Dick Armstrong

By Hallie Mummert The most obvious way to increase response to your offer is to improve upon it. Premiums are one way to sweeten the deal by giving the prospect or customer an extra incentive for accepting the main deal. Bill Baird, a direct marketing consultant and the creator of a customized training seminar called the Direct Marketing University, has found that you will get the biggest lift when a premium is added to a "plain vanilla" hard offer with no other bells and whistles. But the opposite situation also is possible, where a "high octane" offer that features a free

When Paul Michaels was writing copy for Greystone Press' continuity book programs several decades ago, he found that no element in the standard direct mail package provided him with a place to talk to prospects who had decided not to respond. So he invented a short letter that would allow him to address "no" people and their reluctance. This piece was originally called the publisher's letter, explains freelance copywriter Dick Armstrong, because it was signed by the publisher, while the main letter was signed by the editor. As marketers in other fields picked up on this extra letter's response-boosting powers, it became known

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