“Your package for EVERYDAY HEALTH HINTS now tops our winner’s list ...

"...as the BEST-EVER direct mail package for Rodale books with results 2 to 1 over the standard!"  

"In fact, response was so high, we had to change the print run.” --Kathi Ramsdell, Promotion Manager, Rodale Press


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When you spot a new technique being used by a mailer... and then see that technique repeated over and over again in subsequent efforts... you can be almost certain that it raised response.

Then, if you test this technique in your own efforts (in other words, "steal smart"), chances are good that you will have increased response. And you learned it on someone else's test dollars.

The Rodale Press mailing you see here was created by Manheimer & Wise. In a letter to designer David Wise, Kathi Fry-Ramsdell of Rodale wrote:

"The 'Trigger' package now tops
our winners list--as the best-ever
package for Rodale books with
results 2 to I over the standard--
which was written by a long-time
Rodale writer. Your package is a
real breakthrough for Rodale. . .
In fact, response was so high we
had to change the print run for the
book as well.

The mailing is brilliant. But Manheimer & Wise did not accomplish this breakthrough using the CPP (Clean Piece of Paper) approach. Rather, they astutely built on proven techniques--some radical, others traditional--devised for Rodale by some of America's greatest copywriters.

WHO'S MAILINC WHAT! has followed--and written about--Rodale book mailings ever since we started publishing, and many of the breakthroughs we flagged have been incorporated in this hugely successful effort.

For example, in January, 1985, we noted a 9" x 12" envelope full of bold promises and a 6-page letter jam-packed with "tease" copy by Gene Schwartz offering the raging best-seller (1.75 million copies up to that time), Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. Manheimer & Wise refined this down to two big promises on the OSE: "Trigger your body's own natural immunities" and"Free."

In March, 1986, Alan Friedenthal (now with Grey Direct) came up with an extraordinary "lift" device--a business reply book return label and letter affixed to the back of the 9" x 12" outer envelope. The message: "Read this first. If you don't like the book, use this label to return it at our expense." It raised response 30%. This "Trigger" package has a lift letter affixed to the back of the OSE.

In the September 1987 issue of WMW!, we reported on a 9" x 12" Rodale mailing by Jim Punkre, with confirmation from Brian Carnahan at Rodale that 90% of Rodale's book mailings go out in this large size because it lifts response by 25%--"more than enough to pay for itself."

In the November 1987 WMW!, we commented on Rodale's offer: "3 easy monthly installments of $8.32 each plus postage and handling." Nowhere are you told how much the book will cost nor the postage and handling.

Many writers think the only way to hit a grand slam home run is to do something completely different from anything done before. Manheimer & Wise show us otherwise. They slipped easily into the Rodale groove, employing all these techniques that were tested and known to raise response; then they added some razzle-dazzle of their own (including yellow highlighter through strategic sentences in the 8-page letter, truly compelling "tease" copy and a nifty lift piece titled, "The extraordinary discovery of AcuPinch"). The result: they doubled the response of every prior package.

The message here: if you've found something that works, urge your copywriters to continue to use it and to improve on it.