Denny’s Daily Zinger: A Junk Mail Letter So Real It’s a Lie.
Click to enlarge this illustration of fake handwriting.
Click to enlarge this illustration of fake handwriting, as seen at the Bridge Conference.
Peggy and I attended the wonderful Bridge Conference sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington.
One of the exhibitors was RST Marketing, Forest, Va.
A machine was cranking out endless "handwritten" letters with "hand-addressed" envelopes.
[See Illustration No. 1 in the media player at upper right.]
With RST, you can create a barrage of letters that appear to have been individually typed into a computer and then printed out.
The stopper: handwritten margin notes and a personalized P.S. in the same handwriting as the signature.
This technology is uncanny.
Takeaways to Consider
"The most important word in direct copy is not 'you'—as many of the textbooks would have it—but 'I,' " freelancer Richard Armstrong wrote to me. "What makes a letter seem 'personal' is not seeing your own name printed dozens of times across the page, or even being battered to death with a never ending attack of 'you's. It is, rather, the sense that one gets of being in the presence of the writer … that a real person sat down and wrote you a real letter."
In all direct mail, the reader knows junk mail letters are mass-produced by a computer.
But as the great freelancer Bill Jayme said, "In the marketplace, as in theater, there is indeed a factor at work called 'the willing suspension of disbelief.' "
With the RST technology, no suspension of disbelief is required.
Could the experts on "Antiques Road Show" spot one of these letters as a forgery?
Which, of course, it is.
Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Wes [Wesley Murph, The Marketing Maniac] writes, "I was just dropping you a line to let you know that I totally 'dig' your new book. I haven't gotten through it all. But what I have read, I love. In particular, I really enjoy your style. You call a spade a spade. And what's cool is nine times out of 10 you're dead on the money. Keep up the great work!" Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org.