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Penta Digital, Inc. July 16, 2008

An adroit mixture of everyday settings and extraordinary events.
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The world of business and finance gets skewered, as Bottom Liners tackles subjects such as foreign takeovers, office policies, getting a raise, and the fast-paced world of Wall Street.
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The off-the-wall humor of Off the Mark puts a refreshing spin on the things we see every day ... from your favorite icons to your least favorite trends, from commercials to pets to computers. Slightly skewed and just a little twisted, Off the Mark scores a bull's eye with readers looking for a laugh.
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In today's complex world of family issues, Focus on the Family provides grounded, practical advice for those dealing with family problems.
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A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.
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News From
John McAuley
Idea of
the Week

Your Shortcut to Direct Mail Success
A Message From John McAuley
The Way I See It

A Not So Trivial Pursuit

In 1979, two friends – Scott Abbott and Chris Haney – sat down to enjoy a game of Scrabble. As they unpacked the board, they discovered that some of the pieces were missing. Rather than look for another game to play, they decided they should try creating a board game of their own. Two years later, the duo introduced the first prototype of what would become Trivial Pursuit.

At the time they started working on Trivial Pursuit, neither Abbott nor Haney had any experience creating games. Abbott was a sports editor for the Canadian Press in Montreal, and Haney was a photo editor for the Montreal Gazette.

The game itself met initially with a tepid response. Abbott, Haney, and their business partners – Chris's brother, John Haney, and friend, Ed Werner – sank just about everything they had into its development. The quartet pushed hard to get it released and saw their dreams come true in 1983, when sales in both Canada and the United States topped the million mark. The following year proved even more successful, as Trivial Pursuit soon became a household name.

At the time, Trivial Pursuit was viewed as an overnight success. In truth that “night” had been long, hard, and fraught with anxiety. Here's the way I see it: Overnight successes seldom happen overnight. They typically take time and involve a fair amount of sacrifice, sweat, hard work, and tears.

At Penta Digital, we understand the work you've put into building your company or career, and we realize it certainly has been no trivial pursuit. So whether you're still struggling through the overnight – or enjoying the light of the dawning day – give us a call. We want to help you look good on paper.

John McAuley
Idea of the Week
6 Rock-Solid Strategies to Improve Your Next Direct Mail Campaign


There are loads of good reasons to add direct mail as an arrow in your marketing quiver. But in this digital era, many marketing professionals have no idea how to conduct a successful direct mail marketing campaign.

Want to get back in the game and increase your success? The more you embrace a “direct-mail” mindset, the better your response rates will be.

6 Fundamental Principles to Include in Every Message You Send

1. Write in a direct-mail style. 

Direct-response copy is usually significantly longer than branding copy. Instead of emphasizing pretty design and clever copy, it depends on salient sales arguments backed by extensive proof and facts.

2. Seek responses first.

The primary objective is not to build your brand or entertain, but to get more inquiries, leads, and sales. Look to add a compelling hook or a clear next step in everything you print. Place at least two calls to action somewhere in the design.

3. Put the offer front and center.

The pitch you make should never be an afterthought, but something carefully worded and prominently featured on the page.

4. Include freebies, special discount offers, or guarantees.

Without these components, direct-mail response rates are usually lower.

5. Have a back end. 

The real money in direct response is made through the sales of additional products to customers who made an initial purchase. Without a back end in place, you are leaving money on the table.

6. Test everything. 

Brand advertisers who roll out massive campaigns without meaningful, real-world testing risk failing big and losing a lot of money. Beyond polling focus groups or launching an A/B poll, you can also “test small” with live promotions where people vote with their credit cards (instead of with their opinions!). This is a more accurate indicator of whether your offer will work.


The Numbers Don’t Lie

On average, U.S. advertisers that spend $167 per customer on direct mail annually sell $2,095 worth of goods per buyer. And the margins increase when you target people who have already demonstrated they will buy a product online or from a previous coupon you’ve printed.

Ready to get started with your next direct mail campaign? We’ve got answers to all your questions. Reach out to us today!


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