Gary McWilliams

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.

For years I used to quote the statistic that a satisfied customer will tell three people, while an unhappy customer will tell 11 people. This was B.I. (before the Internet).

Today, an unhappy customer can go online and reach tens of millions of people around the world with an angry message.

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

Why coddle lousy customers? Oct. 18, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 40 IN THE NEWS Sears adds 15 percent restocking fee on some items --By Wendy Tanaka The Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 14, 2005 red·line Function: verb intransitive senses: to withhold home-loan funds or insurance from neighborhoods considered poor economic risks transitive senses: to discriminate against in housing or insurance --Merriam-Webster OnLine In many American upmarket suburbs is an unwritten agreement among realtors that homes for sale or rent will not be shown or offered to minority families. This is a form of discrimination called redlining. Redlining is a fact of life in direct

By Denny Hatch "You can't cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump." —W.C. Fields In many American upmarket suburbs there's an unwritten agreement among realtors that homes for sale or rent will not be shown or offered to minority families. This is a form of discrimination called redlining. In point of fact, all successful direct marketing is based on redlining—not offering a product or service to undesirable prospects and customers. Examples: Premium bandits. This is consultant Bob Doscher's term for chiselers who join book and record clubs, or subscribe to magazines, to collect

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