Insurer Earns a 56% Lift with Savvy Direct Mail Decisions

In a Direct Marketing News piece last week, Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer of the Wilde Agency, was interviewed about the agency’s initiative to help Nationwide develop a direct mail campaign to appeal to the LGBT community. Four best practices stood out in this piece as great reminders about the powerful affect SAVVY DIRECT RESPONSE can have on your direct mail campaigns.
Continue reading

Inside Direct Mail (Dec 2009) – Grant on “The Future of Direct Mail”

This month’s issue of Inside Direct Mail features Grant Johnson, founder and CEO of Johnson Direct, a multichannel direct marketing agency based in Brookfield, WI.  The article asks an “all star round-table” of direct mail experts what their take is on the future of direct mail.  To see what Grant had to say, read the article here.  For more information on how Johnson Direct can help you deliver measurable results, visit our website at

Tis The Season for Direct Mail

The following information speaks for itself:

 Post Office Anticipates 20-Billion-Piece Month
The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver 20 billion piece of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas,

Monday, Dec. 17 is forecast as being the heaviest-volume day, with 275 million cards and letters mailed then — more than three times the 82 million average daily volume. Total piece count, which includes cards, letters, packages, catalogs, and magazines, should approach 1 billion, up from the average day’s rate of 703 million.

The busiest delivery day will be Wednesday, Dec. 19.

To ensure timely delivery, Parcel Post packages should go into the mail system no later than Dec. 15. First-Class Mail and Priority Mail should be sent by Dec. 20, and Express Mail should be sent by Dec. 22.

 Grant A. Johnson

Johnson Direct LLC



“Storyselling:” The Art that Makes a Sale

Direct mail marketers may not always put the topic of story telling at the top of their to-do list, but they should. “Storyselling,” as I call it, is the art of telling an emotional and compelling story in direct mail to effectively convey a call to action that sells a product or service, or gains a donation from the recipient.

A good story is something the recipient can read easily and which effectively touches that something inside of them that urges them to take action. Let me give you an example.

We work with an important non-profit agency in southeastern Wisconsin that provides multiple social services to a wide variety of people. When we first became partners in direct mail campaigns with them, they were spending $25,000 per year on direct mail, and receiving about the same amount in return. Notwithstanding the potential lifetime value of the donors who made the gifts, this is still not the kind of return an agency executive wants to see.

We have been working with them for eight years now, and each of the direct mail pieces we have done for them has focused on an emotional, factual story of one element of their programming. Of course, we have done considerable work in finding the right lists to target.

In those eight years, they have increased their annual direct mail expenditure to about $185,000 … with an annual return of more than $1 million! Now that’s a return a non-profit exec can get behind!

I had the privilege of doing a pod cast on the topic of storyselling at the recent DMA Convention in Chicago for Target Marketing Magazine. Here’s the link. Please take a listen and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments … or if you’d like to explore a direct mail partnership.

Grant Johnson

Johnson Direct