EDITORIAL: No More Marketing Dummies

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Way back in 1988, people readily admitted that they knew nothing about computer operating systems. Hence, "DOS for Dummies." Now those techies have another medium to master: direct marketing. Yes, "Direct Mail for Dummies" has just been published, and it tells beginning marketers everything they need to know to implement a successful direct mail campaign, especially those Netizens looking for some offline assistance.

Written by Richard Goldsmith, president of The Horah Group, New York, and printed by IDG Books Worldwide, the book is not for sale in bookstores -- it's free. ELetter.com had 50,000 copies of the book custom-published and is distributing them to anyone who requests one at its Web site, www.eletter.com. Meanwhile, Goldsmith has his own stash that he's giving away, but he asks for $5 to cover postage and handling costs. The 5 1/2-inch-by-8 1/2-inch, 120-page book is packed with items in traditional "... for Dummies" fashion, complete with bull's-eye tips and warning signs.

"It was a project I wanted to do anyway," Goldsmith said. "People have been asking me for this background material in the seminars I give."

So, if you don't know your buck slip from your lift letter, here's a quick guide that explains it all. Most readers won't need to spend too much time with it. Goldsmith starts with the differences between direct marketing and advertising. By the end of the book, he's offering 10 reasons why the Internet won't kill direct mail. (OK, he only lists four, but that's the name of the chapter.) Goldsmith's favorite part of the book? The cover. "I pull a copy out of the bag, and the faces just light up," he said. The Horah Group's address is 13th Floor, 49 W. 37th St., New York, NY 10018.

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