For almost 10 years, I worked to make one small investment company into a giant that was purchased for over 350 million dollars.
DTN Wall Street, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska launched a new investment product.
The marketing director, Chuck Wood, heard me speak at a conference in Las Vegas. He loved the idea of having accountable advertising, or scientific marketing, which includes:

  • Knowing your cost per lead and sales
  • Targeting
  • Testing to see what works best

The company had just branched out into a new venture from its core agricultural products for farmers to a completely different market – the individual investor. At that time, he had a little over 500 subscribers at $39.95 a month.
As the internet started to take off in the late 1980’s-1990’s, investors could get “delayed” information on individual stocks and the market like never before. They built new technology to deliver it directly to the homes or businesses.
So, before Yahoo, Google Finance, or other services that allowed investors to access data, they created a new product.
The problem with any new launch is communicating the benefits in a powerful way and in this case, justifying the high price to a skeptical audience.
So, I created a marketing plan for:

  • Branding
  • Positioning
  • Direct response copy
  • Creative strategy
  • Media selection

We took them from under 1,000 subscribers to over 150,000 users.
It was an amazing success story. We started off creating display ads. We tested over 200 headlines, and carefully measured carefully every word, every graphic, every offer. And it caused the company to grow drastically.
During this time, we created over 20 TV commercials, testing more than 100 different versions with different scripts, different actors with the same script, a variety of offers and much more.
The first commercials CDMG produced for DTN Wall Street created such a huge response that they had to hire more staff. Our agency was asked to produce more spots and begin extensive testing.
Over 20 successful 60-and 30-second TV commercials for DTN Wall Street were produced.
With a strong value message, one of the most productive spots carried the title “Saving Money.”
It was a simple, straightforward presentation of the savings gained with DTN Wall Street.
“Saving Money” and other commercials for DTN Wall Street that stressed “value” generated far more leads, reducing the average cost per lead by 250% when compared with commercials that strayed from clearly presenting the cost savings and low monthly rate.
DTN Wall Street VP and General Manager Charles R. Wood notes, “CDMG has made a tremendous difference in our direct marketing success.”
Wood went on to write about Craig Huey, CDMG’s President: “With your direction, creative expertise and full service…you’ve taken us to the next level of marketing, which is helping DTN grow and grow.”
We have also created direct mail, email, inserts, and banner ads for DTN.
This marketing success turned an idea into a fortune. They became a public company.
The lessons learned still apply today. Do your marketing right. Test. Use direct response copy. Use multimedia. They could not do it on their own. They relied upon Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc. to bring them up to the powerful professional standards to take them to the next level.
They knew they were too close to their own product to do it themselves.
They knew the value of working with a direct response ad agency team that is extremely focused on their client’s success.
If you would like to talk about how we can create a powerful marketing campaign for your product or service, give me a call at (310)212-5727, or email Caleb at
Here are the rest of this week’s articles:
Response Rate Skyrockets, Thanks to Retromarketing
Copy Tip: Your Headline Must Contain a Benefit to Increase Response
Testing Corner: Little-Known Secrets to Increasing Your Response