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

Whether publishing a magazine, marketing a product or operating a nonprofit organization, successful direct marketers all share one thing in common: a base of multisourced customers. Add them together and you have an incredibly large and robust universe to draw from. Why then do so many marketers find it difficult to profitably acquire new customers from outside lists, particularly from outside their own market category? Simply put, they don’t dig deep enough. One glance at a datacard and many a good list gets passed over. But in today’s data-driven world, marketers have more information at hand than can fit on a datacard. And too

The goal of a publisher unveiling a new magazine or newsletter through direct mail is simple: Get as many people as possible to pay attention to the publication and, soon, pay money for it. Sure, a publication needs consistent advertisers and media attention, but only a growing base of readers that plan to subscribe and renew will make it go from viable to vital. “You need to get the new magazine into as many prospective subscribers’ hands as possible,” says copywriter Elaine Tyson, owner of Tyson Associates in Brookfield, Conn. Tyson helped launched such magazines as Elle Decor (in the United States), George,

The Heavy Airbus and The Wall Street Journal Lite Nov. 29, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 51 IN THE NEWS Change in Rules Needed for Wake of Big New Jet Airliners may have to fly twice the normal distance behind the new Airbus A380 superjumbo jet to avoid potential hazards from its unusually powerful wake, according to preliminary safety guidelines. --Andy Pasztor and Daniel Michaels, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 22, 2005 Picture this. For you, it's been a solid week of nasty, contentious meetings and sleepless nights in London, Brussels and Paris. Finally, very early Friday morning you take a taxi

By Ellen de Lathouder One way to make eyes glaze over in a senior management meeting is to refer to the "soul of the consumer." I used that phrase once in a strategic planning meeting to explain why we shouldn't abandon consistent use of focus groups. My former boss teased me about my "wooga, wooga" talk. Most publishing executives operate in a more quantitative world, I know. And that's a good thing. But it's our job here at Meredith Creative Services to create compelling copy and design that promise fulfillment to our prospect's most personal desires, needs and motivations. In another sense,

Not many marketers can justify the costs of an 8-1/2" x 12" polybag acquisition mailing in this economy. Meredith Publishing Group can. The Des Moines, IA-based publisher of more than 150 special interest magazines historically has enjoyed success with this over-sized package format, and was in the mail with it again in June with a three-years-for-the-price-of-one subscription deal for Better Homes and Gardens (202BEHOGA0603). Like many of its "big-poly" efforts, this one is jam-packed with selling tools: a two-page letter, a brochure, two inserts and two lift letters. Only this time, the creative team at Meredith made a clever tweak. Spot-glued to the back

By Ken Schneider This month, I'm going to treat you to some ramblings from the mind of an A-list copywriter who should be working on a new cookbook project, but would rather put it off another day or two. For instance: ... Does anybody in consumer marketing at Time Warner return phone calls or reply to e-mails? ... When was the last time you saw a direct mail package that made you say, "Wow!" (in the positive sense)? ... I still can't get used to Greta van Susteren's new face. ... Why don't the different consumer marketing groups at

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