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Never Start With an Outline or a Title

This applies to all writing: letter, memo, whitepaper, special report, blog, business plan or full-length book

March 25, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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For the first 25 years of my career I was a writer—publicity releases, sales letters, memos, business plans, budgets and advertising copy.

Becoming Entrepreneurs
In 1984 my wife Peggy and I gambled $10,000 to create a dry test mailing—an offer to the direct mail community for a non-existent monthly newsletter. The title: WHO'S MAILING WHAT! The test was successful and the roll-out brought in enough money to get up and running.

Within a couple of years, I was the country's foremost authority on junk mail. I wasn't a wizard or particularly smart. I happened to be the only guy collecting, analyzing, archiving and writing about the stuff.

Our system was a revolutionary method analyzing for discovering which direct mail was successful. For the first time, marketers could get their hands on the great controls, study the competition and "steal smart."

The Who's Mailing What! Archive and measuring system are very much in business today—30 years later.

A Career Change
For the first time in my life, I was a regular writer of articles.

Contrary to what many English teachers, copy chiefs and writing coaches suggest, I never, ever start with an outline.

In fact, any time I tried to make an outline of what I was going to write, I was hit with a serious case of writer's gastric block—an intellectual and emotional backup from my brain to my innards.

Quite simply, if a writer hasn't researched a thing it's impossible to create an outline of what's going to be said and in what order.

Becoming a Magazine Editor
In 1992, Peggy and I sold our little business to North American Publishing Company. Suddenly I was not only writing articles, but also I was running Target Marketing magazine with editors and writers reporting to me. I had just three pieces of advice for them:

1. Don't fake anything. Target Marketing magazine and WHO'S MAILING WHAT! are trade publications, I told them. You are experts writing for experts. It doesn't matter how complicated the story may be—the business model, the execution or the marketing techniques. You must grasp it so well you can explain it to your grandmother. If you run into something you don't understand, keep asking questions until everything falls into place. Never fake it.

 
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FROM THE BOOKSTORE

PDF FORMAT

<i>"Despite news to the contrary — especially from the social media space — reports of the death of email are greatly exaggerated. In fact, as your inboxes most likely show, email is growing and becoming even more sophisticated."</i> -- from <i>The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing</i> 

It's true. Email marketing is still going strong, and continues to be one of the most important factors in any marketing campaign. 

From the first six months of 2010 to the first six months of 2011 alone, there was a nearly 21 percent increase in email volume! The average number of emails received per day in the first six months of 2010 was 472, and during the first six months of 2011, the daily average increased to 571. Marketers are having success with their email campaigns and using it more and more.

That being the case, your email marketing campaign needs all the attention it can get, and knowing what works and what doesn't is the best way to start. That's where "The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing" comes in. 

The Guide is brought to you by the email marketing experts at DMIQ and their extensive research into one of the largest email campaign archives in the industry. On top of latest trends, it features 19 best practice chapters from today's email marketing thought leaders. You will learn how to create a relevant email program to nurture leads and drive sales, how to best use call-to-action visuals in your emails, and how to use social email to improve marketing effectiveness.

You’ll also learn:

•	Email Marketing Trends in 2011
•	Best Practices in Writing Subject Lines
•	The Strategy (and Tricks) for Improving Open Rate and Response
•	6 Tests to Improve Email Program Results
•	5 Best Practices for the Gangbusting Email Campaign
•	Best Practices for Improving Email Performance
•	6 Ways to Make Your Emails Mobile-Ready
•	Email Branding — The 16 Most Effective Strategies
•	11 Best Creative Practices for B-to-B Email Marketing
•	The Keys to Developing a Successful E-newsletter
•	How to Determine Your Customers’ Email Content Tolerance
•	How Email Marketers Can Optimize the Social Media Opportunity
•	…Just to name a few!

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<u>About DirectMarketingIQ</u>
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the go-to resource for direct marketers. Publishing books, special reports, case study stockpiles and how-to guides, it opens up a new world for those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data - including the world's most complete library of direct mail as well as a growing library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories - and proudly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, which is in PDF format. The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

PDF FORMAT "Despite news to the contrary — especially from the social media space — reports of the death of email are greatly exaggerated. In fact, as your inboxes most likely show, email is growing and becoming even more sophisticated." -- from The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing It's true....

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(PDF Download)

Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars.  

<b>In <i>"The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising" </i> from DirectMarketingIQ, the roadmap to that "perfectly integrated mix" is thoroughly laid out in over 130 pages -- <u>it's specifically created (and priced) for nonprofits</u>. </b>
  
First, 9 chapters from leading fundraisers give you the latest best practices in multichannel fundraising, including how to:  

• Choose the right channels for your campaign 
• Develop creative that works across multiple channels 
• Revitalize the direct mail component of your multichannel mix 
• Make sure email plays its increasingly important role perfectly 
• Seamlessly integrate mobile marketing into the fundraising campaign 
• Boost your online strategy with social media 
• Create a multichannel donor renewal campaign 
• Figure out that you're doing right — via testing and results measurement 
• Use all the pieces of the multichannel puzzle  

Second, in 8 robust case studies, find out the secrets behind multichannel fundraising campaigns that worked.

About DirectMarketingIQ
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the marketers’ go-to resource. Publishing books, special reports, case studies and how-to-guides, it opens up a new world to those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data – including the world’s most complete library of direct mail as well as a massive library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories – and producly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

<b>Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read , The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising which is in PDF format.</b> The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising

(PDF Download) Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars....

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