Note: Denny Hatch personally responds to all e-mail comments.
Readers respond to “The World’s Greatest Marketer to Kids,” published August 3, 2006 about Frank O. Brock, president of the First Bank of Troy, Idaho.
Can you imagine Frank O. Brock saying “bring your kid into the bank for a dollar and a tour?” Or allowing anyone else to say that for him? Marketing today reflects the fact that we refer to our children as “kids”: fodder for veal cutlets; lambs to be led to shear or slaughter. I’ve heard this story several times over the years but I’ve never heard Brock referred to as a “marketer to kids.” Cheers indeed.
Another winner -- you have the bankers pegged. The local branch of BOA just changed managers. The old one used to take care of us; the new manager is a witch. BOA puts an 11 day hold on all our out of state checks -- even though we have never bounced a check, we never deposited a bad check and we have a business line of credit backed by my home for more than any of the checks we deposit. Holds can tie up $50k at a time so we voted with our feet. Meanwhile we have had to borrow on the line of credit to make payroll while they have been using our money. I’m now writing to Congress to see if they will enact a law preventing banks from using any funds that have a hold on them. One more example of the corrupt leadership now in place in America.
You flatter us all by sharing your wit and wisdom. Today, it seems that grace has disappeared from so many areas of life. I don’t know if it’s the speed and frequency of stimuli, or the lack of metrics. Internet marketing has taken gracelessness to unimaginable heights. Thank you for welcome dispatches. I look forward to reading them all. Warmest best wishes.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your newsletter. The stories are always fascinating and the take away points are to the point and useful. I look forward to receiving your emails. Thank you.
Sometime in the future, I would love to see a collection of your e-newsletter essays in book form. May I suggest something like: “The Best of Denny Hatch, Business Common Sense.”
Readers respond to “The Decline and Fall of Competent Direct Mail: Why Credit Card Mailings Are Bombing, published August 1, 2006.
I thought that this latest newsletter was just great and made the sort of points, illustrated with an interesting and congruent example, that anyone attempting direct mail shots should understand. In this time of e-mails and Spam, I reckon the beauty of receiving a well conceived and executed mailing shot is working even better than ever before. Thanks for an interesting and insightful newsletter … always find it refreshing, relevant and rewarding.
I loved your latest piece on credit-card sales letters. Because it validated what I have been observing. I usually don’t even read credit card letters, but I recently received one that was so bad, I just had to read it, in order to disparage it. As I read down the copy--I can’t bring myself to use the words “sales copy,” since there’s no way it would sell anything except to the most desperate prospects, and these are not the prospects I would want. As I read down the copy, I noticed all the same things you criticized. Even the most basic copywriting techniques would have improved this letter. I threw it in the trash. But I see now I should have kept it. I should have marked it up with a red pen. I should have framed it. But maybe they’ll send me another one…
—J. Timothy King
If you collected bad direct mail rather than concentrating on good direct mail, you would need a warehouse in no time. Save the good stuff—the stuff that keeps working and working. This is marketing gold!
I have been an avid reader of your newsletters and it’s high time I thank you for crafting such content that is both meaningful and refreshing. So many “direct marketing” newsletters make it to my inbox, but yours is the only one that I anticipate and read the second it shows up. The worst are the “internet marketing” emails (and publications) that all seem to run on the premise that a) direct to consumer marketing was just invented, and b) statistics and analytics are the yellow brick road to success and profits.
General Questions about Copywriting
I would like to say that I have been receiving your email newsletter for quite some time now, and when I get your newsletter, I immediately drop whatever I am doing, and read it. I have found that you offer some great advice. I also find myself agreeing with many of your opinions, which says to me we think alike in many ways. I first came to learn about you, quite some time back, when I become a serious student of direct marketing. It seemed like your name came up over and over in my studies. I have read two of your books, and I am now reading and studying your sales letter book. I have found that your style of writing is exactly the type of style I aspire to emulate. I’ve come to the conclusion, that there is probably no other person in this world with more experience than you, when it comes to direct mail. With that in mind, I’d like to ask for your advice…
I’m a young guy (25) that has been launching little businesses since I in 10th grade. Along the way, I came to realize that marketing (actually Direct Marketing) is probably the most important skill I can hone and perfect to raise my chances of success in any business endeavor I participate in. Along the way, I think I’ve come to realize that within Direct Marketing, the skill that I should study the most is Copywriting. Now I have two questions for you…
#1. Do you think that copywriting (especially long form sales letter copy) should be one of my top priorities and focuses in my study? I currently allocate 2 hours per day to the study of marketing. I split this time up between reading, analyzing sales letters, and this does not include the 10 hours a week of audio that I listen to. I also manage to read about 2 to 3 books per week, or a total of about 700 pages. There is so much to learn, I’m somewhat overwhelmed, and would value your input highly, as I’m sure a man of your experience and wisdom could offer some great advice.
Here’s my last question for you… Just like you are aware of the person that marketed to kids the best, perhaps you are aware of a person that is a master at writing copy that sell to women. In the course of doing business, I have come to realize, that most of the products I sell, are bought by women. With that in mind, are there are any resources you recommend for me to really be able to figure out what the sales triggers are when writing copy to women? Should I not even bother? Should I outsource my copywriting to a woman copywriter, with the assumption that a man will never quite be able to talk on their level?
I’d like to hear your advice on these two questions. If you do not reply, I’ll understand, as I’m sure you are quite a busy guy with a lot of demand on your time. But if you do reply, I will take your advice seriously and will devote a lot of my time to studying the resources that you recommend, as I value your input. Thank you for your time.
>>#1. Do you think that copywriting (especially long form sales letter copy) should be one of my top p