There are more opportunities available for direct marketing now than ever before due in large part to technological advances. Traditional methods, such as direct mail, are still going strong even though many thought email and the Internet would kill the mailing industry.

Technology continually changes how we do things, but the project management aspects remain pretty much the same. Following are the main areas of production that you’ll need to be familiar with in order to successfully produce a direct marketing campaign.

Pre-press
You’ll need to learn about the different elements involved with digital media (there isn’t as much film used these days) and how to compose them before sending your advertisement to press.

Printing
Printing is still a staple in the direct marketing industry. Chances are you’ll need to know how to produce many of the following types of ads: direct mail, catalogs, self-mailers, postcards, door hangers, flyers, and coupon packages. In order to control costs it’s important to be well organized and efficient with your use of plate changes.

Lettershop (mailing house)
The lettershop puts all of the elements for a direct package together and delivers it to the post office. They coordinate combining of the mailing list, printed material and the postal aspects. Many of the larger lettershops actually have a USPS mail entry unit on site.

Postal
Postage is one of the biggest costs associated with direct mail. In order to be profitable you’ll need to make sure you’re mailing efficiently and taking advantage of all of the allowable discounts.

Print media
The print media we deal with on this web site has to do with magazines and newspapers. Your designer will take care of most of the issues associated with these two marketing channels. It’s a pretty simple process for the production manager. For the most part, you simply need to get the specifications from the magazine or newspaper and pass them along to the designer.

Internet
Most of the production for Internet related marketing is pretty simple. There really isn’t much to producing a pay-per-click ad, you simply do it on line, and it’s very straightforward. Banner ads, email marketing and web sites are mainly handled by your designer and webmaster and we won’t discuss them very much here.

This web site may touch on some of the following, but the focus will be on the marketing channels listed above.

Radio
Television (infomercials and spot ads)
Billboard and transit ads
Telemarketing
Broadcast faxing

Other articles in the production category on this website will go into more detail about the specifics regarding production for the marketing channels listed here. You’ll find more information regarding print and direct mail than the electronic media.