John Jones

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

Note: Denny Hatch personally replies to all e-mails. Readers respond to “The Decline and Fall of Competent Direct Mail,” published Aug. 1, 2006. I totally agree with your comments on the poor creative that now dominates the credit card business. They are also very poor on the list part of the equation. For most credit card companies, mailings are treated as independent events—they can’t tell you how many offers they have mailed to one individual in the past 2 years. And since they can’t reference previous communications, they create the impression that they don’t really know who you are and they don’t really care. Catalogers

With the recently proposed postal rate increases of 6.4 percent by 2001 and changes in mail processing that could eliminate any hope for discounts offered for mailer worksharing, many direct marketers have found themselves looking for alternate ways to market their products and services in addition to traditional Standard A mailing. In fact, aside from postage increases, the CPM for solo direct mail rose steadily between 1994 and 1998, during which the cost to mail a control package increased $60, according to Capell's Circulation Report (spring 1998). As a result of these trends, alternate media—with its cost advantages and targetability—could be the wave

by Liz Kislik A telemarketing rep just hung up on me—literally disconnected me while I was speaking, probably because I asked too many questions about an offer that sounded too good to be true. It was quite clear that she felt I should order now or stop wasting her time. This particular business-to-business call from a large and reputable supplier of digital phone service reminded me of everything I hate about outbound telemarketing and prompted me to ask a few other people what they hate about the calls they receive. Because I believe in the immediacy and persuasiveness of the medium, I took this

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