Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Before advertising with publishers, ask them about their audiences' behavior. Ask about context and content, rather than pure numbers, say the speakers from "Timing: The Missing Ingredient in Mobile Advertising." Knowing who the audiences are and what they want matters more than the sheer number of eyeballs seeing your ad.

In 2012 Peggy and I were in Amsterdam. As a pair of culture vultures, we of course had to visit the fabled Rijksmuseum. The museum was undergoing a vast renovation and most of it was walled off. As a result, the major attractions were collected and exhibited in a few rooms. Among them: three tiny Vermeers, Rembrandt's enormous heart-stopping Night Watch and works by Franz Hals and Jan Steen. We had a miserable time fighting through crowds of visitors

In my business, there's an old story of the general agency designer who was told that in a direct marketing space ad it's a good idea to highlight the coupon, because the ordering mechanism is a key element. So the designer got the bright idea to make the coupon black with white type. The ad ran nationally and not a single response was received. Apparently no reader had a white pen. Duh.

The king of high-end tchotchkes (Richard Thalheimer, former CEO and chairman of The Sharper Image) and queen of low-end tchotchkes (Lillian Vernon) have been dethroned. Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image—two iconic catalogs—were known to have been struggling in recent years. Their bankruptcies were expected. That they were announced on the same day is astonishing. How could this happen? Both Vernon and Thalheimer launched businesses without paying their dues. Ultimately, neither of them knew what the hell they were doing. Lillian Vernon’s Story In 1933, Lillian Katz’s family fled the Nazis. They left Leipzig, Germany, for Amsterdam, and four years later were lucky enough to

From a volume perspective, the B-to-B sector is not the Who’s Mailing What! Archive’s most active group. From a format perspective, however, it certainly is one of the more diverse categories. For example, the number of envelopes versus self-mailers received in October and November in the business products category was evenly split. And of those envelope efforts, not one size was repeated. Amsterdam Printing was the only mailer to take advantage of a standard envelope size, mailing a reorder effort in a #10. The outside of the envelope teases, “Reorder NOW and Receive Your FREE Holiday Gift!” That gift is one of two holiday CDs

The power of direct mail, curiosity and sneak attacks to win new customers By Russell Kern This year, my travels took me to the wilds of Africa, as well as to the red-hot Red Light District of Amsterdam. During my travels, I saw both human and animal behaviors (of the natural kind) that revealed important similarities and lessons for direct mail marketers, both B-to-B and B-to-C. Ultimately, direct marketers are psychologists. Our job is to stimulate the mind, arouse curiosity, and deliver information that persuades and eventually elicits a positive action—a response, an order, a new customer. The Masai warriors of Africa

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