Impossible Expectations: Why no one marketing channel is King of the Jungle

No one marketing channel is now, or ever will be king of the jungle.  One method may be better than others in any given circumstance, but no one channel will ever be best.  A report that recently went viral on the internet (so it must be true, right?) claimed that email was “king” in a sample of 35,000 prospects.  The data and response rates as referenced in the article follow:

Here are the issues:

1. No mention is made is made of the size of the data set that the 35,000 records were drawn from.  To get a 25% response rate, the respondents were cherry picked from a much larger pool.  How do I know?  Given one client’s data of 650,000 prospects with detailed sales and contact history we can universally pick a slice and get a fantastic response with targeted offers and specific channels.  With realistic constraints (such as not giving each respondent $100 gift card for simply visiting a link) the same cannot be said for 35,000 cold records.  Channel your inner Kirk here:  Not, going, to………

2. How did the firm in question get that many opted-in email leads?  Email is the end game of marketing efforts.  It is almost impossible to exponentially grow an email list from an email campaign, regardless how good the referral spiff is.  For email to be King, something else, such as social media, direct mail, experiential events, paid search, point of sale, or a mix of many methods is required, and usually at substantial cost. Speaking of which…


3. For the ROI calculations in the article to be of any use, the cost of gathering the email opt-ins must be calculated.  Of course, the cost of direct mail is exponentially higher than email as a cost per piece.  To compare the two at face value is pointless.  The recipient of the sales lead, in this case email, must absorb a portion of the cost in generating the address as part of the return on investment calculation.  Throw those figures into the mix, and what happens to that massive ROI advantage claimed by email?

Marketing is a spider web, not a pyramid.  No one channel or strategy will ever be sufficient.  Like your portfolio, a diversified strategy will always be necessary.

Full disclosure: 

James Michelson is Founder of VDP Web® Cross Media Marketing which offers email marketing as part of a well-balanced marketing diet.  The entire article just lambasted can be found here.


1. The Apple App Store now has over 650,000 apps and the Google Play Store has over 600,000 apps

2. IOS users have downloaded over 30 billion apps from the Apple App Store

3. iPhone Developers have received over $5 billion since the launch of the App Store

4. The average IOS developer makes $7,629 per app

5. Mobile app revenue amounted to $8.5 billion in 2011

6. From 2010 to 2011, mobile app use nearly doubled

7. The most common type of mobile apps used are email apps

8. 25% of mobile web users access the internet daily from their mobile phones

9. 79% of the time spent using mobile apps is spent using social media and gaming apps

10. From 2010 to 2011, the number of mobile retail apps increased by 350%

11. In 2011, the average number of apps installed on each smartphone was about 32. In 2012, that number has grown to 41

Iphone-apps-1Graphic from

VDP Web Judges at FFA National Convention and Expo

James Michelson, Founder of JFM Concepts and VDP Web served as a judge at the Future Farmers of America 2012 Marketing Plan contest on Thursday, a part of the FFA Annual Convention held this week in Indianapolis, IN.  The National FFA Convention & Expo is the organization’s premier gathering during which all FFA competitive events and programs are recognized nationally. The event brings FFA members together to learn, be inspired and celebrate their accomplishments in the organization.  More than 55,000 people attend the show annually and it is Indianapolis’s largest convention.

Ffa photo

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education. Today, there are 557,318 FFA members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

New Cross Media Marketing Training Videos for the Holidays

Video training on holiday cross media marketing from JFM Concepts, part of the 2012 VDP Web Webinar Series, has been published.  Join John Fager, Co-Founder and CTO, in a short overview of how you can turn a common branding activity into a powerful lead generation tool by creating customer engagement and a two-way conversation.  Discover proven, practical techniques, tips and advice on how to create campaigns that highlight your firm’s expertise and drive customer engagement to new levels, turning a push communication into a growth opportunity.


View Part 1 hereView Part 2 here.

To explore the entire VDP Web video series, visit our YouTube channel.

Webinar: More Effective Self Promos Offered This Week

VPD Web will be offering a free webinar to clients and newcomers alike this week on Tuesday, July 17 at 1:00 PM EST and on Thursday, the 19th at 4:00 PM EST.  The webinar will address creating effective self-promotions.

Attendees will benefit from learning simple, straight-forward techniques that have successfully generated business growth for our clients and our own organization.

Our valued clients have had great success with creating self-promos and marketing cross media services. Check out the do's and don’ts, and learn why self-promotion is the way into your client's budgets.

When: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:00 PM EST and Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:00 PM EST

Presenter: John Fager, Principal of JFM Concepts, makers of VDP Web Cross Media Marketing Software.

Please signup online as attendance is limited.

New HTML Videos from VDP Web for Cross Media and Mobile

Join John Fager, the tech guru at VDP Web, for a high level, succinct and invaluable look at how to stay out of trouble with web and email for those of us who aren't technology geeks.  This seminar will give even non-technical attendees the confidence to work with cross media campaigns and get the basics on pricing, scope, hours required and common pitfalls.

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VDP Web at Print Solutions 2012 next week!

It is not too late to get in on the action in Baltimore at the Inner Harbor.  VDP Web® will be presenting and exhibiting at the 2012 Print Services Distribution Association’s Print Solutions show in Baltimore June 4-6. Visit to read more about the show and educational seminar.

VDP Web be exhibiting in booth 823. John Fager will also be presenting an educational seminar “Don’t Get Killed by HTML: Winning Cross Media Strategies for Printers & Distributors” on Tuesday, June 5th at 3:30 in the Exhibit Hall Education Theater.

With three days of education and more than 200 expo booths showcasing the latest products and services, the 2012 Print Solutions Conference and Expo is the most important event of the year for professionals who buy print and related marketing services for resale to customers. View the below video and hear other members talk about the value they receive at PSDA meetings and events.

Who Should Attend?
Everyone directly responsible for buying or influencing the purchase of print and related marketing services. Gain contacts, partners and clients if you work for a print distributorship, promotional products distributorship, advertising agency, marketing firm, Design firm, or direct mail firm


New cross media webinar from VDP Web

JFM Concepts, the makers of industry leading cross media marketing package VDP Web, is proud to announce the “How To Bid Cross Media & Effective Sales Strategies” cross media marketing webinar part of the 2012 VDP Cross Media Webinar Series. Join John Fager, Principal of VDP Web® to discuss effective pricing strategies for cross media. Learn how to up-charge and price jobs without the dreaded "scope creep" and maintain a positive cash flow while showing value to your clients.

The webinar will be held twice, once on May 8th at 4:00 Eastern time and once on May 10th at 1:00 Eastern time. Register online at

JFM Concepts is a full service cross media marketing technology firm featuring the VDP Complete® marketing system and VDP Web® Online software as a service. JFM specializes in creating variable data cross media marketing technologies with Personalized URLs, Email, SMS Text, QR Codes, Phone Tracking, Video, QR Codes, and more for commercial printers, agencies, and marketing departments of all sizes. The firm knows that technology development and marketing should come together to document both improved response rates and improved return on investment (ROI).

PSDA's 2012 Print Solutions Conference & Expo Registration Now Open

Registration is now live for the 2012 Print Solutions Conference & Expo taking place June 4 - 6 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Attend and benefit from PSDA's powerful community of distributors,
trade printers and suppliers. You'll leave the conference better informed of emerging trends and with new connections among suppliers, partners and peers.

James Michelson, author of Cross Media Marketing 101: The concise guide to surviving in the C-suite, will be presenting on cross media marketing and the staff from VDP Web will be on hand.