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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.

Six Techniques to Adding Heat To A Lackluster Offer By Denny Hatch Direct mail maven and guru Axel Andersson has often said: "If you want to dramatically increase your response, you must dramatically improve your offer." The old Ed Mayer formula for successful direct marketing—40-percent lists, 40-percent offer and 20-percent everything else—remains very much in play, whether the medium used is direct mail, e-commerce, telemarketing, off-the-page advertising or DRTV. Why do offers make a difference? "Because," says British direct mail wizard Drayton Bird, "they enlist one vice—greed—to overcome two others: sloth and fear." The Challenge: Improve the Offer Without Breaking the Bank In

By Denny Hatch Peggy and I took the train from Interlaken to Zurich after a week in the Swiss Alps town of Grindelwald. There, the hoteliers and shopkeepers did a superlative job of taking care of tourists and making for themselves a very comfortable living. On the train ride, we struck up a conversation with a former executive of Swiss Air who recounted the gory details of how an overly ambitious young (mid-40s) CEO started buying up smaller airlines, ran out of money and put Swiss Air—one of the world's great carriers—into bankruptcy. We got home to read that Conseco Insurance had filed for

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