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.

The recession is only one factor to hit publishing with an uppercut to the chin. Add the gradual exodus of readers from newspapers and magazines to the more current (and for now) free internet. The brutal tug of war for diminishing advertising dollars. The lack of a sustainable profit model. Rising postal costs. The greening of America. And, well ... so much more!

Facing spiraling postal costs and impatient prospects, many direct mailers are rushing to cut the letter down and, sometimes, altogether. Fortunately, Peggy Greenawalt keeps a cool head. Part of that has to do with her 25 years of direct marketing experience, and the rest is explained by her in-depth involvement with the three bigs in direct mail: creative strategy, copy and design. Greenawalt began her career as a copywriter at Wunderman, and now she’s president and creative director of the direct marketing agency Tomarkin/Greenawalt in Hartsdale, N.Y., where she mostly works with publishers like Hearst, Time-Life, Condé Nast and Rodale Press. Here, she

ince 1944, Seventeen magazine has been speaking to young women about issues that they hold dear: fashion, school, beauty, health, dating. And since the early '90s, the magazine has been enticing these teen readers with a control package that gives them the chance to speak for themselves. When Jerry Roache, president of Shrewsbury, N.J.-based direct marketing agency Jerry Roache Direct, devised the package that would become the magazine's long-standing control some 12 years ago, he began with a simple concept: "You are going to get a teenager's opinion whether you want it or not," says Roache. "So we thought we would try to turn

By Ken Schneider Let's talk about playing it safe. And why you shouldn't. As I look at what's being mailed these days, I've noticed a palpable disinclination to venture beyond the well-worn paths of past experiences. I'm talking about not wanting to try bold new ideas and concepts. ... Not swinging for the fences, but rather settling for a single—or worse, a base on balls. Example: A copywriting colleague of mine told me about a circulation manager who thought she was playing it safe by deleting all words from the writer's copy that she felt "weren't needed." Transition words like "so," "plus,"

By Hallie Mummert The selection process for this year's Direct Marketer of the Year was not easy. So far, it's been a tough year, and many companies have not been eager to share war stories. So we dug a little deeper to find an innovative marketer making the best-tasting lemonade from this year's bumper crop of lemons. I'm pleased to announce that our winner is Brook Holmberg, circulation director of The Christian Science Monitor, a leading international newspaper. The online channel has been a tough nut to crack for newspapers. It's taken a few years of trial and error to determine which Web

Fulfilling Customers' Orders ... and Expectations By Denny Hatch The next time a wonk gets up at a direct marketing conference and parrots the current industry buzzwords—customer relationship management, retention marketing, back-end marketing and customer satisfaction—stand up and let fly with a noisy raspberry cheer. Consign these tired platitudes to the scrap heap of bad ideas. Anyone with half a brain and half a computer can satisfy a customer. But only when you continually delight customers will they keep coming back. The Tale of the Lexus A friend of consultant Don Jackson bought a Lexus—a $45,000 piece of machinery. He could afford a

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