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#191 Andersen Windows
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, June 28, 2023




Blog Post #191 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023


Posted by Denny Hatch



“Neatness Rejects Involvement.” —Lew Smith

“UGLY WORKS!” —Bob Hacker



From Last Week’s Blog Post: Jayme on
"The Willing Suspension of Disbelief.”

“Two basic tenets of selling are that (1) people buyfrom other people more happily than from faceless corporations, and that (2) inthe marketplace as in theater, there is indeed a factor at work called ‘the willingsuspension of disbelief.’

      “Who stands behind our pancakes?  Aunt Jemima. Our angel food cake? BettyCrocker. Our coffee? JuanValdez.  Anyone over the age of threeknows that it’s all myth. But — like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy — themyths are comforting.”
—BillJayme, Legendary Direct Mail Copywriter in a letter to DH.


Thisoversized (9-1/2” x 11”) flyer above was an insert included in my weekend PhiladelphiaInquirer three months ago. It is the polar opposite of what American Expresssent me when it launched the Platinum Card in 1984. 


That AmEx masterpiece was thesubject of lastweek’s blog post. It so beautifully replicated an actual mailing from the executivesuite of a major corporation from the head honcho that for all the worldappeared individually typed by his secretary who took it into the boss’s officefor his actual signature in blue ink, then folded and inserted it into thehand-typed envelope. Whereupon she licked the envelope, affixed the two 18¢ FirstClass stamps and put it into her out-box to be mailed.


The American Express Platinum CardMailing was a textbook example of “my willing suspension of disbelief!”


Insteadof an elegant, deeply personal American Express letter the above is urgent,ugly and printed on the cheap. This is one-sided. The back is basically blank with a few lines of mouse type disclaimers that nobody will bother to read. 


Thistacky piece kept coming in my newspaper week-after-week. Obviously, it was bringingorders in for Andersen Windows. Where is the willing suspension of disbelief?


Lemmesay at the outset, I’m not on a soapbox proclaiming an opinion. This piece wasand is) successful. How do I know that. I keep receiving it — and its step-children— in my Sunday Philly newspaper.


Dorothy Kerr’s Dictum on DirectMarketing,

Direct Mail and Print Advertising Success.

Ata New York Direct Mail Writer’s Guild Luncheon in 1982 US News and World Reportcirc director was the speaker. She changed my life. “If you want to besuccessful in direct marketing, watch your mail. If you see a mailing coming inover and over again, it is ipso facto successful. Save it. Study it. Memorizeit. And Steal Smart.


Ifthis flier were not working like gangbusters, the circ team at Andersen wouldbe damned fools to keep sending it.


Obviously handwritten (scrawled hurriedly by a real person). This doesnot look like a computer- generated font.

•Note the little smiley face at #4. A bit of puckishness from a real personto me. Ya gotta love it!


•Okay, it’s not direct to me by name. But it talks directly to me as ahomeowner.


 This is clearly from folks working in myneighborhood.


•It’s easy to read. In the words of copywriter Andrew J. Byrne: “Shortwords! Short sentences! Short paragraphs!”


•The thirteen most powerful words in the English language are:

You - Save -Money - Guarantee - Love - Results-

?Proven – Safety - Easy - New - Health - Discovery –Free


 • Five of those powerful words are usedin the Andersen copy:

   You SaveEasyFree Guarantee.

  “Warranty” is the same thing as “Guarantee.”)


Terrific offers:



   Installationalways included.

   3% discount on everything.

   Save hundredsof dollars.

   Don’t payanything for a full year.

   Andersenwindows are well-known for quality.

   Toget in on this deal, call by March 31.

   Someone is sittingby the telephone waiting 

        to hear from me.


Two Slim-JimFollow-ups.

Slim Jim #1 Below Received in  my SundayInquirer the following week:

•These efforts are not e not from ananonymous salesperson. This one is signed by Kristin Gardner, General Managerof Andersen Windows.

• What’s more, the handwriting in theletter matches Gardner’s signature which indicates it was personal message tome written and signed by a by Kristin herself.

No “willing suspension of disbelief.”The message is believable.

Great offer: Buy 1 and get 40% off on asecond window or door.   

                                                                                                   • It’s all free for an entire year.

     SlimJim #2 (Received in            my newspaper the                      following Sunday):

   •If this collection of Sunday newspaper inserts     were combined into a single traditional  direct mail/direct marketing package, the top half of this Slim Jim would bethe “lift” piece —  a quick “yes/no” survey involvement device designed to “lift”response. It directs your        attention to the condition of your current windowsand doors and how they affect your lifestyle and household finances.

          The bottom half would be the equivalent of a hand-written scrawled P.S. on the   letterhyping benefits!                                                            




     NOTE: One of the most-read elements of a direct mail letter is the P.S. All direct mail copywriters know to include a P.S. at the end of every letter — no exceptions. Sometimes even a P.P.S.

Easyand affordable.

Buyone and get 40% off on the second.

Pay nothing for the entire year!

Freediagnosis in your home by an Andersen rep.

Callthis number. The area code 267 is familiar to

    all us Philly folks.

Notethe website: YourPhillyWindows.com. This is indeed a hometown Philly branch of Andersonwhere corporate HQ is Bayport, Minnesota. You are spending money on your in your hometown.

• Implied: If you have problems, you can talk to a neighbor.


Takeawaysto Consider

• Direct marketing isthe aristocrat of all advertising. Success or failure is precisely measurable.


• If you pay to get anoffer in the hands of a prospective buyer it is successful only if it brings in responsesat an allowable cost-per-order.


• If a mailing, off-the-pageprint advertisement or TV infomercial appears over and over and over again, it isobviously profitable.


• Always rememberDorothy Kerr’s dictum: “See what keeps coming over and over and over and STEALSMART!




Word Count: 931



6" x 9"  292pp
Paperback:     $29.95
ebook/Kindle: $19.95



Barnes & Noble



At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.


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