others still look to TV news stations or the radio to stay up to date. Some people consume media on their mobile phones or tablets, others on a desktops or TVs.

Overall, the way media is produced and consumed today has changed drastically in two ways:

  • Digitization in today’s society creates a media convergence. Paid media such as traditional ads, owned media such as corporate content, and emerged media also known as organic media, have blended together with marketing techniques like sponsored customers, press coverage, and promoted brand content to form converged media.
  • Consumers are using multiple devices to consume media – TVs, desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Shifting from one device to another, sharing screens, synchronizing devices, and using devices simultaneously are all nonlinear usage patterns of today’s consumers.

What does this mean for the future of marketing?

  1. Marketing efforts should no longer be single channeled. Stakeholders’ media consumption patterns should hold the decision-making power for which channels marketing resources should be allocated.
  2. Usage patterns are not linear – therefore marketing shouldn’t be linear. Transmedia experiences, allowing the user to move between media and devices, will result in a better experience and a happier customer.
  3. Content must be relative and contextual to the stakeholders. With an outrageous amount of content that’s constantly growing and growing, marketers will have to stand out from the crowded marketplace and connect to their stakeholders in order to sustain a relationship.
  4. Customer experience marketing is key. Because of content overload, recommendations and word of mouth marketing from stakeholders’ networks will be much more influential than paid advertising.
  5. On demand customer service will have to happen. With the customer’s ability to publicly complain about a brand in real-time for everyone to see, it’s imperative for organizations to handle customer service when an incident happens. If not, customers now have the ability to rally more people and potentially put a dent in the organization’s reputation; a much easier way to spread the word than in the past.

In addition to the future of marketing principles listed above, Geoff provided us with examples of cutting edge technology and how brands can take advantage of them to connect with their stakeholders.

  • Google Glass – a wearable computer that tracks location and uses applications similar to ones found on an iPhone.  Ex. Starbucks using Google Glass – Someone with the Starbucks app who’s wearing Google Glass and walking down the street could be sent a notification right on their screen for a free tall latte at the Starbucks store that is exactly 5 buildings down on the left.
  • Digital Ubiquity – a product being delivered as a service. Ex. Grocery store digital ubiquity – Setting up a virtual kiosk at a subway station so people can order food on the go and have it delivered by the grocery store to their doorstep for when they arrive home.
  • Face recognition – identification of an individual based on their physical attributes. Ex. An electronic advertisement at a bus stop that has a camera behind the screen can identify the gender and age group of the person standing in front of the advertisement and queue content targeted towards that specific market.

 Some other up and coming trends to consider in marketing practices are in-store pickups and voice input replacing typing on mobile phones. How will brands improve the experience for a busy person who wants to order an item online and pick it up immediately in-store? And will only the top positions in search engine results matter with voice input? These are a couple of questions along with many more that will need to be considered as the next waves of technology come crashing on shore.

With all of the new technology and the massive amounts of data being collected by organizations, the next big debate becomes the issue of personal privacy. The Millennials, growing up as kids in today’s society, will have a very different understanding of privacy than a Baby Boomer or a Gen Xer. How will brands leverage big data and not totally invade their stakeholders privacy? How far is too far? How specific is just plain creepy? It’s assumed the privacy opt-in policy will become much more important and relevant to stakeholders in the future success of marketing.

This month’s EdVent was truly an eye-opener for any marketer who thought they had everything under control. The exciting new wave of technology is upon us and it’s up to us marketers to use new technologies to connect with our stakeholders and create the best possible experience for our customers. Thank you Geoff Livingston for a fantastic presentation and for challenging us to think towards the future of marketing!


Danielle HartDanielle Hart doubles as an Online Fundraising Account Manager at The Engage Group and a Postal Logistics Account Manager at MailSmart Logistics. She can be reached at or found on her personal website at

Mail is not dead, but we must innovate and diversify to stay relevant!

July 15, 2013 1 comment

USPS New Products and Innovations Executive Enlightens DMAW Lunch and Learn Attendees about Increasing the Long-term Value of Mail by Leveraging New Technology

Gary Reblin2At the June 20 DMAW Lunch and Learn, Gary Reblin, the United States Postal Service’s Vice President of New Products and Innovations, strongly advised that organizations need to be innovative in order to stay relevant amidst the bombardment of information in this day and age.

According to the 2012 Mail Moment Survey, 80% of people surveyed look at their mail as a valuable news source, 75% like to see what’s in the mail and 63% of mail is kept at least two days. Amongst the youth, 79% sort the mail at the first opportunity, 72% would like to receive more personal mail and 67% scan the mail looking for important/interesting mail.  All statistics that prove mail is still highly valuable, across all age groups.

As a marketing tool, mail is still considered to be extremely beneficial. With mail, you are able to have more targeted advertising to your customers or donor base, it can be a cost-effective platform, mail offers an interactive solution through the use of integrated technology and success and effectiveness of each campaign is easily measured.

In order to stay relevant, organizations must recognize that an online and offline, integrated marketing approach will yield optimum results – the USPS recognizes this and has made a push to encourage mailers to utilize technology within their campaigns. By promoting mail innovations, the USPS is helping organizations enhance their mailpiece thus improving consumer engagement and increasing response rate, customer acquisition and Return on Investment (ROI).

Recent studies show that PC shipments are down and mobile commerce is on the rise with 81% increased sales in 2012, to nearly $25 billion according to eMarketer (Jan 2013). Mail and mobile is an optimum connection as the mailpiece provides a ‘jumping-off point,’ but the mailer must ensure a positive consumer experience by offering a mobile coupon and/or offer, mobile-optimized website and a responsive website that dynamically adapts both its content and layout to fit a multi-screen world (Smartphone, tablet or PC).

Although they are not yet final or approved, Gary was able to share some of the USPS Promotions and Incentives on the horizon for 2014:

  • Branded/Customized Mobile Technology
  • Mail Drives Mobile Commerce
  • Personalization
  • Mobile Application
  • Colorization of Bills and Statements
  • Premium Advertising Product
  • Emerging Technology
  • Earned Value Reply Mail

Through promotions and incentives and by continuing to highlight new technology and best practices, encourage and accelerate industry innovation and increase relevancy and engagement with consumers, the Postal Service’s objective is to increase the long-term value of mail.

During the wrap-up and question and answer session of Gary’s presentation, the hottest topic was the application process. It was clear that those in the room representing the Nonprofit sector of our industry had concerns with the amount of time and energy it took to get approved, and that some of the promotions and/or incentives didn’t apply to their organization, or the ones they represent, based on certain requirements. Gary and his team at the USPS are fully aware of the industry’s concerns and they are working to address them. There are four things that will help this; preparedness and earlier launch of the programs, longer promotional windows, variability in the promotion option and timing and added flexibility for customers.

A special thanks to James “J.R.” Caine and the team at Pitney Bowes Presort Services for sponsoring the June Lunch and Learn. And don’t forget, the DMAW has a great line-up of events headed your way:

  • July EdVent – Thursday, July 18, 6 pm: The Contextual Marketing Revolution – presented by Geoff Livingston, Author and Marketing Specialist, Lady Soleil, Inc.
  • MAXI Awards Ceremony – Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 4:30-6:30 pm
  • August Lunch and Learn – Thursday, August 15: Multi-channel Attribution for Non-profits – presented by Angela Struebing, Agency Director, CDR Fundraising Group


20130620-DSC_3737-14Amie Sharaf is a Senior Account Manager, cross-training as a Client Services Manager, with Production Solutions where she has worked since September 2009. She can be reached at

DMAW August 2012 Update

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

7th Annual Bridge to Integrated
Marketing & Fundraising Conference

Harness the Winds of Change

August 7-9, 2012

Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center
National Harbor, MD

With over 1200 of your peers and colleagues
already registered…

What more can we say – it’s here
And, you need to be there!

Check it out: Bridge Conference


One Day is OK! Maybe even FREE?
Can’t attend both days of the Bridge Conference – that’s OK – Here are some options!


Check out the full program, select which day is better for you to attend and pay a one day registration fee which includes the general sessions, breakouts, refreshment breaks, lunch and any activities taking place that day in the Solutions Showcase!


Our Solutions Showcase providers have FREE one day Exhibit Hall Only passes.  Check out our exhibitors
and ask for a free pass!


Tuesday, August 7 | 10AM – 4PM

Intentionally limited in size, these sessions are designed to allow you maximum opportunity to connect with the experts:

The Power of Faith in Fundraising
Every organization has donors who are motivated by faith. This session is for anyone who wants to learn what’s working in faith-based organizations, and how to apply it to your organization.

Direct Marketing 101

This is a full day workshop to introduce – or re-introduce! – you to the new fundamentals of direct response fundraising and marketing and how it fits into your fundraising toolbox.

Fundraising 101

No matter what role you play in your organization’s fundraising department, it is important to understand the big picture. In this session, participants will be introduced to broad fundraising principles that should inform every program and specific strategies to raise more money.

Dancing with Strangers | Think on Your Feet

Spend a day with Tony Myers and Bernard Ross…and you will be ready to take on the world! You will hear from both Tony and Bernard as they share their insights and experiences on fundraising.

Lunch and refreshment breaks are included in the
registration fee!

Click Bridge Pre-Conference Workshops
for a full description of what you will learn!


MAXI Awards Ceremony & Reception
Tuesday, August 7

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center
National Harbor, MD

Don’t miss seeing some of these winning campaigns.
One just might inspire your next campaign!

Register Now


DMAW Member Recognition Awards



Do you know someone who should be recognized for their excellence in our industry?  Maybe you know an up and coming young professional?

Recognizing excellence in an industry is what keeps it vibrant and growing.

Visit DMAW Member Recognition Awards

to download an application to nominate a deserving
individual…maybe you are that person!

Nominations are being accepted for:

DMAW Emerging Leader
Presented to a young person with promise

DMAW Volunteer of the Year
We are a volunteer-driven organization and
need to recognize those who help us thrive!

DMAW Partner of the Year
We cannot succeed without our partner-suppliers!


DMAW Call for Guest Bloggers!

The DMAW is seeking individuals interested in guest blogging!

What should you write about?

Something related to direct marketing or other popular marketing topics. Your post could be about best practices, tips and tricks, your view of a marketing related subject, professional insight (i.e. what I’ve learned), or event related (i.e. monthly luncheon recap), again, marketing related.

Blogging could open a whole new door for you!  Here are some guidelines.  Or check-out past posts: Guest Bloggers

Interested?  Email and use the subject line: Guest Blogger.  Be sure to include a few sentences describing what you would like to write.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

5:00PM – 8:00PM


2401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC


to ensure you receive a DRINK TICKET!
A great time with colleagues and
to make new friends!


The Art and Science of Closing A Deal
Ed Gillespie, Executive Director, BizMark

Thursday, September 20

SEIU Conference Center

1800 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington, DC

12 noon – 2:00 pm

Registration is limited! So register today!



Direct Marketing 201

Thursday, October 25

SEIU Conference Center

1800 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington, DC

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Details will be coming soon!

DMAW June 2012 Update

June 4, 2012 Leave a comment

DMAW Webinar

Tuesday, June 19

12 noon – 1:00PM

21 Hot Tips for Acquisition

Lynn Mehaffy, CFRE

Vice President

Lautman Maska Neill and Company

Responsible for bringing in new donors?

Need to increase your new donor revenue?

Join this Webinar and learn about proven direct mail techniques!

$35 – Members

$55 – Not-Yet-Members

The cost is per site – so buy a pizza and invite your entire team!


DMAW Lunch & Learn

Thursday, June, 21,2012

12 Noon – 2:00 PM

SEIU Conference Center

What’s Mailing Now – An Exclusive Library of “Hand Picked” Formats, Trends and Techniques

Presented by
Cheryl Keedy

Director of Package Innovation

Production Solutions


Social Summit – Sharpening A Tool!

Capital Conference Center Arlington, VA

Keynote & Reception

Wednesday, June 27
5:30PM-8:30 PM

Liz Strauss
International Business Strategist & Founder SOBcon

Educational Presentations

Thursday, June 28
8:00AM – 4:30PM

Session is filling up fast and seating is limited!

So don’t delay – register today!



Did you enter?

Eager to learn if you won?

Winners will be announced next week!

Save the date and Plan to Celebrate!

MAXI Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, August 7

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Gaylord National Hotel and
Conference Center

National Harbor, MD


7th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference

Harness the Winds of Change!

August 7-9, 2012

Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center

Comprehensive educational program presented by recognized leaders in the industry!

Plus for the first time

Special Offer:  2-night Gaylord Hotel Package Stay + Registration Fee = $100 savings!

Keynote Presenters include:

Chris Gardner
Pursuit of Happyness fame

Peter Shankman
Social Media Entrepreneur

Annie Griffiths
National Geographic Photographer

Want to volunteer for Bridge – click here!

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