Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells
Digital Direct Marketing
A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells
About The Author 2
In Search of Advertising That Sells 3
Why the Internet is a Heaven for Advertisers 4
29 Tested Methods - How to Make Your Email Marketing Sell More 5
The One Thing in Advertising That Sells More Than Sex 9
"The Internet is Direct Marketing" 10
3 Signals: Why The Future of Advertising is Digital Direct Marketing 12
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 1
About The Author
Timo Jäppinen is an ad man from Finland, on a mission to make
advertising sell again. Jäppinen is also passionate about branding. He
has past experience from working in advertising agency, sales and
running two online start-up companies in Finland and Estonia.
He is also the author of Timo Jäppinen’s Blog www.timojappinen.com.
Jäppinen writes frequently articles about marketing.
Jäppinen was introduced to advertising industry at an age of 15, when he read David
Ogilvy’s classic “Ogilvy on Advertising”. After reading that book the world wasn’t the same
Determined to become one of the greatest copywriters, Jäppinen started out as a salesman
just like his idol David Ogilvy. Lessons learned from one-to-one selling applied in old
direct-response advertising the same way those techniques apply in the online world today.
“Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells” is about sharing
what works in the internet marketing and how to use different techniques and tested tools
to sell more.
Everything in digital direct marketing comes down to understanding human behavior,
principles of selling and mastering direct marketing.
“All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it
finds a willing and prepared hearer.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 2
In Search of Advertising That Sells
When was the last time you saw an ad that made you want to buy the product? I'm not
talking about feeling good towards the product. I'm talking about a burning desire to get
the product. For me, it has been too long since that has happened. And yes, I do work in
the advertising business.
Bad advertising costs more
Seeing companies running lousy ad campaigns was the reason how got interested in the
advertising in the first place. How did I know that money was being thrown out of windows
even before actually working in the advertising? You don't have to be Einstein to realize
that something is out of place when it comes to ads.
Do this simple test. Think back to the last time you watched TV. Try to memorize the
last commercial break. In your mind place yourself in sitting in front your TV. Are you
there now? When you are, try to memorize which products were advertised on that last
commercial break you saw? Just picture any product or an ad you remember. How many
items can you recall?
Do I have your attention now?
I'm betting you can remember only one or zero ads from
the last commercial break you saw on TV.
What is wrong in the advertising if it doesn't sell? In my opinion advertising has no
other function than to sell. To sell your product, service or idea. (If you know a different
function for advertising, please email it to me.) Where do you learn how to sell? In art
schools? In business schools? What you think? If you think you will learn to sell in the
school, then I'm more than happy come to your faculty as a full-time student. However, if
you think that schools may not be the best place for you to learn selling, how come most
people in the advertising industry comes from schools?
People with a wrong education is the reason why I think today's advertising costs more
and more, and sells less and less. Many people, with a lack of motivation, are in the ad
business. Rather than trying to sell client's products, art directors and copywriters are
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 3
simply satisfying their own urges to play and have fun on their client's expense. The most
advertising people have the need to be creative for almost at whatever the cost. For years I
have been against advertising, if it's only trying to be creative. Here is the biggest reason
why I feel so strongly about the topic:
“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’
I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product." - David Ogilvy
There is still hope for those of us who demand advertising that sells. Hang on. The
internet is soon becoming a vital part of every form of work. It means that everything can
be measured. With the measurement we can finally prove to advertisers that simply being
creative is not enough, you need advertising that sells. One of my favorite bloggers Seth
Godin wrote an excellent post about how we all will work on a commission soon, whether
we like it or not. I'm looking forward to it.
Why the Internet is a Heaven for Advertisers
So far the internet is the only place for advertisers which is close to a heaven. Where else
can you include of these techniques and methods into your advertising?
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 4
• Be thankful.
All of this, and much more is possible in the internet. At last sales, research and facts will
earn their place in the advertising industry. I only wish that David Ogilvy would still be
alive to witness this revolution. What remains to be seen is how will agencies explain their
lack of knowledge about these basics, after producing decades of "creative" advertising
Don't take my word for it. Read Fortune's article about research, results, internet and
agency compensation. Coke and P&G are already taking this new model worldwide. Their
agencies get paid for performing, not just for being creative.
29 Tested Methods - How to Make Your Email Marketing Sell More
Here are 29 easy tips to improve the selling power of your email marketing. These are
tested methods from direct-response advertising. Try them yourself. You will see the
difference in sales.
1. Set a goal for every message.
Why do we send this? What are we trying to accomplish? These are basic questions you
need to ask from yourself before you write anything.
2. Be consistent.
Have a purpose for your every message, which supports the bigger picture and brings
clarity to your communication. Your goal should be to have an impact that grows stronger
over time. Being consistent helps to achieve it.
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 5
3. Simple is better.
Mind can only hold one thought at a time. Just try thinking about an airplane and
Mercedes-Benz at the same time. Can you do it?
4. Clarity above all.
This could be number one on this list as well. It's not how you say, but WHAT you say.
5. Headline makes 90 % of your success
Use most of your time to write a clear headline with a promise in it.
Your email will only get opened if your headline promises something worth reading.
Try to think email marketing like this:
a) Headline brings customers in.
b) Your copy text brings home the sale.
c) Never send a message, just because you feel like you should something.
Remember that you are only one click away from Spam folder. Think "Spam buttom" like
you would get bitten by a vampire. It will not take long after that for you to turn into a
6. Never spam.
Do you want cheap wins or customers who will still love you after 20 years of marriage?
7. Be interesting and keep Dale Carnegie on your mind.
Customer: "What's in it for me?"
8. Subscribe and read Emarketer Daily and ClickZ newsletters.
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 6
9. Test your advertising constantly.
"Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving" -David Ogilvy.
A simple A/B testing to every message will do wonders to your sales curve. Milk your
10. Study your competitors.
Subscribe to all of their material you can lay your hands on. Whenever you find some
method repeating itself you have discovered their winning horse.
11. Subscribe to Amazon.com, Apple Store and eBay newsletters.
Copy all of the best ideas from these. They are tested and proven gold mines.
12. Leave empty words out.
Keep your message brief and clean. AVOID CAPITALS, THEY ARE DIFFICULT TO READ
AND LOOK LIKE SPAM.
13. Direct-response experience is a must for your email marketing planner.
14. Buy John Caples - Tested Advertising Methods
"Tested Advertising Methods" is your new bible when you are writing your next ad. It
includes simple instructions with lots of examples about how to write a direct-response ad
Bob Stone - Successful Direct Marketing Methods
Seth Godin - Permission Marketing
15. Collect lists of tested email marketing methods.
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 7
16. Build a simple path for your reader to take action.
17. Use carrot.
"Do this, you'll get that."
18. Try different colors and layouts constantly in your emails.
19. Cash your winning horses all the way to the bank.
In other words: repeat your winners as long as you can.
20. Don't use exclamation marks. Again, you are not a spammer, are you?
21. Use sub-headings.
Help your reader to read your emails more easily.
22. Use text which can be read even if pictures in your email will not open.
23. Be honest.
Be open about why you are collecting information from your customers. And how they will
benefit from it.
24. If possible, advertise only one product per message.
Clarity, consistency and goals easier to achieve this way.
25. Use open ended questions in your email.
Words like How, What, When, Where, Why are more interesting. Consider this classic:
"How To Win friends & Influence People" who wouldn't want to find out more after
reading that headline?
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 8
26. Be personal.
Email has made possible to establish a conversation, which can be made as personal as a
real salesman. Build a conversation with a goal, a goal to sell.
27. Your advertising has to sell.
Advertising has only one purpose: to sell your product, service or idea.
28. Leave your headline open - no dots.
A dot at the end of the sentence will end it. Dots in headlines doesn’t increase readership in
29. Use expiration date to get action now.
"This offer expires on October 24th - Act now. Click here"
Those were the few basic tips to improve your email marketing. Digital direct marketing is
a great tool because you can test and measure everything with little or no cost. Keep
studying direct marketing, continue testing and your advertising will never stop
Please let me know how these methods worked in your case. You can me email to
The One Thing in Advertising That Sells More Than Sex
Let me give you a hint. It is not creativity. No matter how creative you may think you are, if
you don’t understand how advertising works you will not get very far. Most advertising
agencies focus to emphasize how creative they are. Just google few of them and you will see
it yourself. So why not take a different approach?
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 9
Advice from the advertising guru
According to David Ogilvy, the founder of Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising
agency giant, “Advertising has only one purpose: to sell. Everything else is secondary.” And
how do you sell? He gives this example from selling: If you are at a party and a woman next
to you asks which car to buy, what would you do? Would you start describing to her
adjectives of the car such as pretty, cool and nice or would you give her the facts? Which
one do you think sells more?
The forgotten professional secret
The one thing in advertising that always sells is information. That is what you want when
you are buying something and that is what you should get. However, people working in the
advertising tend forget what they are suppose to be doing. To make advertising that sells.
Even all of the digital buzz campaigns and online communities around your brand has only
one purpose; to sell – or at least they should have.
"The Internet is Direct Marketing"
The battle is on, because direct marketing is a controversial topic. Most people think
that in today's world you can't use sales techniques and methods which have worked in the
past. Social media has changed everything, that's what they said, until they read this...
"You can't fool people like you did in the past."
True, but you couldn't fool people in the past either. "The most powerful element in
advertising is the truth." said Bill Bernbach, the adman of the 20th century. He was also
one of the founders of Doyle Dayne Bernbach agency, known today as DDB. David Ogilvy,
Leo Burnett, Raymond Rubicam, Rosser Reeves, Bill Bernbach and Stanley Resor, the six
giants of modern advertising, all of them knew that the truth sells. Otherwise they wouldn't
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 10
"Isn't direct marketing like spam?"
Spammers send messages online without recipients' permission to do so. Professional
direct marketers never send spam. Spamming is illegal, and it would mean the end of your
The professional direct marketers send highly relevant, anticipated messages to you that
are informative, entertaining or useful. Never spam.
Direct marketing means that you provide your customer interesting facts and benefits
about your product. Being direct also means that you measure and test everything.
Everything is based on facts (the truth) - and you demand results.
A winning formula of advertising
When you combine direct-response advertising to a value based compensation model you
have a winning formula of advertising. For an advertiser this is a great deal, as it is for an
agency. People work harder and get paid better when delivering measurable results such as
You have a golden opportunity
I've been battling over with myself about which direction to take when acquiring special
expertise from marketing. Should I focus to branding, general advertising, sustainability
and transparency or something else?
At last, I understood that the internet offers unlimited possibilities to a man who knows
how to create personal advertising that sells. If you transform techniques that direct
marketers have been doing in mail for decades to online you have this golden opportunity
in front of you.
When my hero Drayton Bird wrote about direct marketing in his blog and said that: "The
internet is direct marketing" , I knew I had arrived. Think about it. It's so simple. Online
advertising is direct marketing. If you know how to create direct-response mail that works,
you are going to be great in the internet advertising. Did I say great? I meant excellent.
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 11
If you don't know how to sell, I recommend for you to getting on to the bandwagon
quickly and start learning. Find someone who can teach you. Remember that the internet
is direct marketing.
PS If you need any advice or want to discuss more about advertising that sells and direct
marketing, please send me an email or call me, I'm more than happy to help you.
3 Signals: Why The Future of Advertising is Digital Direct
There are three signals which will change the advertising industry forever. I'm sorry
to break this news to all ad agency creatives: The future's pay day for advertising
professional will only come from results. Goofing around with clients' money is over.
The internet came and made everything measurable. Today, ideas are still very much in
demand, but now your ideas have to also ring a cash register. Your job is to prove why your
advertising and marketing efforts work. Can you do that?
Signal 1: Direct-response advertising is back
Direct-response has transformed to Digital Direct Marketing. The Digital Direct
Marketing combines old proven direct-response advertising techniques with new social
media tools. Digital Direct Marketing allows you to have a real conversation with your
customer. The conversation with a goal: to make a sale for you. For the advertiser the sales
speech and the conversation can be made automatic. For the customer it is highly
personalized interaction which leads to the purchase.
Forbes.com calls this future "revenge of the nerds". Ogilvy, one of the largest advertising
agencies in the world, is leading the advertising industry to measure and understand
online data. I personally consider Ogilvy to become one of the greatest winners of this new
information era. They have always been consistent with their work to create advertising
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 12
that sells. And they have gone great lengths to prove its results too, even as early as in the
1960's. Now that hard work from testing and re-testing direct marketing techniques pays
off. Today, the direct marketing field, on what almost all creatives have despised, is
becoming the center of the digital revolution. Hooray!
Signal 2: Traditional creative ad agencies are trying to catch up
A French advertising giant Publicis acquired digital marketing agency called Razorfish
from Microsoft. Why would something as conservative company as Publicis do something
like this? At first it didn't seem to fit into picture at all. Unless there is a change coming.
Quickly after the acquisition they announced their ambition to lead the future change of
Signal 3: Coca-Cola is open about their new Value-Based Compensation (VBC)
for ad agencies
Here is an interesting article from 4A's Business Development Blog. It summarizes what
kind of a compensation model Coke is trying to make as the industry standard for all
agencies and advertisers. They are currently testing it and are hoping to roll out the Value-
Based Compensation model around the globe within few years. How long do you think that
other companies will continue as spectators?
The future of advertising in brief
1. The comeback of direct-response adverting as the digital direct marketing.
Geeks are hired to ad business. An automated sales process.
2. Followers are trying to become leaders. Publicis acquires Razorfish.
3. Ad agencies will get paid only from delivering measurable results. Coca-Cola
shares its plans openly about their Value-Based Compensation for ad agencies.
My conclusion: If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist.
Digital Direct Marketing: A Guide to Personal Advertising That Sells 13
Thank you for reading this guide
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Perhaps you found new ideas - or discovered old ones.
You can contact me directly if you have any questions or feedback.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +358 40 730 3065
For more information and free articles about marketing visit
Timo Jäppinen’s Blog www.timojappinen.com
2009 Copyright Timo Jäppinen
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