Bob Clarke

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

Magazine blow-ins—the little subscription cards that fall out of magazines—are very efficient in bringing in new subscribers. The reason is obvious. If a non-subscriber reads an article in a magazine and wishes to subscribe, the means to do so is at hand. All you do is fill in the postage-paid card and drop it in the mail. The magazine starts arriving, and you pay the bill. Blow-ins (and bind-ins) work. They are responsible for an average of 12 percent of new magazine subscriptions at a cost per order of $5 to $10—peanuts compared to a direct mail shot. Blow-ins also irritate people. Back in 1987, New

In the 1960s, Grolier Enterprises was run by four dynamos: Founder Elsworth (The Shark) Howell, whose real love was judging dog shows; Vice President Bob Clarke, who started in the Grolier mail room; Vice President of Marketing Ed Bakal, a rough-hewn ex-paratrooper; and Vice President of Creative Lew Smith, a low-key, creative genius. Grolier’s business at the time was selling Dr. Seuss books to kids. The competition was Weekly Reader Book Club and Scholastic’s paperback book clubs, which sold books to students in classrooms through the teacher. Using the Scholastic paperback model, a guy named Joe Archy started the Willie Whale Book Club. Howell watched it

By Denny Hatch Direct marketing is a daunting business. It was DM News columnist Martin Gross who said, "Whoever knows only one direct marketing skill, whether it's art direction, copywriting or list management, does not even know that properly." During the dot-com boom, the hotshot twenty-somethings did not have even one direct marketing skill, as they sneered at us old-timers living in the past who did not understand the "new paradigm." They cost investors a trillion dollars or more and are to this day dining on crow. So how can a newcomer learn direct marketing? The best job I ever had was

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