The Wall Street Journal

Making E-correspondence and Websites Readable
July 12, 2005

Serif or Sans Serif Font--Which to Use? Could I please make a suggestion? Your newsletter uses the "Times" font for body text, and in an email on a computer screen it is very hard to read. Could I get you to consider using a font that was designed for screen readability and is generally considered the most readable font for screen, Verdana? If not Verdana, at least a sans-serif font? If you do, I know I for one will be much more apt to read your newsletter. Thanks in advance. --Mike Schinkel President; Xtras, Inc. June 23, 2005 I try to answer every

The Dissing of Deep Throat
June 7, 2005

The Appalling Management Style of Presidents When the Vanity Fair story broke last week that Mark Felt was the legendary "Deep Throat" character that fueled The Washington Post's investigation into the Watergate scandal, I watched Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein interviewed the next day by Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show. A remark by Bernstein floored me: "We had no idea of his motivations, and even now come of his motivations are unclear." Could Bernstein be serious? Here was one of two guys who knew more about Watergate than anyone in the world and he showed himself to have the sensitivity of a

Blockbuster Direct Mail 2004 Axel Andersson Grand Controls
April 1, 2005

The following is the full list of Grand Controls identified by the Who's Mailing What! Archive as having been mailed for three years or more during the past decade (1995-2004). For more information on any of these mailings, contact Archive Director Paul Bobnak, at (215) 238-5225. Or, to order access to the entire direct mail library of mailings received by the Archive between 1994 and the present, visit www.whosmailingwhat.com. AARP Membership Registration Archive Code: 571AMASRP0604Z AARP Membership Card Archive Code: 571AMASRP0397A AARP Certificate of Admission Archive Code: 573AMASRP1095AZ Advertising Age Year/$69.95 Archive Code: 205ADAGEM0799Z Air & Space 5 + 1

The Chumps Are Smartening Up
March 1, 2005

By Denny Hatch "You can't cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump." —W.C. Fields In many American upmarket suburbs there's an unwritten agreement among realtors that homes for sale or rent will not be shown or offered to minority families. This is a form of discrimination called redlining. In point of fact, all successful direct marketing is based on redlining—not offering a product or service to undesirable prospects and customers. Examples: Premium bandits. This is consultant Bob Doscher's term for chiselers who join book and record clubs, or subscribe to magazines, to collect

Your Signature is Your Handshake
February 1, 2005

By Denny Hatch Many years ago, freelancer Malcolm Decker wrote a major analysis of the direct mail package for my newsletter, Who's Mailing What! (now Inside Direct Mail). Decker likened direct mail to a sales team, with the envelope knocking on the door, the letter being the main salesman and the brochure acting as the demonstrator—a third member of the team who sits nearby and points to photos, graphs, charts, and illustrations and says, in effect, "See, everything the main salesmen (the letter) says is true." Decker wrote, "Be sure the right person signs the letters." Some time ago, two investors' newsletters—Advance Planning Letter

The Current State of Snail Mail
January 1, 2005

By Denny Hatch I despise the term "snail mail." It is a pejorative that denigrates all hand-carried mail—Standard, First Class and Parcel Post—as well as the dedicated men and women who deliver it. It is a far more offensive term than "junk mail." My entire reputation was built on direct mail, the result of my wife and I starting WHO'S MAILING WHAT!—a newsletter (now called Inside Direct Mail) based on my archive of tens of thousands of direct mail samples. In the Oct. 26, 2004 Wall Street Journal, staff reporter Avery Johnson wrote a story titled, "Cheap-Tickets Sites Try New Tactics." From the story:

Direct Marketer of the Year: Beth O’Rorke, COO and Vice President, The Economist
October 1, 2004

Playing by the old rules—and winning big. In 1981, Beth O’Rorke had been out of work for three months after spending a year as circulation manager for a start-up magazine called Prime Time, which had run out of money. Robert Cohn of the PDC circulation modeling consultancy steered O’Rorke to The Economist, a British magazine that needed someone to take charge of its direct mail, which she could do in her sleep. On her way to the interview with circulation director Peter Kennedy, O’Rorke bought a copy of the publication at a 42nd Street newsstand and blinked in disbelief. Here was a skinny little

Famous Last Words: A Business Proposal -- WIPCO
October 1, 2004

A great tragedy of modern business was to allow the World Wide Web to become advertising-drive rather than information-driven. Users should pay for the incredibly valuable information and entertainment it provides. I receive The Wall Street Journal in hard copy daily. As a result, I am eligible to get the publication online for $39 a year. Included in that subscription is access to the Dow Jones-Reuters-Factiva archive—a monumental collection of data going back 10 years from a thousand media sources in 118 countries and 22 languages. Type in a subject, and Factiva gives you dozens of articles—the publications in which they appeared, the date,

Famous Last Words: Falling on Deaf Eyes
July 1, 2004

I read seven newspapers a day. Two of them—The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal—are consumed in hard copy over coffee in the early morning. The other five—The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post—are scanned on the Internet along with regular visits to AOL’s news page and Matt Drudge’s deliciously scurrilous Web site (www.drudgereport.com). One morning, when things were going particularly badly in Iraq and former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, I saw a Web ad for John Kerry in The Times and sent him $500 charged to my American Express

Editor’s Notes: Not-so-secret Discounts
January 1, 2004

The spirit of sharing was alive and well this past holiday season, but not in the way some marketers might have expected. Retailers often reward their employees with “friends-and-family” discount promotions meant to bring in a little more business and allow employees to help their loved ones do their holiday shopping. But as companies extend these discounts to online and phone orders via promotion codes that don’t require the remittance of a paper coupon, the far-reaching hand of e-mail has turned these efforts into friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend discounts. In a Dec. 3 article in The Wall Street Journal (“The Discounts You Aren’t Meant to Have”), reporter