Drayton Bird

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.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

"The object of advertising is to sell goods. It has no other justification worth mentioning." —Raymond Rubicam (1892—1978) Okay, advertising can be used to build brand awareness and raise money.

Disclaimer: I voted for Obama for president—twice. Peggy and I each sent his campaign some money. That said, I now despise Democrats. I received three virtually identical emails in the space of six hours. See the photo. Quite simply, this is (1) appalling and (2) insulting. The current news is horrendous—decapitations, weather, ISIS, Syria, Iraq, health care, Ebola, jobs … Many reasons exist to contact me and scare the hell out of me.

I have been in direct marketing for more than 50 years. During that period, I have participated in dozens of marketing conferences all over the world and been a presenter at many of them. In early June 2014, I went to New York's Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street for Integrated Marketing Week 2014. At the entrance to the exhibit hall, I picked up a Show Guide and went to the Target Marketing Booth to decide which sessions to attend.

Where can you go for the best tips on direct response copywriting? Brian Kurtz, executive vice president of Boardroom Inc., rattled off a lot of good advice during his keynote presentation, "Dinosaurs & Cowboys: Direct Marketing Secrets Every Marketer Needs to Know Whether You Are Selling Online, Offline or Both." One of the points he covered was a list of best, most enlightening books of copywriting. We didn't have a chance to show you the list during the keynote, but here they are

How many times in my life have I offered to work for good causes that were in trouble? Pro bono. Free. I remember the development guy from Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences contacted me for pro bono help. I took him to lunch and regaled him with stories of the Who's Mailing What! archive of direct mail—over 200,000 mailings going back 25 years. I assembled a sampling of powerful control mailings from museums around the country and delivered them to him. My explanation: these worked. Let's pick out several we like and "steal smart."

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