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#67 GONE FOREVER: The Sublime Joy of Tasting Blood
Denny Hatch -- Marketing Expert Denny Hatch -- Marketing Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia , PA
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Issue #67 — Tuesday, August 20, 2019

GONE FOREVER: Marketers' Sublime Joy of Tasting Blood

“One day a man walked into a London agency and asked to see the boss. He had bought a country house and was about to open it as a hotel. Could the agency help him to get customers? He had $500 to spend. Not surprisingly, the head of the agency turned him over to the office boy, who happened to be the author of this book. I invested his money in penny postcards and mailed them to well-heeled people living in the neighborhood. Six weeks later the hotel opened to a full house. I had tasted blood.
    —David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising, Crown, 1983

A Big Oops…
As editor and publisher of WHO’S MAILING WHAT! I had the great pleasure of being in touch with marketers from all over the world. I vividly remember the story (but alas, not the name of the marketer or product) of a guy and his wife who bet the house plus their life savings on a product they deeply believed in. They sent out a huge test mailing and every day they went down to the P.O. box looking for BREs (Business Reply Envelopes).
     Every morning they woke up with a renewed sense of dread. After a week-and-a-half still nothing. He, his wife and three employees were devastated.
     On the eleventh they day turned the key in the lock of the little Post Office box and found a slip of paper with a terse note: “Please see postmaster.”
      They went to the counter in abject terror and handed the note to a clerk who alerted the Postmaster. The old gentleman came over and introduced himself. “I’m sorry,” he said. “You have some reply mail here but we could not deliver it to you because there was no money in your Business Reply Mail account.
      The fledgling entrepreneurs had forgotten (or did not know) the basic inviolable rule. To receive Reply Mail you must deposit money in your USPS Business Reply account. He whipped out his credit card, and cash was instantly in the hands of the USPS.
     Whereupon the original clerk came over with two giant canvas sacks of Reply Mail which he plopped onto the counter.
     Suddenly the the little company had a real business—and the players had new lives and new careers!
     Knowing the rules in this business is essential!

Think for a moment…

These folks experienced the direct marketer’s ultimate thrill—an avalanche of Business Reply Envelopes that instantly validated his huge gamble and everything they had worked like hell and sacrificed for.
      These hundreds and hundreds of responses were tangible, tactile missives from real people from all over the country who believed in them! Each envelope literally contained a different sample of DNA—the individual spit on the gummed flap that had been licked. 
     Like David Ogilvy they had tasted blood!

JoanManley’s Confession

     In 1970, Joan Manley—who started out as an assistant in the marketing department of Doubleday—was appointed publisher of Time-Life Books. This was dazzling achievement for a woman in those dreary, shamefully sexist days.

     Time-Life Books was ranked among the 10 largest book
     publishers in the world. In 1968, it sold more than 16 million
     books in 21 languages under its own imprints and millions of
     books through affiliates.
     The New York Times, July 15, 1970

Periodically Joan flew from New York to the Chicago fulfillment operation to get her hands on raw orders.
     "It gave me a big belt at the time," she said to me, "and it would now. Direct marketing distances you from your customer, so for many reasons it is desirable to read the raw mail, as well as letters—good and bad—from readers."
     Joan needed a regular transfusion of bloodblood transfusion!

  Robert Coates on “What Makes a Direct Marketer”
Robert Coates is a marketer out of Oregon who specializes in the financial services area. After years of knowing about each other, we finally had a joint client and attended a meeting in Chicago. Coates looked at me at one point and said, "Do you know how to tell a true direct marketer?"
     "Hand a person a list of names and addresses in hard copy. If he or she starts reading it—name by name—it's a clear indication of a fascination with people, their names, their addresses, the names of their streets."
     "I qualify," I said. "Reading a list is like eating peanuts. I can't stop."
     When I look at names on a list, I begin to imagine families, what they look like and how they might dress. If a business list, I find myself thinking, "How did these folks come up with this name for their company?"
     Having street addresses, I can conjure up images of where these people on the list might live. For example, a New York City residence would ipso facto be different from one in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
     I used to attend direct marketing conferences to hear lectures by database professionals. I remember one very high-powered consultant describing how databases work—how data are segmented and put in "buckets." The PowerPoint presentation actually showed buckets.
     Having grown up on the shore, to me buckets are things that hold bait, chum, clams or flopping just-caught fish.
     People do not belong in buckets. People belong in offices, homes, cars, riding lawn mowers, shooting baskets and wolfing down ribs and beer while they cheer for the home team.

What’s Missing in Digital Marketing.
Okay, I’m a Luddite.
     When I see an online lists of names—with addresses such as aol.com, gmail.com or yahoo.com—I have to work at remembering these electronic blips are, in fact, real people. They are every bit as human as the names of people and companies that make up an old-fashioned postal list—even though they are faceless, stateless and living in some cloud.

How This Old Luddite Hosts His Blog
I love being in touch with my readers. 
     If you write me asking to be put on the alert list for upcoming posts—or need answers to a question… or comment on the current blog—you will receive a personal response.
     Yeah, I could get my computer whiz, Jay, to set up an AI system that automatically responds to incoming correspondence and automatically ads the names my subscriber “database.”
     However, I type the name of every new reader into my database, because I want to know you and remember you.
     And I send you a personalized welcome with with my Guarantee of Satisfaction for the same reason.
     I do not trust automatic systems. 
     I remember receiving a "personalized" email with the following salutation: 
Dear Hatch Denny
     Whoever sent me that was sloppy. Untrustworthy. 

Takeaways to Consider
Just as I was putting this post to bed, here’s idiocy that showed up in my in-box:

• My 30th floor center city Philadelphia apartment is 43 miles from Chester County.

• Two doormen are always on duty and never allow strangers to wander around.

• Obviously the jackass who emailed this never knocked on my door. Not ever!

Word count: 1173

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! newsletter and archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 years he 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.


Denny Hatch
The St. James
200 West Washington Square, #3007
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-644-9526 (Rings on my desk)

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