Speaker Offers Tips to Reach Skeptical Consumers

SAN FRANCISCO — Since consumers are smarter and more skeptical than ever, direct marketers need different creative strategies and mindsets to reach them, said Lee Marc Stein, president of Lee Marc Stein Ltd, who spoke at a pre-conference session Oct. 20 at the DMA show here.

“Consumers are smarter than ever and have more ways to identify the truth,” said Stein, whose company offers direct marketing consulting and creative services. “Fooling prospects with even partially misleading copy or disappointing offers will not help you build customers.”

Stein offered 10 ways to suspend consumer disbelief and skepticism that he said would immediately improve response, including:

* Master the tone and language of your customers.

* Keep it simple because multiple messages in a direct mail or e-mail piece appear to be deceptive.

* Provide benefits backed by facts or value-added information.

* Provide testimonials from customers.

* Use relevant humor that is not offensive.

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