Don Jackson

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

Donald Richard Jackson, age 75 of Odessa, Del., passed away April 8, 2014. Don was Chairman and CEO of The JCG Group, Ltd, and a member of the Target Marketing editorial advisory board. A prolific writer, Jackson was the author of "151 Secrets of Insurance Direct Marketing Practices Revealed," co-author of "Winning! Direct Marketing for Insurance Agents and Brokers," co-author of "2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success" and author and publisher of the widely distributed "Insurance Direct Marketing: State of the Industry Annual Report."

In May, my wife, Peggy, and I went to Normandy for a three-day total immersion into D-Day and World War II. The biggest town in the area is Caen (pronounced caw, with the “n” silent), and we stayed at the Best Western Moderne, a fine little hotel centrally situated and a bargain next to what we paid in Paris. Caen was blown to bits during the Allied invasion, much of it reduced to rubble. In the hotel window were a couple of photographs of the old Moderne before the war. I remembered a story about World War II told to me many years

A 26-year veteran of the Ford Motor Company, Michael D. Richards, was appointed general marketing manager of Lincoln Mercury in January 2006. Prior to that, he served as Ford’s customer service division general sales manager and regional manager for the California region and the Detroit region. Does customer service experience qualify him to oversee a direct marketing lead-generation campaign for Lincoln cars? Hardly. Richards sent me a mailing so humongous—a 10˝ x 15 1⁄2 ˝ four-color outer envelope—that it dominated everything that had come through the mail slot. Inside the carrier envelope were two elements: a giant 20-page, four-color brochure on heavy paper stock

I am continually astonished at the number of mailings and ads I see that fail to contain testimonials from delighted customers. Testimonials are a strong lift element in a mailing or ad. Your claims are more believable and prospects feel good about doing business with you. In the words of the late advertising legend, David Ogilvy, “If one testimonial tests well, try two. But don’t use testimonials by celebrities, unless they are recognized authorities, like Arnold Palmer on golf clubs.” Ogilvy was talking more about spokespersons than testimonials from happy users. Customer Acquisition The generally recognized sequence of events in marketing is (1) find a suspect; (2)

On the Mount Olympus of direct marketing, two figures stand at the summit looking down at everyone else that followed: * Regnault de Mouçon, Bishop of Chartres, France. * Martin Conroy of Madison, Connecticut and Captiva, Florida. On the night of June 10, 1197, fire raged through Chartres, destroying many of the buildings and severely damaging the cathedral. At first, it was believed that the city’s precious relic—the Sancta Camisia, the robe that Mary wore when giving birth to Jesus—was lost in the flames. Bishop Regnault de Mouçon wanted to rebuild, but without their relic, the citizens of Chartres gave in to despair. Two

Merger talks—United and Continental and US Airways, with its $8.65 billion hostile bid for bankrupt Delta—have the investment community a-twitter. When AirTran made a hostile bid for Midwest Air Group, its stock jumped 4.1 percent while Midwest’s skyrocketed to 22 percent. The first commercial airline—the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line— was founded in 1914. The line carried a total of 1,205 passengers without a single accident. It never made money. Call the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line a harbinger. Since its beginnings, 92 years ago, the airline industry cumulatively has never made money. The idea that “investors” are seriously looking at airline stocks is a

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