Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

History of Direct Mail Part 2

William Penn was the Governor of Pennsylvania, in the 1680s, and thus had personal interest in encouraging immigration to Pennsylvania. His second pamphlet was a letter from him to those interested in relocating, with the added emphasis of a printed map of Pennsylvania, for visualization from afar (a very effective advertising scheme).

Where there is minimal information, there will usually be rumors. And thus there were negative rumors about “Penn’s Woods.” So, to answer these rumors and dispel incorrect information, Penn printed his next pamphlet, in 1687. All printing was done in England, however, as there was not yet a printing press in America.

Again employing clever marketing tactics, Penn printed testimonials about Pennsylvania from famous people of good standing, in the public eye. This was done to ensure that, despite rumors and discrediting against Penn himself, the readers would trust the information coming from individuals they recognized and admired.

Earlierin England, in 1673, a boarding school for women was advertised, using direct advertisement. This marketing plan was effective as it was, in large part, “An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentle-women in Religion, Manners and Tongues.” After building up the importance of the practice, in detail, the pamphlet finished with an advertisement for the boarding school.

A short while later in America, Benjamin Franklin was apprenticed to his stepbrother James, a printer. After his apprenticeship, he left for Philadelphia and another printing shop. In 1732, he developed the first “house organ.” It was “Poor Richard’s Almanac,” a publication that became a household staple and which contained direct advertising.

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