Charles Gaudet

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

E-commerce wizards believe direct mail is slow and cumbersome. It takes time to write, design, print, address, insert, pay postage and mail. It is also expensive—currently 60¢ or more per piece. Email offers take three minutes to write and send. Free.

I'm not a fan of Big Data—scraping the Internet for every iota of dirt on individuals in order to create massive digital dossiers. Small Data is a different story—a seemingly inconsequential addition to the name, address, phone, email, buying patterns, etc. Examples of Small Data might be special dates in a person's life—birthdays, anniversaries, retirement, etc. An offer pegged to these is called Event Marketing.

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to make it easier to hold companies liable for encouraging others to commit patent infringement, in its latest rejection of a decision by a specialized court that hears appeals in the nation's patent cases."—Brent Kendall, The Wall Street Journal. I read the above 41-word lede sentence six times and was flummoxed.

This is about CRM—Customer Relationship Magic. Last night, we went out to dinner with another couple. We walked into a large, half-full dining room, many tables covered in white tablecloths—all beautifully set. Staff were elegantly clad in sparkling white Nehru-like jackets. We saw hardwood floors, hard walls, hard ceilings, all tables and chairs. No banquettes, no padding anywhere.

The good news: A published book can burnish a career and add cred to a résumé. The bad news: Chances are, you'll be dead before you find an agent or publisher. The good news: It's easy to publish a book on your own. First, sign up for Publishing Poynters, Dan Poynter's amazing information-rich monthly newsletter, choc-a-bloc full of publishing news, information and resources. It's free. Next, write the book.

Remember when getting a letter in the mail was exciting? So do we. But how do you recreate that feeling and get customers excited about your business when they’re facing a sea of junk mail, fliers and credit card offers? We asked 11 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) their top secrets for making direct mail marketing more appealing to the people who matter most—those opening the envelopes. “What is one way brands can make direct mail marketing more appealing to potential (and current) customers?” Here’s what YEC community members had to say

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