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Award-winning DM package brought in almost four times its cost.

The 24-page, heavily illustrated magalog promoting the investment newsletter The Dines Letter impressed The Newsletter on Newsletters judges in the Newsletters Promotion Awards Competition enough to give it the 2003 Gold Award in the Investment Newsletter category.

Craig Huey, president of Creative Direct Marketing Group Inc., in Torrance, Calif., who created the DM piece, provided us with the thinking behind the campaign.

"The stock market has been recovering in 2003," Huey wrote last fall. "Investors have become optimistic that a new bull market is in place. Mr. James Dines isn't.

"Our challenge was to market against popular opinion among both the competition and the target audience of investors.

"Mr. Dines also never did a direct mail campaign until last year. Most prospects do not know who he is, even though he has been publishing since the 1970s.

"Finally, his newsletter is more expensive than the common $39.00-to-$100.00 newsletter. His subscription price is $195.00 a year."


Huey said their objectives in the DM campaign were the following:

* To break even on the promotion.

* To give a credible message against the popular opinion of competing advisors.

* To introduce Mr. Dines so the investor would be excited about his credibility.

* To overcome the high price.

The creative solution

Huey said they approached the creative solution to their challenges in four ways:

1. "We created a headline and story that challenged the consensus opinion a dramatic way."

The cover of the magalog features, in lower-right corner, a five-inch photo of James Dines speaking at a lectern, with a huge red headline above him, Historic Gold Spike Ahead!

Above the head, in smaller type, reads, "First-time mail invitation issued in order to alert investors to this extraordinary opportunity.

"Just once in your life, wouldn't you like to get into a bull market before the crowd?

"While the 'experts' say put your faith in the Dow, let me show startling evidence of a Historic Gold Spike Ahead!

"For only the 3rd time since 1890, this proven indicator points to a roaring bull market in gold and silvers!

"Those who invest correctly now could make 7 to 10 times their money in just 12 to 18 months!

"Read on to discover: ..."

2. "Inside, we positioned Mr. Dines as the man who throughout the years has been accurate, yet contrary to popular opinion," Huey explained.

On page 2, for example, there's a four-column chart headed, "We challenge any advisor to beat this forecasting track record!"

The chart lists "Date," beginning with January 1966 and, with no fewer than 14 forecasts, ending September 18, 2002; "Mr. Dine Forecasted"; "What the experts said"; and "Outcome."

3. "We prominently displayed Mr. Dines in the piece, calling him a living legend."

4. "We clearly showed how Mr. Dines's advocacy of gold investments over the last few years has been highly profitable," Huey said.

The magalog also features a number of large-print sidebars describing the bonus reports offered to subscribers, "Why the media listens to Mr. Dines," "Laugh all the way to the bank" (which includes a couple of cartoon strips--an underused attention-grabbing technique, in our opinion), and a full page of testimonials.

The offer

Prospects were offered a subscription to The Dines Letter for $195/year, which includes one FREE SPECIAL REPORT and "The Dines Wealth-Building Starter Kit." A two-year subscription for $365 includes five special reports.

Respond within 10 days and receive "James Dines' The Invisible Crash, the ground-breaking booklet that explains how and why we'll finally pay for our sins for going off the gold standard in 1922. PLEASE NOTE: Supplies are limited and will be sent on a first-come, first served basis. A $20 value."

Note the incentives to ACT NOW: The basic offer states, "I understand this offer expires in 30 days," plus get The Invisible Crash for responding in 10 days, plus numerous mentions of "Don't delay" and "IF YOU INVEST NOW."

The results

"The subscriber base has more than tripled, generating more subscribers than any time in Mr. Dines's history," Huey said. "The results have generated over $3.82 for every dollar spent, surpassing the results of competitive newsletters. To the surprise of the bullish competition, Mr. Dines' subscriber base is growing larger and faster."

The Newsletter Awards Competion

To the many copywriters and publishers who pooh-pooh awards, we'd like to point out that the Newsletter Awards Competition places heavy emphsis on "results."

CDMG, 2360 Plaza del Amo, #105, Torrance, CA 90501, 310-212-5727,
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Title Annotation:Promotion
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Apr 30, 2004
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