Joan Throckmorton

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.

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

Many times over the past seven decades, I have met ambitious young men and women who wanted to leave the corporate rat race and go off on their own. The idea of working like hell for five years only to have your business tank is not a pretty thought. I'm a guy who started two businesses (the WHO'S MAILING WHAT! newsletter with my wife Peggy and a freelance copy and design service). Both are still going 25 years later.

Direct response writers (and their readers) know that one of the most powerful motivators in the English language is a four-letter word. It's the word "free." Free nudges fence-sitters by eliminating risk. It rewards the deal-seeker in each of us. And it's a tool for separating you from the competition. It's also a faster read and more engaging than words and phrases such as "complimentary," "at no charge" or "courtesy of."

In 40 rapid minutes, Pat Friesen discussed the keys to getting more calls, clicks and visits from your copy in last week's Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk 2012 virtual show session, "Using Words to Generate Response ... Direct Mail, Email, Online and More." Here are some questions that Friesen wasn't able to answer during the session, but subsequently answered in friendly, frank Friesen-like fashion! They may be the same kinds of creative challenges you're wrestling with, so take a look.

Steve Jobs was one of the greatest conceptual thinkers—and creators—of all time. Lots of entrepreneurs can visualize a product or service and produce it.

IBM made computers. Bill Gates makes software. Steve Jobs closed the loop. He not only saw oversaw every aspect of the hardware and software, he got inside the head and under the skin of the users, thought what they thought, felt how they felt and literally became a user.

Jobs was what I call a “Method Marketer.”

As a result, Steve Jobs was a consummate marketer as well as an entrepreneur. For example, Jobs told Walt Mossberg that he was intimately involved in the design of the Apple retail stores right on down to approving “tiny details like the translucency of the glass and the color of the wood.”

I know the articles you normally read here are about mass-produced mailings — letters "personalized" using variable data printing and mailed in the hundreds of thousands. Even millions. What I'm about to share is a reminder about the value of sending mail on a much smaller scale.

A 10-word mission statement for every business in the world should be: "Acquire a customer and then create CRM (Customer Relationship Magic)."

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