Axel Andersson

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

Peggy Hatch is a senior advisor at NAPCO Media. A direct mail copywriter, she co-founded Who’s Mailing What! with her husband Denny Hatch. Her previous position at NAPCO Media was Group President for the Target Marketing Group.

I’ve been thinking about emotions more than usual lately. Maybe it’s the type of direct mail I’ve been reading lately that sparked it. Swedish direct marketing entrepreneur Axel Andersson and Seattle direct marketer Bob Hacker identified the seven key copy drivers that persuade people to buy a product or service, or to join a cause.

A good envelope shouts, "OPEN ME NOW!" The fat blue carrier from "David Birnbaum, Private Jeweler Extraordinaire" did just that. Birnbaum's name and address on the label were in shiny gold. The name on the address in gorgeous script: "Mr. Denison S. Hatch"

As writer of five columns a week, my inbox is a veritable cascade of news releases. Sometimes there are 50 a day or more. A good 90 percent of them are unreadable. But a couple of weeks ago, a subject line popped out of the morass: "Infographic: Who is a fraud perpetrator?" What followed was an email release—perfect in every way:

As founders and proprietors of the WHO'S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and massive archive of junk mail, Peggy and I spent years tracking and analyzing winning packages. Our only object: To show and describe what works—and why—and the basic rules for success. I now believe the only thing to make creatives see the light is to rub their noses in obvious crap. So here goes

Newspaper journalists always spell "lead" as "lede." In their argot, a "headline" is a "hed." What triggered this column was Hewlett-Packard's full-page advertisement in The New York Times of July 18, 2014, costing $194,166.00. "The wickedest of all sins is to run an advertisement with no headline,"

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