Gary Bencivenga

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

Well, not really, but I did get your attention. And that's what a headline should do: get someone to pause, take notice and pay attention to what you have to say. By Tracy A. Gill Whether you prefer to lure with the simple directness of an offer-driven message, the must-read excitement of breaking news, or the inherent mystery of a provocative question, your headline is going to be one of the first things that greets a prospect, and as such it had better have stopping power. However, unlike this ruse of a headline suggests, A plus B does not always

By Lee Marc Stein Sometimes we get so sophisticated in our application of tactics that we forget to check our mailings and our entire programs for strategic soundness. One of the reasons this happens is that we are all so pragmatic: If a twist or technique works for someone else, we try it. Add a bar code here, put a sticker where? How about a Post-it note on our desks that reads, "Check for these five strategic mistakes that can kill an entire direct mail program"? Here's the countdown: Failure to overcome disbelief and inertia We live in the "age of disbelief." Advertising

by Denny Hatch A direct mail format that has always baffled me is the magalog—that curious 81⁄2˝ x 11˝ booklet that is a cross between a magazine and a catalog. The very first magalog was a self-mailer written by freelancer Dick Sanders and designed by freelancer William Fridrich in the mid-1980s for Dick Fabian's Telephone Switch Newsletter. Sanders' sales letters kept getting longer and longer, and he kept wanting to make them longer still. At the same time, the creative team felt the need to break up the information. Clearly a new format was needed, and since Fabian had done a self-mailer,

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