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.

Chuck McLeester's blog explores issues about marketing and marketing measurement. He is a marketing strategist and analyst with experience in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services, pet products, travel/hospitality, publishing and other categories. He spent several years as a client-side direct marketer and 25 years on the agency side developing expertise in direct, digital, and relationship marketing. Now he consults with marketers and advertising agencies to create measurable marketing programs.

Maybe it all started with AOL Instant Messenger when they were teens. They created acronyms like PIR (parent in room), 9 or PAW (for parents are watching), and other secret shortcuts to secure their privacy. This new technology changed the way they communicated, disrupting the late 1950s teen telephone culture celebrated in the famous "Bye Bye Birdie" number, "Telephone Hour," that spread the word about Hugo and Kim getting pinned. And of course, cultural norms have changed since the "Telephone Hour" participants asked, "Did he pin the pin on? Or was he too shy?"

By Pat Friesen Faced with a copywriting challenge? Consider how a few good testimonials can help strengthen your copy platform. Customer testimonials are a highly effective creative tool for building instant credibility. They also provide a quick countermeasure to the buying objection "it sounds too good to be true." They are an asset for adding new life to a waning control mailing as well as introducing a new product concept. If you aren't already building a library of your customers' comments, now is the time to get started. I recently received this e-mail from Lands' End (shown at left). When I opened

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