Don’t Call it a Comeback

mailboxHere’s an encouraging article from Politico — An Unlikely Survivor in the Digital Age: Direct Mail. It’s good news about how direct mail advertising is holding its own…

Its obituary has been written over and over, but the political direct mail industry isn’t just still alive; it’s thriving.

In an era of highly targeted digital and TV advertising, political campaigns are still banking on an old-fashioned, mundane routine: Voters picking up their mail and leafing through it as they walk from their mailboxes to kitchen trash cans.

Campaigns, party committees and outside groups have spent at least $150 million on direct mail so far in the 2014 election cycle, according to a POLITICO review of Federal Election Commission reports and data compiled by CQ Moneyline. That total is just a snapshot, based only on expenditures that were categorized as a variation of “direct mail” or “mailer” and includes some postage and printing costs. Meanwhile, expenditures categorized as “digital,” “online,” “web” and “email” together totaled about $70 million.

Posted in Print Advertising

Leadership Journal Live

2014, so far, has brought many important and exciting opportunities to our ministry. One such is Leadership Journal‘s event series, LJ Live. Under the banner “Redeeming Work,” these six gatherings explore “the latest research and biblical scholarship on faith and work, and how to recapture a theology of vocation in today’s church.”

Each event is designed “to renew and fulfill our calling to the called,” in other words, to carry on the mission LJ has stewarded for decades: helping pastors shepherd better—in this case, focusing on their parishioners’ individual callings.

The series kicked off in March in Chicago at a glass-blowing studio. June saw the second event held in the Twin cities at Art House North. Next on the list are Denver in September, LA in fall of 2015, Pittsburgh in spring 2015, and one city TBA.

Check out the links above as well as here and here for further coverage of the events.

Contact us if your organization might be interested in sponsoring and participating in future events.

Andie Roeder Moody executes marketing and communications projects for the advertising department and oversees Christianity Today’s e-newsletters.

Posted in Advertising Tips

The Ultimate Question

Survey“Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company wrote a book in 2006 called The Ultimate Question. He and his colleagues did many years of market research, interviewing customers in a variety of ways to determine methods to increase customer satisfaction.

After several years of research with many thousands of customers, he concluded that the most important question, the one question that distilled all the other answers to all the other surveys, was this: would you recommend us to others?

They then instituted a one-to-ten survey. They would ask customers, “On a scale of one to ten, how strongly do you feel about recommending us to others?”

What Reichheld and his associates discovered was that 85% of their new business came from people who answered this question with a nine or ten on the scale.”

-From The Way to Wealth Part 1 by Brian Tracy

I have been with Christianity Today 15 years. As I write this blog today, I am extremely grateful for several things. I am so thankful for our increasing number of readers and impressions across our many different media platforms. I am grateful for our editorial team, that continues to produce content that honors God and stimulates Christians to influence our culture for Christ’s sake, and I am also so thankful for such a consistent large number of organizations, including publishers, higher education schools, non-profits, and more, who have been such faithful advertisers with our company for so many years.

We’re so thankful for those loyal customers—the type who’d be willing to recommend us. We strive to be worthy of that recommendation—to connect our clients to trustworthy resources and offer the very best in customer support. And it’s our hope that your advertising with us would reciprocate the same kind of loyalty in your customers, building your brand among our immense—and constantly growing—audience.

Walter is a veteran sales manager with a knack for finding win-win solutions.


Posted in Advertising Tips

Nominate a Book for the 2015 Christianity Today Book Awards

CT Book Awards

Each year Christianity Today honors outstanding books of special interest to the Christian community. In the January/February 2015 issue, CT will feature the best books published between November 1, 2013 and October 31, 2014. Awards will be divided into the following categories according to subject and genre:

  • Apologetics/Evangelism
  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Living
  • Christianity and Culture
  • The Church/Pastoral Leadership
  • Fiction
  • History
  • Missions/Global Affairs
  • Spirituality
  • Theology/Ethics

CT is looking for both scholarly and trade works. A diverse panel of scholars, pastors, and other informed readers will evaluate the books. Publishers wishing to nominate books for the awards can find detailed information on the CT website. The deadline for nomination submissions is Friday, August 8, 2014.

Posted in Company News

Design 101: Editing and Simplifying

This is the first in a monthly, on-going series that looks at the fundamentals of good design.

Mark Twain once wrote: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” While Twain was referring to the art of writing, this adage applies to all creative endeavors–especially marketing design. Making something look “simple” is much harder than making it appear “complex.” It takes a lot more time and energy to remove material than to add it (just ask any dieter).

So is simplicity worth the extra effort? The answer— least when it comes to marketing design—is a resounding yes.

The benefits of (design) simplicity:

  • The message is easier to understand through the removal of extraneous “noise & clutter”
  • It forces the viewer to focus on what’s most important
  • Generally more aesthetically pleasing to the brain
  • Tends to be regarded as more “sophisticated”

The human brain is by its very nature a simplifying machine. It’s great at taking complex input and abstracting it down to its essential bits in order to glean meaning. A simple design will do all the hard work for the brain, leaving it to more easily absorb the meaning without the ambiguity and potential for confusion.

But enough of my extraneous gibber-jabber. Let’s look at a real world “before” and “after” example that illustrates the point much more effectively…


As you can see, removing a lot of the excess information has made this ad easier to read and comprehend. The goal here is not to inform the customer of every single thing a company has to offer, but to urge them to further action. Should the reader want more details, they can always visit the company’s website.

Finally, here are some great examples of effective, simplified design…




Michael Chuchvara, our team’s graphic designer, is our creative genius, designing eye-catching flyers, inserts, and e-blasts.

Posted in Advertising Tips

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