Marketing as having two foundation stones. The first is brand marketing: developing strategies and messages that build value for our product or service by influencing the way people think and feel about them. The second foundation stone occurs when we ask for the order by presenting and discussing a price. That’s the “direct” part of the marketing equation.

The direct marketing aspect of any strategy can use a variety of channels to connect with the target customer, including direct TV, direct mail, email with an offer, and even radio. But direct marketing, especially direct mail, will always fail if we forget those ever-important basics that promote success.

Here are the three rules about developing successful direct-marketing campaigns:

Rule one: 40% of your effort should be focused on your list’s quality and ability to reach prospects.

Rule two: 40% should focus on your offer: is it compelling enough to make the recipient take action? Would you respond to your own offer?

And rule three: the final 20% of your effort should go into creative. Is your message simple enough and focused enough to communicate the offer quickly?

Those three components are essential to developing any direct marketing effort.

But today, there’s also a fourth rule: make the Internet one of your response channels. Your call to action should encourage people to respond via the web so you can better track response rates in real time.

How are you integrating print and digital? Let’s discuss it in the comments?