Walter Drake

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

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

The king of high-end tchotchkes (Richard Thalheimer, former CEO and chairman of The Sharper Image) and queen of low-end tchotchkes (Lillian Vernon) have been dethroned. Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image—two iconic catalogs—were known to have been struggling in recent years. Their bankruptcies were expected. That they were announced on the same day is astonishing. How could this happen? Both Vernon and Thalheimer launched businesses without paying their dues. Ultimately, neither of them knew what the hell they were doing. Lillian Vernon’s Story In 1933, Lillian Katz’s family fled the Nazis. They left Leipzig, Germany, for Amsterdam, and four years later were lucky enough to

by Pat Friesen Whenever I teach a seminar or workshop on the basics of direct marketing, we talk about the fact that direct marketing uses a variety of types of media—not just direct mail lists. It's interesting how often businesses overlook the opportunity to send "one message"—no matter which medium they're using—whether it's broadcast, space, package inserts, direct mail or online advertising. One observation I'll make is that direct marketers tend to be better about sending the same message and using the same voice in all their advertising efforts than do traditional marketers who are crossing over into direct. Here are some elements of

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