Herschell Gordon Lewis

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.

Getting inside the envelope is the key to direct mail success. In the premiere episode of "Engaging Envelopes," a new series sponsored by Tension Corporation, direct mail consultant Paul Bobnak looks at what tactics you can use to keep prospects interacting with your mail.

We found out yesterday that Herschell Gordon Lewis passed away in his home in Florida. He was 90 according the The New York Times ... 87 according to the BBC. It's fitting that two such reputable news organizations on different sides of the world can't agree on when he was born, because reputable people often saw entirely different sides of Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Words are our weapons. And too many self-proclaimed “wordsmiths” depend on pop-guns firing blanks instead of AK-47s and Glocks firing bullets. Want to connect on a not-for-profit level? “Millennial terminology” can miss not just the bull’s-eye but the target. Power seeps out of a message when a direct response writer either doesn’t bother or doesn’t know how to use words with muscle and settles for ... well, for just words.

"The envelope has two purposes and two purposes only," wrote Herschell Gordon Lewis. "One: to get itself opened; Two: to keep the contents from spilling into the street." I received an oversize (5-1/2" x 11-1/") envelope with a shiny 2015 Jefferson nickel showing through the window. How can you not open it?

Russ Reid, a direct marketing guru and founder of the agency that bears his name, died on Saturday in his Sierra Madre, Calif., home. According to Russ Reid Chairman Tom Harrison, he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, but the cause of death was pneumonia. Reid was 82. “He was a giant in this industry,” said Harrison. “He basically invented a lot of aspects of direct response.” Reid founded his Pasadena, Calif.-based company in 1964. He retired in 2001, but remained interested in and involved with the agency

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