Shake Things Up
May 1, 2003

For Nightingale-Conant, a company that mails on average 15 direct mail efforts per month (in the boom years, that number topped out at 38 packages!), it pays to deviate from the norm on occasion. If you remember the control mailings for Agora's International Living and FC&A's various health books, then you will know that a short, additional letter is inserted into the outer envelope on these efforts, along with a sealed envelope that contains the sales letter, response form, BRE and any inserts. This smaller letter is used to convince recipients to take a look at the contents of the inner envelope package—consider it

Five Ways to Show Empathy in Direct Mail
January 1, 2003

By Peter J. Fogel David Ogilvy has said the headline is the most important part of your sales letter. And he's right. If your headline is doing its job, your prospect is now piqued with interest (realizing what's in it for him) and is now onto the second most important part of your letter, your lead. This is where you have to get him hooked, start hitting his buttons and make this prospect your ally up front, so in the end he will respond to your call to action. One excellent way to accomplish this is with empathy. To practice empathy is

Direct Mail Metamorphosis
January 1, 2003

A Checklist For Adapting Your U.S. Package For Overseas Markets By Lisa Yorgey Lester Your mail piece has a better chance of being opened and read abroad than it does at home; overseas markets receive far less direct mail than the United States. What's more, you may not have to start from scratch. Many U.S. direct marketers have scored big response rates by adapting their domestic control and mailing it abroad. It pays to stick close to winning U.S. creative. "You know it works with your customers," says Walt Terry, senior manager of international business development, circulation, for the National Geographic Society. For

Why I'm Canceling My Subscription
July 1, 2002

By Denny Hatch To: Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., Publisher, The New York Times Dear Mr. Sulzberger: After 50 years of reading The New York Times, I am—with great regret—canceling my subscription. I can no longer justify spending $600 a year. I also subscribe to the print edition of The Wall Street Journal and pay an extra $20 for the online edition to take advantage of the magnificent archive service. I'm about to cancel my WSJ print edition and become a pure online subscriber for $60. For 10 days in February I was at the World Curling Championships in Bismarck, ND, where no

Direct Marketing in the Land of Oz
May 1, 2002

U.S. Direct Marketers Are Finding Success in Australia By Lisa A. Yorgey This year's Oscar race has been called an Australian invasion: Aussies were nominated in every award category. Indeed, this former British penal colony has permeated American pop culture—from Animal Planet's "Crocodile Hunter" to Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge." Interest in the land down under, however, extends beyond the world of entertainment. With a largely English-speaking population of about 23 million and a well-developed list market, Australia is one of the few bright spots in the Pacific Rim for U.S.-based international direct marketers. Direct marketing now represents half of all media spending

Is the Internet Eden or Armageddon? (1,887 words)
September 1, 2000

by Denny Hatch In the place without place, anarchy reigns once worked for a cherubic-faced, hard-drinking publisher named Franklin Watts. "Good morning, Frank," I would say each day. "How are you?" "Happy as a country without a history," he'd respond. How long has it been since the Internet was without a history and considered the new Garden of Eden—a paradise of investor and intellectual euphoria unmatched in the entire spectrum of human endeavor? Less than eight months. Remember the thinking of those heady times? • For investors, here were infinite horizons of obscene profits that turned traditional business models on their ear. "Those who

The ABCs of Testing
September 1, 1998

When it comes down to it, the key element that separates direct marketing from other marketing techniques is the offer. Direct marketing campaigns are meant to sell products and services; a two-step campaign may be needed to explain the offer, but the desired result is a concrete sale. That's why marketers who think they can stuff image advertising into an envelope and generate results tend to lose money on those campaigns. Since you can measure response, you can also determine which offers and mailings work best. When you get an order, you can surmise that something about the way you asked for the

Is It Time to Test a Freemium? (815 words)
April 1, 1998

by Dick Goldsmith They shouldn't do this to me! My mother did it to me when I was little. I'm grown-up now. It shouldn't still be happening. And yet, they still make me feel guilty. Who? The direct marketers, that's who. I didn't ask for all those cards and labels, but I keep using them. So I have to keep sending them money. A freemium is a little something extra in a direct mail package. Its purpose, of course, is to lift response. It does this by involving the reader or giving the reader guilt. It gets its name from the fact that