Rosalie Sacks Levine

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

The dumbest thing I ever did in business was heed the dire warnings of the bloodsuckers I worked for in my early years, who threatened instant dismissal if they caught me moonlighting.

So I didn't moonlight and was fired anyway—often.

These are rough times. And we're all dependent on mediocre, unmotivated co-workers and potentially failing businesses, no matter how superb our own performances.

If you can get something going on the side, for God’s sake do it! This way, if you get fired laid off, you’re still working.

I stumbled across Randy Cohen’s column in that most dismal and pretentious of publications, The New York Times Magazine. It reminded me of a 1990 series in WHO’S MAILING WHAT! put together by one of America’s greatest freelance copywriters—and a splendid, perpetually upbeat human being—Barbara Harrison.

I hope you find it useful.

On the whole, direct mail letters have become shorter as the years pass and audiences favor information they can absorb quickly. While graphics have taken on more prominence in direct mail, copy is still the main tool marketers use to impart product features and benefits, as well as to close the sale. Letter leads are just as critical to the success of a direct mail package today as they ever have been. To ensure your opening sales pitch is in top form, consider the following suggestions from three top copywriters: * Cut out any extraneous words and phrases, and make sure you use short, action

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