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Denny's Daily Zinger: 1 Postcard. 7 Basic Rules Broken.

July 30, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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As founders and proprietors of the WHO'S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and massive archive of junk mail, Peggy and I spent years tracking and analyzing winning packages.

Our only object: To show and describe what works—and why—and the basic rules for success.

I now believe the only thing to make creatives see the light is to rub their noses in obvious crap.

So here goes. See the postcard in the media player at right.

The Seven Rules This Postcard Breaks:

  1. "Avoid the 'hard-to-grasp' headline—the headline that requires thought and is not clear at first glance." —John Caples.
  2. "The headline selects the reader." —Axel Andersson
  3. Vapid, cliché-ridden copy e.g.:
    From content that explores preservation
    through different lenses to live-streaming
    events PastForward pushes the frontiers

    of preservation.
  4. "Use serif type in body copy, not sans serif type; it's more readable and will bring a better response." —Craig Huey
  5. Never set your copy in reverse (white type on a black background) and never set it over a gray or colored tint. The old school of art directors believed that these devices forced people to read the copy; we now know that they make reading physically impossible. —David Ogilvy
  6. The word "you" is nowhere to be found.
  7. "Type smaller than 9-point is difficult for most people to read." —David Ogilvy

(Note: The order information is white copy in 8-point sans serif type reversed out of a gray background.)

Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Basia Christ writes, "I read the book in two days ... I couldn't put it down! It is fun reading filled with resources, anecdotes, and although I have an MBA in Marketing, I learned much more from your book than many of my classes." 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 dennyhatch@yahoo.com.
 
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