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*A Book Review*

Method Marketing

By Denny Hatch

by Michael C. Gray

February 5, 2003

Denny Hatch is the historian of the Direct Response Marketing industry. In his monthly newsletter, Inside Direct Mail, incorporating Who's Mailing What!, Hatch analyzes the current trends in direct mail - what makes sales letters successful and why they fail.

According to Denny Hatch, a key trait of the copywriters who write successful advertising is the ability to get inside the head of the customer - to understand the wants, needs, fears, etc. that drive the customer's buying decision. He calls this approach "Method Marketing". The analogy is to "method acting", the Stanislavsky technique for actors to understand how the human mind works - what causes the emotions of exclusivity, flattery, fear, greed, guilt, anger, salvation - so the actor can get inside the head of a character and become the character so convincingly the audience will experience suspension of disbelief and accept the performance as real.

In Method Marketing, Hatch tells the stories of the use and abuse of this ability, including the actual sales letters that initially persuaded prospective customers to take action and create some extraordinary companies or organizations. Along the way, he also explains other important factors for success in direct response marketing, including the mathematics required to realize net profits.

Some of the stories in this book include that of Father Bruce Ritter, who wrote amazingly successful fundraising letters for Covenant House, only to be later accused of molesting children in the program and fired. Positive role models include Martin Edelston, who founded Boardroom Reports, John Peterman, whose J. Peterman Company was a successful upscale catalogue operation, and Bill Bonner, founder of Agora Publishing, which markets newsletters on international travel and investment. Another "star" is David Oreck, who broke "the rules" and built a successful direct response marketing company mostly using short radio commercials.

Method Marketing is a worthwhile addition to your marketing library for its ideas and examples to achieve success in direct response marketing.

Buy it on Amazon: Method Marketing.

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Method Marketing, by Denny Hatch, explains how getting into your customer's head can improve the success of your sales letters.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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