Take Our Quiz: The History of Direct Mail




September 1, 2014

Think you're a direct mail expert? Test your knowledge of direct mail history with our quick quiz. [Spoiler alert: Answers are at the bottom!] Let us know how you did in the comments!

1.) Which founding father was a printer AND the first Postmaster General of the United States?

  1. John Hancock
  2. Benjamin Franklin
  3. Samuel Adams
  4. Thomas Jefferson

2.) In 1967, this marketing pioneer identified, named, and defined the term "direct marketing."

  1. David Ogilvy
  2. John Caples
  3. Mary Kay Ash
  4. Lester Wunderman

3.) Who is considered the inventor of mail order processes and direct marketing?

  1. Aaron Montgomery Ward
  2. Richard Warren Sears
  3. James Cash Penney
  4. Rowland Hussey Macy

4.) In the 18th century, catalogs were distributed in the American colonies even before the Revolutionary War. What type of products did these catalog mailings promote?

  1. Textiles and millinery
  2. Cabinetmaking
  3. Garden and seed
  4. Farm equipment

5.) ZIP codes have been used by the United States Postal Service since 1963. What does “ZIP” stand for?

  1. Zone Improvement Plan
  2. Zone Increase Plan
  3. Zealous In Postal
  4. Nothing, it refers to how the codes increased efficiency for speedy mail delivery

Marketing Trivia Answers

  1. (B) Benjamin Franklin.He was appointed the first Postmaster General of the United States in 1775. See more postal history on the USPS site.
  2. (D) Lester Wunderman. He's considered to be the father of contemporary direct marketing. Other claims to fame include the creation of the toll-free 1-800 number and numerous loyalty marketing programs including the Columbia Record Club, the magazine subscription card, and the American Express Customer Rewards program. Learn about more marketing legends.
  3. (A) Aaron Montgomery Ward.In 1872, he created his Montegomery Ward mail order business, launching with a one-page catalog. He is considered the inventor of mail order processes and direct marketing.
  4. (C) Garden and seed.In the 18th century, garden and seed catalogs were distributed in the American colonies before the Revolutionary War – so catalog mailings predate even the United States as a country! (source)
  5. (A) Zone Improvement Plan.Simultaneously with the introduction of the ZIP code, two-letter state abbreviations were introduced.

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