DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help

Direct Marketing Institute

Sharpen your skills, expand your expertise and update your knowledge in all facets of marketing.

February 12 - 14, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
San Francisco, CA
March 12 - 14, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
New York, NY
April 9 - 11, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
Chicago, IL
May 9 - 11, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
San Francisco, CA
June 4 - 6, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
New York, NY
July 11 - 13, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
Chicago, IL
August 1 - 3, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
San Francisco, CA
September 19 - 21, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
New York, NY
October 24 - 26, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
San Francisco, CA
November 7 - 9, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
Chicago, IL
December 3 - 5, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm
New York, NY


Whether you’re a beginner in the direct marketing world or a seasoned professional looking to be brought up to date on the latest techniques and technology, the three-day Direct Marketing Institute is for you. This seminar will cover the core areas of each marketing channel, from offers and propositions to copywriting and design—across digital, direct, and integrated marketing—all with detailed examples and step-by-step tactics. You’ll come away with a firm grasp of direct marketing’s best practices and the practical strategies needed to implement them.


  • Introduction/Essentials of Direct Marketing Campaign Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • The Direct Mail Package
  • Audience Targeting & Relationship Marketing
  • Graphics & Design
  • Offers and Propositions
  • Proven Creative Platforms
  • Evaluating and Strengthening Your Copy
  • Research & Testing
  • How to Achieve Multichannel Marketing Campaign Success
  • Print & Online Catalog Marketing Guidelines

Want a Certification?

  • The Gold Standard, DCMP Certification equips you with over 30 hours of leading marketing training and provides you with the tools you need to advance your marketing know-how. Attending Direct Marketing Institute gets you over half way there.
    Learn More

About The Instructor

Beth Smith
Elizabeth B. Smith co-founded Smith Browning Direct in 1987 as a consulting firm specializing in direct marketing strategic planning for commercial and non-p... Read More »
Ashleigh Sawdon
A 30+ year direct marketing professional, Ashleigh has been part of the senior management teams at major agencies and database marketing firms, orchestrating... Read More »

Course Pricing

  • dollar Member - $1,199
  • dollar Non-Member - $1,999

Early Bird Discount! Register up to 8 weeks prior to the start date for 20% off the above rates. Price reflected at checkout.

See DMA Member Benefits »

Course Duration

  • 3 days

Day 1: 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Introduction/Essentials of Direct Marketing Campaign Management

  • How to master direct marketing’s 8 Cardinal Principles for Success
  • Why general advertising techniques fail in direct marketing
  • Examples of International ECHOTM Award-winning campaigns
  • Making it easy to respond: PURLs, QR codes, mobile landing pages, and more
  • Critical issues of ROI and lifetime value of a customer
  • Key direct marketing analysis measures
  • How to make campaign integration successful

Digital Marketing

  • Key online marketing pressure points
  • Search secrets and the role of social media
  • SEO and SEM integration
  • How to get and keep email registrations
  • How to avoid the most common email failures
  • Top tips to improve click through rates
  • Key elements that determine the success of your website
  • Proven strategies to convert your website visitors to customers
  • How to avoid mobile marketing pitfalls

The Direct Mail Package

  • How to make direct mail work in a digital world
  • Differences between business and consumer mail
  • When to use a self-mailer vs. envelope package
  • How to prevent your mail from ending up in the trash unopened
  • What formats get the best response?
  • How to get your envelopes opened
  • Effect of personalization on response
  • How to strengthen inserts and get results

Day 2: 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Audience Targeting and Relationship Marketing

  • New list building strategies: online ad retargeting, social sign-in, and more
  • How to get the right mailing list for acquisition
  • What to know about choosing mail and email lists
  • Important audience selection characteristics that can lift your response
  • Sources of list information
  • List hygiene and how to improve deliverability
  • Database marketing and market segmentation
  • Word-of-mouth marketing and making the right decision on social media

Graphics and Design

  • How people view websites, email, brochures, and catalogs
  • What typography and layout choices impact comprehension and results
  • How to improve response by improving readability
  • Ensuring your creative works on mobile platforms

Offers and Propositions

  • Creating irresistible offers to melt away inertia
  • How to effectively use an incentive
  • Proven offers that increase response, increase average order value, and retain customers
  • ROI secrets for using sweepstakes, premiums, freemiums, discounts, free trial, and more

Proven Creative Platforms

  • Understand what triggers response
  • Direct response copywriting vs. general advertising – don’t get caught in the trap
  • Guidelines on writing strong copy for email, search, banner ads, and mail
  • Translating features into benefits
  • Class project

Day 3: 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Evaluating and Strengthening Your Copy

  • How to prevent prospects from ignoring your offer
  • What to look for when you critique
  • Why most copy fails
  • How to close the sale

Research and Testing

  • Why do you need both?
  • 3 things research tells you that testing can’t
  • 4 ways direct marketers use research
  • When to use quantitative vs. qualitative research
  • What you should know about focus groups
  • What you should know about internet research and social media listening
  • How to ensure statistically valid results
  • How to get an accurate test and test for less

How to Achieve Multichannel Marketing Campaign Success

  • Multichannel integration, synergy, and budget allocation
  • Key media combinations that deliver the greatest results
  • How to allocate your media budget
  • Key media overview – top social media guidelines, digital and print display ads, and DRTV

Print and Online Catalog Marketing Guidelines

  • Basics of successful catalog marketing: image, ease of use, helping the customer shop, taking advantage of hot spots, organizing your merchandise, up-selling, evaluating results
  • Examples of market leaders’ in print and online strategies

Are you just dying to attend one of DMA’s Education seminars this year, but you’re not sure how to convince your boss to let you attend? Try one of these approaches.

  • “I know budgets are tight, but this is an opportunity that pays for itself instantly. A single tip from any of the DMA seminar could pay for the costs of the whole training. I’ll be learning secrets from practicing experts and industry thought leaders.”
  • “I’ll become more proficient in industry best practices, as well as on the latest tactics and technologies in today’s ever‐evolving marketing landscape. From direct mail to data governance, social media to email marketing; the DMA has all of our needs covered.”

I can share what I learned after the seminar; maybe host a brown‐bag working lunch and present the team with all the new techniques, strategies, and ideas I’ll come back with. Combining my own notes and ideas with the session handouts provided by the DMA, I’ll have plenty of inspiration and information to share when I return. Besides… this’ll allow everyone to get trained all for the price of sending just one person; and the team will definitely appreciate the opportunity to find out about the latest strategies used by many of our competitors today.

Still presenting itself as a hard sell? Inform your boss that your course can go on their accomplishments at the end of the year for their review: “Trained staff to improve results!” This is a win/win.

Quotes & Testimonials
  • Beth is so up to date on what really works and what doesn't, and does an incredible job of tying real world examples and results into her points. While there will be review for everyone in sections here dependent on experience, the rich detail and specifics deliver real value for all sorts of direct marketers.
    - John Hale, Senior Manager - Relationship Marketing, Microsoft
  • This was amazing! I've never been in a workshop so relative to what I do on a day-to-day basis. Very helpful! I will leave NY with a better outlook on my career.
    - Karen Langford, Brookdale Senior Living
  • DMA really helped me get familiar with the way my role matters and how it influences the rest of the business world. Being stuck happens too often when there is so much to do - this experience has refreshed my prospect as a professional in the digital marketing universe.
    - Alex Tejera, Associate Manager - Email Marketing, RCI Exchange

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