March 3, 2024

When I launched Titans Marketing in 2015, a very creative friend of mine suggested that I call my new company, Dinosaurs and Cowboys.

This set off a chain reaction of random branding strategies …and despite not naming my company that way, it’s been a fun ride using the comparison throughout the nine years Titans Marketing has been roaming the planet🙂

I began by establishing myself as a “non-extinct dinosaur,” someone who could be a bridge that connects the core fundamentals of direct response to everything the Internet Cowboys come up with in the online marketing world…for deeper understanding and going further with anything they can cook up.

After all, most of the dinosaurs I grew up with have already become extinct…so using my age and my ability to remain focused on the present (and future) for 40+ years to my advantage seemed like a good strategy.

In 2016, I wrote my first book, The Advertising Solution (with direct mail savant, Craig Simpson)…which profiled six legendary “Mad Men” who were direct response marketing experts while being trapped inside the world of general (i.e. not measurable, not accountable) advertising.

There was no Internet when these six geniuses were practicing their craft…but what they taught and followed throughout their lifetimes are all timeless principles.

At the same time, I began writing this weekly blog, connecting the offline world to the online world every chance I got…which led to my second book, Overdeliver, Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketingwhich enabled me to prove that what goes around comes around…and you can be a relevant dinosaur…forever.

I sought out many other fellow non-extinct dinosaurs: The aforementioned Craig Simpson, Justin Miller (more on him in a moment)…many members of my Titans Xcelerator Mastermind who sought me out too…and dozens of other O.G.’s of marketing who came before the Internet and are still standing tall.

One of those, Joe Polish, founder of Piranha Marketing and today the leader of Genius Network (the premiere mastermind for high achieving entrepreneurs in the world), began his marketing adventure as the guru to the carpet cleaning industry, teaching pre-Internet marketing in all available media, including direct mail, package inserts, print advertising and telemarketing.

How far he’s come…by never forgetting his roots…not for nostalgia’s sake…but because everything he learned from the likes of Gary Halbert (one of the legends profiled in my first book), Jay Abraham, Joe Sugarman, Dan Kennedy…to Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, Yanik Silver…to hundreds more icons of direct response marketing and copywriting…has given him a foundation to build everything he has built.

And he’s not done by a long shot.

He even gave me the Genius Network “stage” (on video) in 2022 with two other direct mail experts explaining why this medium is far from dead.

The panel discussion is a half hour, and you can watch it here.

One of the more recent non-extinct dinosaurs I’ve discovered is Justin Miller.

And when he reached out to me to write the foreword for his new book, Jurassic Marketing: How to create a “big bang” in your business with modern direct mail!, I jumped at the opportunity to modernize my thoughts on direct mail and offline marketing…again. I was honored to do it.

He is a T Rex of epic proportions…like me…although his email address is not “T Rex” like mine.

He’ll get there some day. 🙂

Here is an excerpt from the foreword…some interesting principles sprinkled throughout…let me know what you think:

It takes one to know one…

Living as a non-extinct dinosaur is something I wear as a badge of honor…and when I find others who live this way, I flock to them…and together we go into the marketing world as the most ferocious T Rex’s, spreading the gospel…in this case about the wonders of non-extinct media…namely, direct mail.

Finding Justin Miller—one of those fellow T Rex dinos—was particularly joyful because he is teaching direct mail at the highest level…with implementation strategies…something that’s needed in today’s marketing landscape…dare I say required.

That’s what Jurassic Marketing is all about.

Direct mail is not dead…it is alive and well…as Justin proves time and again throughout this book.

[It’s changed over time…it’s not what it used to be…but it should never be dismissed.]

I’ve said in the past that direct mail—unlike other media—is akin to making sushi:

You can do it yourself…but why (when there are experts like Justin who can do it for you)?

It all began in the Triassic Period…to the Jurassic Period…through the Cretaceous Period…and now into the 21st Century. 🙂

To ignore this powerful medium (based on any of the “4 myths” about direct mail which are debunked by Justin in chapter two), you do so at your own peril.

It’s about offline marketing in an online world…creating diversification and differentiation…and creating an unfair advantage with your marketing…and it begins with direct mail but it doesn’t end with direct mail.

Direct mail went from the most scalable medium to one of the most forgotten (when this Internet thing came along) …but forgotten is not the same as extinction.

On the contrary, as Justin proves throughout this book, it’s about what I call, “O to O to O” …which I described in my book Overdeliver as follows:

Always be aware that the life cycle of a new customer entering your world can start in either “O” (Online or Offline), then be directed to the alternate, and then pulled back to the original source (either of the two “O’s”) where they started.

The ability to combine today’s technology with the fundamentals of direct marketing and direct response learned over decades of testing is exciting…and necessary.

For example, bringing a highly qualified buyer or prospect from a direct mail piece or a print ad into an online funnel will certainly create customers with higher lifetime value.

That final point is worth accentuating…because the engagement level in direct mail, being far more personal, tactile, and tangible, will create not only additional buyers, but more valuable ones as well.

[More on that and other considerations to look at direct mail and offline marketing in the P.S. of this post.]

In addition, every marketer practicing their craft solely online has this opportunity at their fingertips…because no matter how many digital products they sell, if they sell using credit cards, they have a built in “database” of postal addresses.

Oh…and by the way…direct mail is an “opt out” medium rather than an “opt in” medium, just adding to the marketing opportunities.

[For more on that, see #8 in the P.S.]

Meeting your customers where they want to be met is a core tenet of direct marketing.

Whether that is in the least crowded Inbox (the one at the end of your driveway) or the most crowded (the one residing inside your hard drive), it’s about the customer’s choice, not yours.

Allowing the customer to choose blows up the notion that “online beats offline.”

Everything must work together with the customer always top of mind.

Justin asserts this throughout Jurassic Marketing…that direct mail is complementary and effective media…that plays nicely with all other media.

Sure, online marketing is advantageous due to lower media and product costs, no barrier to entry, being easier to launch new products, not having to deal with inventory…and many other reasons.

But none of those are reasons for online marketers to ignore offline channels, specifically direct mail.

Why define yourself by a channel anyway (i.e. as an “online marketer”)?

Why not be a multichannel, direct response marketer, who is open to all channels?

I titled Chapter 3 of my book, “ How paying postage made me a better marketer.”

It was not a lecture on “direct mail or else” …or a recommendation that everyone needs to lead or prospect with direct mail…but more of a suggestion on how to use the past to shape the present…and the future.

That is, applying the discipline it takes to pay for postage (and printing) and still get an acceptable return on investment…to everything being done online today (including email marketing, webinars, video sales letters, advertising on Facebook, etc.).

And Justin and I are of one mind when it comes to incorporating direct mail into your marketing mix…and it is an honor to write this foreword…and to heartily endorse Jurassic Marketing as a go-to manual for this very important and viable medium.

Creating effective marketing is hard work …online or offline…whether you do it yourself, do it with someone at your side/looking over your shoulder…or you want to hire others to do it for you.

He makes the case, as I do, for direct mail being an “AND” and not an “OR” …and a powerful “AND” at that…and one that is much easier to incorporate into your business than you think.

Read this book with that in mind.

And forgive Justin (and me) for embracing our dinosaur tendencies…T Rex (and direct mail) will never become extinct…and that’s great news for you…and us.

-Brian Kurtz, January 2024

Buying Justin’s book here will be the best $4.97 you will ever spend ($.99 on Kindle).

Differentiating your marketing (and your products), and creating your unfair advantage, is…well…as easy as having someone make sushi for you. 🙂



P.S. And here are 8 additional things I thought of off the top of my head on why you should at least consider direct mail in your marketing mix:

1. A new customer originating in direct mail will be more engaged if the execution is done right…and a more engaged customer at acquisition will lead to a higher lifetime value of that customer, even when they “move online” for additional purchases (or to continue the relationship).

2. All creative (and other assets) that are created for successful online promotions can be adapted offline. The best online marketers don’t do anything as a one-off (e.g. a Facebook ad can be adapted to Instagram, a video sales letter can be repurposed to YouTube etc.) …and anything can be converted to a direct mail piece too.

3. The opposite is also true: All the creative produced for direct mail can be used online later…and since you would need to use top copywriters who specialize in direct mail (i.e., one of those “professional sushi makers”), the quality of the copy and offer could be repurposed to beat online controls.

4. If your product line is digital only, direct mail forces you to create physical products for those digital assets. And physical products can then be used in many other ways and in all other media when the need is “product with a higher perceived value.”

5. Direct mail gives you a much better way to sell with trust (i.e., “bill me offers”/no cash or credit card upfront) rather than suspicion (i.e., you don’t get anything until your credit card clears). Not asking for (or requiring) cash or a credit card in the initial offer becomes a selling point, not a liability.

6. Because you can sell with a “soft offer” that lets you ship and then bill, up front response rates can be 10 times the response rate with a “cash offer”…and with advanced credit screening with direct mail (a feature of this medium), to weed out those who are most unlikely to pay, pay up with direct mail will be high enough to earn maximum profit with a minimum of bad debt.

7. “Free” can really mean “free” …and if you have supreme confidence in your offering by keeping your “promotional promises,” after you deliver your product or service there will be way fewer returns, which is the bane of many online marketers.

8. Direct mail is an “opt out” medium rather than an “opt in” medium. If someone is on your “postal list” they are there until they tell you to stop mailing them (as opposed to getting their permission to mail them which is the rule online). That’s not a reason to abuse them with correspondence and promotions that are irrelevant…but if you treat them right, they will be part of your “offline family” forever. Thems the rules. 🙂

P.P.S. If anything in this post has piqued your interest…not necessarily about direct mail but specifically the idea of “O…to O…to O” (using online and offline media within your company), you should consider joining Titans Xcelerator.

My virtual and affordable mastermind is all about the “whats” …what’s out there in terms of online media and offline media…how each one can play nicely with others…distilled and presented only from vetted experts inside the group…and outside the group.

Pros teaching pros.

After identifying the “whats,” we go deep into the “whos” … who can execute on your selected “whats.”

Which leads to the “how” to get it done…and like direct mail (or any other medium or technique), you don’t have to do everything yourself.

It’s all inside Titans Xcelerator.

Please take a look here and join us.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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