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Internet Big Focus at DMB, But Direct Mail Draws Crowd

SAN FRANCISCO–DMA preliminary estimates indicated total participation in the 11th Direct Marketing to Business National Conference in San Francisco had swelled to over 900 people Friday when Seth Godin, vice president of direct marketing at Yahoo gave his signature presentation on bringing change to direct marketing organizations.

Activity was brisk throughout the day and continued in all seminars well into the afternoon. But a surprising crowd pleaser was the standing room only audience that scrambled to get a seat at the seminar on Creating a Breakthrough Direct Mail Campaign led by Craig A. Huey, president at Creative Direct Marketing Group, Torrance, CA.

“With all the attention on the Internet around here I didn't expect to see people sitting on the floor at a direct mail pitch” whispered one marketer.

Indeed, with all the focus on e-commerce over the past three days it was ironic to see so many people jammed into one room, standing in the aisles and taking notes as Huey showed slides of direct mail campaigns that worked, campaigns that bombed and why. And the crowd's laser focus on his every word clearly revealed how important traditional direct mail is, and likely it will continue to dominate the business-to-business marketing world for years to come.

To be sure though, part of the appeal was no doubt Huey himself who publishes the industry newsletter, Direct Response, and is a noted authority on developing effective DM campaigns. He has also won a slew awards and has advised everyone from Merrill Lynch to Omnifax.

Perhaps one of the most useful parts of Huey's presentation was the simple leave-behind hand-out detailing direct mail, including the components, the best response devices, constructing an irresistible offer, testing strategies and graphics strategies. Of course, there was also information on how to get in touch with the expert himself.

However, there was no Web address listed with his contact information.

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