Prescott Kelly

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

Every direct marketing entrepreneur, manager, copywriter and consultant—even before the days of Claude Hopkins, J.K. Lasser, John Caples and Max Sackheim—had their own rules, "secrets" or "discovered truths." Dick Benson tested, modified and codified those rules that applied specifically to direct mail, especially in publishing, making them his own, and added others that came out of his client work and newsletter business. So, how do these hold up today?

Benson’s Fan Club Your interview with Brian Kurtz [October 2007, “Direct Marketer of the Year”] was a great reminder of the influence mentors play in our lives, often without us even realizing it at the time. Brian has been a mentor to many, as was his early mentor Dick Benson. A few weeks before the article was published, I had gone to search for Dick’s photo on the Web, and I was shocked and upset to discover that it was nowhere to be found. How could someone so influential in our industry vanish so soon after his passing? This was a man who at any given

That Bookspan—the amalgam of the old Book-of-the-Month and Literary Guild—was cited and fined for treating customers badly is a shame. It’s true that the negative option book club is—without question—the most complex of direct marketing business models. It operates under a crushing schedule of 15 mailing cycles a year. Ten to 15 different kinds of communications between the member and the club could be in the mail at any given time: packages of books, returned books, announcements of new books, rejection (do-not-ship) slips, bills, statements, dunning efforts, payments, bonus book orders and bonus books shipped. All of these transactions are date sensitive. If a rejection

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