Meredith Book Clubs

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.

Many years ago, Meredith Book Clubs, headquartered on Long Island, N.Y., lost $250,000—a considerable sum in 1968. I was hired to fix the problem. The offer was neat—seven mini-cookbooks as a free gift with (as I recall) a four-book commitment and bonus books, just like Book-of-the-Month or Literary Guild. However, I was stunned to learn many brand new members were canceling before they even received the premiums. It was truly mystifying. The first thing a new member should have received was the welcome package containing the seven free books; a warm, welcome letter that resold the benefits of the club; and precise instructions on how the negative

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