Ted Kikoler

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.

What works in direct mail works online. Entrepreneur Bill Bonner owns two historic chateaux in France, real estate all over the world and is founder/proprietor of the billion-dollar Agora Publishing. He accomplished it using direct mail. Now he has adapted direct mail know-how into a powerful Internet pitch.

Think of it! AdAge.com reported that ”The world’s top 100 marketers spent $97.8 billion in global media in 2006.” That’s more money than the GDP of Egypt! The asterisk in the story is a stopper, too: “Figures exclude Ad Age’s estimates of U.S. unmeasured marketing.” After 45 years in direct marketing—where return on investment (ROI) is measured down to a gnat’s eyebrow—the term “unmeasured marketing” makes me gag. General agencies are in the business of unmeasured marketing. They splatter gobs of paint on the wall and hope some of it sticks. Measured marketing—direct marketing—is like a game of paintball where you fire the

Reply form. Order card. Action device. Whatever you call it, there’s no denying that little—or sometimes big—slip of paper carries a lot of weight. As Carol Worthington-Levy, partner, creative services, at consulting firm LENSER, asserts, “People will head right for the reply form first, and then they head for the letter. … There is a mind set and a cultural training that has us looking for the one piece in a mailing where it says what [we] need to do to learn more or get this product or service.” Case in point is the voucher format that has been dominating the publishing

By Hallie Mummert I remember the first time I met Ed McLean. We were at the launch of Denny Hatch's Direct Mail Package Days, a two-day seminar devoted to nothing but direct mail and the incomparable people who breathe life into their clients' products and services. Being only 23 at the time, I was greatly intimidated by these direct mail stars—Marty Davidson, Barbara Harrison, Ted Kikoler, Herschell Gordon Lewis and, of course, McLean—and yet still didn't fully realize that I was in the presence of greatness. I would love to say that McLean put me at ease right away, but that wasn't his

By Ted Kikoler The graphic design tricks you'll read about in this article—which gave Gene Schwartz's 14-year-old control a 58 percent lift—can work in any mailing. The late Gene Schwartz, author of "Breakthrough Advertising" and one of the best copywriters and direct marketers who ever lived, owned a publishing company called Instant Improvement Inc. One of his most successful products, "The Complete System of Self-healing," was made famous by the long-standing control he wrote with the teaser, "How to Rub Your Stomach Away." The Design Challenge It's generally agreed that it's copy that sells. And the more you tell, the more you

How often do you use the word "golly"? Have you ever used the word "phat" to describe something you found really incredible? People who have something in common often share a similar vernacular. From the volleyball player who talks about "digging" up every serve to the amateur cook who makes his own roux and ganache from scratch, people use words to connect with other people like them. That's why this lift note found in a long-term control from GE Capital Insurance (440GEELCA1102) stands out for its continued use of the old standard opener, "Frankly, I'm puzzled ... " It's an expression that is

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