Carol Wright Gifts

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 dennyhatch.com.

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

While it may not have the star quality of more in-vogue direct marketing channels, for Southampton, Pa.-based garden tool marketer Mantis, insert media is something to get excited about. “It’s still a very important part of our media mix,” says Steve LePera, Mantis’ director of sales and marketing for mail order. Although LePera admits DRTV has become the company’s largest lead generation source, “there still has to be a base of what I call direct mail prospects driven by more traditional methods like package inserts … to our overall program,” he explains. The company participates in a wide range of programs, from Valpak to

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