Gordon Grossman

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.

An old client and friend, Gordon Grossman, former circulation director of Reader’s Digest and a brilliant magazine consultant, has retired to a life we can only dream about. He spends much of the year traveling the world on luxury cruise ships. Last week I received the following letter from him: Very good, balanced article on the Kindle. I’m an unabashed enthusiast, and would sooner go somewhere without my credit card than my Kindle. The reason I got it is because I’m very, very tired of lugging something like 60 pounds of books on the three- or four-month cruises we take every winter. It does

A solid control. A perfect pitch. A piece that’s pleasing prospects. Got it? Congrats. Now beat it. Not as in “get out of town,” but instead getting back to work at making that effort even better. That should be the job of every direct marketer using the mail, especially in these hardscrabble, competitive times—but many go the opposite direction and pause their testing operations, or they never tested much in the first place. One prominent marketer who believes that testing is essential for direct mail success is Brian Kurtz, executive vice president at Stamford, Conn.–based Boardroom Inc. It publishes Bottom Line/Personal, one of the

In more jobs than I care to remember, my single objective was efficiency: How could the most value be created for the least cost, and then sold to delighted customers and eager prospects at the highest profit? When I read last week that two Philadelphia TV stations—Fox29 and NBC10—are going to test the possibility of sharing video footage, I was intrigued. The idea that competing news gatherers would pool their resources is a breakthrough! For example, CBS and CNN spend millions of dollars on equipment and personnel gathering news in Iraq, mostly going after the same stories, interviewing the same people and doing stand-up

'Twas the season of gifts last month, and the publishing industry was certainly hoping to bring in some new subscribers. We witnessed a rash of gift subscription offers, with one correspondent receiving three two-for-one offers in the same week. For example, Forbes went trolling for a renewal and packaged it with a gift subscription offer that would cost the current customer nothing. The current subscriber gets a renewal for the usual price and the chance to send a friend a gift for free. In return, Forbes gets a renewal and the name of a new prospect. But is this the best way to prospect?

Like most direct marketers, Robert Teufel didn't grow up knowing he wanted to be a direct marketer. As is so often the case with many other successful direct marketers in the field, it would be more accurate to say that he almost stumbled into the field rather than choose it. After attending Lehigh University, he took his journalism degree and landed a job at Rodale Press, where he started as the assistant editor of Organic Gardening magazine. His boss gave him an assignment to write a direct mail package for the magazine—who better than one of its very own editors to write a

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