Time Inc.

Flush Out the Tire-Kickers (990 words)
January 1, 2001

by Russel Kern My client was grousing. "It isn't fair to call our inquirers liars, but they don't tell us much about themselves. Our salespeople say these inquirers are not qualified, so they must be lying." I replied: "It isn't that inquirers are lying about their needs. They just don't feel compelled to tell you the truth. Maybe you haven't asked your questions the right way." There are five sure-fire ways to get people to share their buying intentions. If you use these procedures to get people to reveal themselves, your marketing efforts will be fruitful, salespeople will love you, and your prospects will

Jayme & Ratalahti - Creative Team of the Century (3,454 words)
October 1, 2000

by Denny Hatch If any organization has put a stamp on modern direct mail, it's not the U.S.Postal Service, but rather the recently retired, two-man creative team of Pittsburgh-born freelance copywriter Bill Jayme and Finnish designer Heikki Ratalahti. In a four-decade partnership, their stylish direct mail solicitations launched some three dozen magazines including New York, Smithsonian, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Air & Space, Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street, Worth, Saveur, Tufts Nutrition Letter, Mother Jones and the Harvard Medical School Health Letter. In their heyday, Jayme-Ratalahti had a five-month queue of publishers and circulation managers, hats in hand, ready to pony

A Format for Every Message (1,036 words)
September 1, 2000

by Hallie Mummert Everybody knows that, excluding the more fixed components of audience and product, it's the offer that drives response in a direct mail campaign. But how you present that offer is crucial to getting prospects and customers to respond, by making a purchase, sending for more information, filling out a survey, etc. For this reason, formats and offers must work hand in hand to provide the right level of information and promotion to motivate people. Review the following round-up of formats—some old, some new—to see if any of them might work for your next offer. And of course, as always, test! The

Insurance Marketing - Changing Focus (1,584 words)
February 1, 2000

by Don Jackson The date: Nov. 10, 1999. The time: 16:52 Eastern Standard Time. The headline: "Allstate Announces New Business Approach Including Direct and Internet Sales." Now in the world of insurance marketing, and insurance direct marketing specifically, this qualifies as a momentous strategic initiative. After all, Allstate Corp. is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurance company. With the exception of State Farm Mutual Insurance Co., it writes more property and casualty (P&C) business than any other company in the United States. Allstate is number two, and apparently it is going to "try harder." "Try harder" to capture an increased

Granta's Grand Control (1,483 words)
December 1, 1999

Ever since I bought the Granta issue called "Krauts!" the journal has had a special place in my heart. I was studying German around the time of the Reunification, and found that the blend of articles by top authors Granta published as a "group portrait" perfectly captured the strange truth about German culture in search of itself. The outright audacity of the issue title "Krauts!" is in sync with the equally daring approach taken in Granta's 14-year control mailing, "Throw Away This Envelope" (see below right.) Inside, the editor's letter reveals that this explosive reverse psychology is actually a trick playing on (a)

Credit and Collections Issues for Bill-Me Offers (2,137 words)
December 1, 1999

The near-ubiquity of credit cards in the United States has lightened the burden of collection for non-financial-service direct marketers. The exception: Those who make bill-me offers are still at risk. This means that any marketer that ships merchandise before receiving payment—book clubs, music clubs, magazine publishers, collectible marketers and continuity clubs, including a burgeoning field of coffee, tea and wine clubs—runs the risk of not getting paid. Says Douglas Harpham, vice president of sales and marketing for North Shore Agency, a Great Neck, NY, collection agency, "Bill-mes are just as common as they ever were." Adding a bill-me payment option to a mailing

Direct Marketer of the Year Grolier's Dante Cirilli (3,801 wor
October 1, 1999

by Alicia Orr Was it fact or rumor, I asked Dan Cirilli, inquiring as to the truth of tales I had heard that he started out in the mail room at Grolier. Cirilli's response: "I grew up in the Bronx and attended the New York School of Printing, a special high school teaching the graphic arts. I then went on to City College at night. It was Robert B. Clarke, an important figure in the history of direct marketing who was executive vice president of Grolier at the time, who hired me, and yes, it was to work in the mail room!" On his

Magalogs - Send the Sizzle or the Steak (1,821 words)
May 1, 1999

by Denny Hatch A direct mail format that has always baffled me is the magalog—that curious 81⁄2˝ x 11˝ booklet that is a cross between a magazine and a catalog. The very first magalog was a self-mailer written by freelancer Dick Sanders and designed by freelancer William Fridrich in the mid-1980s for Dick Fabian's Telephone Switch Newsletter. Sanders' sales letters kept getting longer and longer, and he kept wanting to make them longer still. At the same time, the creative team felt the need to break up the information. Clearly a new format was needed, and since Fabian had done a self-mailer,

1998 Direct Marketer of the Year - Jay Walker
December 1, 1998

by Denny Hatch Never heard of Jay Walker? He has crammed several lifetimes of direct marketing successes and bombs into his 43 years. Among his successes: • The first use of videocassettes in a direct mail offer. • Marrying overnight Federal Express delivery to the catalog industry, thus creating a hugely profitable new selling season (last minute holiday gifts). • Revolutionizing magazine subscription sales with mega-success, NewSub Services. • In just six months, making his priceline.com the second most recognized Internet brand among American adults. I first met Jay Walker in 1986 when he was a storm off the coast of American Business—a tropical

The Ultimate Direct Mail Checklist (1,121 words)
September 1, 1998

The Ultimate Direct Mail Checklist Formats • Envelope mailing • SnapPack • Self mailer • Tabbed correctly • Double postcard • Tabbed correctly • Entire bottom half is reply card1 • Triple postcard • Tabbed correctly • Magalog • Bookalog • Tabbed correctly • Catalog Size • #7-3⁄4 • Invitation • #10 • 6˝ x 9˝ • Slim-Jim • 9˝ x 12˝ • Jumbo • Other Offers • One-step offer • Two-step offer •