Peru

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I love Starbucks. When taking a road trip, I use Google maps to find the closest location when I need a little pick-me-up. When flying, I seek them out in airports. And while recently strolling down the street in Lima, Peru, I spied that familiar green logo and my husband immediately knew I’d have to stop in for my favorite latté.

Let's consider what some people regard as just another buzz term: "content marketing." Despite all the hype, the concept really wasn't invented yesterday. Some mailers have been doing it for years. Let's look at three examples of mailers successfully using relevant content marketing to stand out in the mailbox.

Recently, I experienced an identity crisis. While I've built my career as a copywriter, I now had a client asking me if I also was a content developer. Hmmm. I hadn't thought about it. And frankly, I didn't know. What I did know was that on any given day, you'd find me writing emails, direct mail, space ads, whitepapers, e-newsletters, landing pages, website pages and ads, blog posts, package inserts, and a whole lot more.

Every month for the past 11 years, it's been part of my job as Who's Mailing What! Archivist to analyze pretty much every piece of mail that lands on my desk. More than anything else, I am always on the lookout for long-term controls — those mailings that keep reappearing because they haven't been beaten yet.

I'm often asked for my favorite copywriting tips. Well, here are three, from a writer's perspective. Do your homework. I spend 80 percent of my time reading, doing research and preparing to write copy; 20 percent is spent actually writing. You need to know your product, brand and audience inside and out to write effective copy/content.

One night in the early 1980s, my wife, Peggy, and I were sitting in the second row of the Mark Hellinger Theater watching the musical romp “Sugar Babies,” starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller. Mickey Rooney (amazingly, this was his Broadway debut) was standing outside a hotel room door listening to what was going on inside between two newlyweds. It was the setup for a very old joke that I had known since boyhood. “When you get to the umbrella, it’s mine!” Rooney shouted through the door. I let out a guffaw that rocked the theater and the audience followed suit. Rooney marched down

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