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Many Roads Lead to Leads

Engaging and acquiring customers is no longer as simple as using direct mail.

This story appears in the December 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As someone who writes about marketing for a living, I have to come clean. I hate my mailbox.

For one thing, it's one of those apartment-style slots that fills up in two days, forcing me to impose on neighbors to tend it like a tank of tropical fish while I'm gone. But even more annoying is the stuff that fills the mailbox. Bills, of course, but also the most aggravating collection of direct mail offers and solicitations that I would never in my life succumb to. Whole, thick catalogs from companies vaguely affiliated with vendors I once bought from, years ago. Invites to subscribe to magazines at a "professional discount," and appeals to renew before the subscriptions run out in a mere six months. And offers. (Is anyone still rising to this bait?)

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