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

With a strong outer envelope and equally impressive contents, Mills College beat out the other university efforts to be our “One to Watch” this month. A women’s college based in Oakland, Calif., it employs the same components of the later mailings discussed in “Highlights” above but to better effect (Archive code #596-712743-0711). First, the outer is designed to stand out and be opened. Tri-colored and including an inviting photograph of two young students smiling while studying together, it features the teaser line, “What you don’t know could help you. The 10 Secrets of smart women revealed.” Second, the letter inside hits on all the

I remember visiting a very wealthy friend who had a splendid estate right on the water in Marblehead, Mass. The path from the house to the tennis court went through a stand of pine trees where a collection of tiny gravestones lined the walkway. It was a pet cemetery—the burial ground for family dogs and cats going back to the 19th century. Pet owners become deeply attached to their animals, and the joint suicide of a childless couple in India over the passing of a beloved canine may be extreme, but entirely believable. “Puppy” was very likely the only family they felt that they

On Dec. 8, 1928, The New Yorker ran one of its most famous cartoons drawn by Carl Rose with text by E. B. White. It depicted a small child eating dinner. The caption: Young mother: “It’s broccoli, dear.” Young daughter: “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” Recently, I’ve been buying bagged spinach and either microwaving it in the bag or sauteing it with a ton of garlic. Great stuff, until nearly 200 people in 26 states became seriously ill with E. coli from tainted bagged spinach supplied by Natural Selection Foods in California’s Salinas Valley. At least one person died and 29 others

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