Eric Utne

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

Editor's Note: This article contains information originally reported in the newsletter Who's Mailing What! and the book "Million Dollar Mailings" by Denny Hatch. In the days of vaudeville, the great performers---Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Fannie Brice----were constantly traveling across the country. Each time they appeared, they would try a new bit of business----maybe a new joke, a new dance step or whatever. If the audience responded positively, it would remain as part of the act. Fifty-two weeks later, when these performers came back to perform your town, it was basically a new act, one that had been gradually changed and perfected over the

Looks can be deceiving, as the old saying goes. And it's espcially true when it comes to the mail. Often, what you might call "plain Jane" direct mail packages get the job done as well, if not better, than their fancier counterparts. Why? The answer is simple, really: These successful mailings were not designed to be beautiful; they were designed to get response...because that's the name of the game in our industry. Highly successful direct mail pieces—long-term controls that have made a lot of money for the companies that mail them—don't necessarily have slick brochures, colorful poly envelopes or expensive interactive devices

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