And I'll show you mine.
Dear Brilliant Digital Copywriting Colleague:
As lightning flashes against the office windows, your scrooge-like boss summons you into his cave with a bony finger and spits out his orders.
"Write me a full blown, junk mail package," he wheezes, "the kind top freelancers get $25,000 to craft … in their pajamas … from their beach house."
You feel the blood drain from your face as you navigate back to your cubicle. You know you're a rock star writing Facebook ads. No one can touch you if a landing page comes within 100 yards of your desk. Scripts for Youtube videos ... you should have won an Oscar long ago.
But junk mail? The stuff that people get in the mail and throw away!
You'd rather boil in a vat of hot oil.
Should you pretend your dog ate your laptop? Your lost cousin has been found? Ebola runs in your family, and you’re feeling a little feverish?
Relax. I’ve got your back.
Because now you can apprentice with one of the world’s top direct mail copywriters.
So when your Cruella deCopy Chief wonders aloud if you have the chops to motivate an audience to respond with words on paper …
... I'll make sure you shut him up for good.
When the CEO calls from her Tesla and asks how you intend to position the product and the offer on the outer envelope, the sales letter, the lift note, the brochure, the order card, the BRE …
… I’ll walk you through all the package components and the time-tested methods that take maximum advantage of each.
When the Graphic Designer wants to know if you want to test a #14 or a #16 outer envelope … if you want the brochure to have a roll or fan fold … if you want the letter to be the first or the last thing the prospect sees when they slit open the envelope …
… I’ll open my fireproof file cabinet and pull out dozens of my legendary control packages to show you how all the pieces fit together, so you sound like it’s all second nature.
When the Print Coordinator wants to know if you’re going to add die cuts, stickers, and a personalized membership card …
… I’ll whisper in your ear how to keep your package costs down so you don’t lose because your CPM (Cost Per Thousand) is so high, you’ll have to get an impossible 500% lift just to break even.
Get the idea?
With one click you can push past the doors marked PRIVATE and get into bed with one of the masters of direct mail creative.
“Wait! I don’t get into bed with just anybody!” you mutter, conveniently forgetting the string of charlatans, scoundrels and quacks you've handed your hard-earned money to over the years. “Who the hell are you?”
Not an unreasonable question.
Indeed I’ve kept a low profile for the last decade, so you may not have a poster of me above your bed … yet.
But stick around.
Soon you’ll be clamoring for the t-shirt, mugs, and lavender scented candles.
Hi! My name is Josh Manheimer, and if you google “direct mail copywriter,” you’ll see I come out #1 in the US.
That’s because for the last 30 years I’ve created some of the most successful direct mail packages in the history of direct marketing.
Over the decades I’ve had a 5-year control for POPULAR MECHANICS, an 8-year control for THE N.Y. REVIEW OF BOOKS, a 10-year control for WRITER’S DIGEST, and an 11-year control for THE NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION.
My launch for STORY MAGAZINE pulled 14%. My package for COOKING LIGHT grossed 10.55%. My winner for DOUBLETAKE doubled anything they’d ever stuck in a mail sack.
My acquisition effort for THE ASIAN WALL STREET JOURNAL quadrupled response, and it was written — in Chinese!
I’ve created the most successful direct mail package in the history of the Meredith Corporation, and the most successful sales letter in the history of Rodale’s Book Division.
(You’ll find them both featured in THE WORLD’S GREATEST DIRECT MAIL SALES LETTERS.)
As you can see, I don’t break a sweat when working with prestigious national brands.
My creative effort for BETTER HOMES & GARDENS was mailed to every household in the country, and my control for CONSUMER REPORTS rolled out to 40 million.
When THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE needed assistance promoting their CME program to physicians … when Unitedhealthcare wanted help selling Medicare insurance to seniors … when Intuit was looking for a copywriter to market Quicken and Quickbooks …
They called me.
Now you can, too.
Since many of my brilliant direct mail copywriting colleagues are dead or on life support ...
... here’s your chance to attach yourself to the leg of a veteran direct mail copywriter who is still ambulatory and crafting junk mail for clients all across the country.
If you’ve noticed that just about every Senior Copywriter job description these days wants you to have experience with direct mail creative …
If you’d like to apprentice with one of the old masters BEFORE he takes his final gasp and is buried six feet under with all his direct mail secrets buried with him …
If you’d like to learn how to write copy the way I did, not by studying formulas, but by swiping the best sales letters I could find in the dumpster behind my post office ...
… maybe we should talk.
This is what I’m thinking.
Then let’s see if we can round up enough talented digital copywriters -- interested in learning direct mail techniques -- to field a minor league baseball team.
We'll call ourselves The Direct Mail Mud Hens.
Email me at
If there's enough enthusiasm, we’ll find a quiet place to hang out on Facebook or Basecamp where we can talk shop.
Needless to say ...
If just one direct mail control can be added to your portfolio as a result of this relationship, well, chances are shooting me an email and shouting, "YES! SHOW ME YOUR JUNK!" will be a brilliant career move, don't you think?
It also sounds like it will be a lot of fun!
Josh C. Manheimer
P.S. Want a DNA sample to see if I'm the real deal?
Check out www.directmailcopy.com. You'll find a robust portfolio of my work.
Also ... here’s a few love letters from clients and colleagues. Read them and weep.
“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
"I am NOT the greatest storytelling copywriter in America. That title belongs to ... Josh Manheimer. This guy doesn’t just beat controls, he bludgeons them to death with 100%, 200%, even 300% victories."
—Richard Armstrong, Brilliant A-List Copywriter
“I’ve never written a letter to a direct mail copywriter before. But your subscription package for Writer’s Digest was super.”
—Bob Bly, Author, The Copywriter’s Handbook
“After studying Gary Bencivenga, Clayton Makepeace, Parris Lampropoulos, and all of the old Masters, I consider myself very fortunate to have found your website. I’ll be studying your packages, and hopefully stealing your secrets, too ;-) It was an honor to read your work.”
“Dear Josh, I swim in your wake. I have long admired your work (especially one effort I recall for Writer’s Digest), and I often find myself recommending you when clients are looking to test something other than my stuff. I’m very good at selling clients on using me, but not quite as good at making the package! I steal shamelessly from you…”
—Prefers to Remain Anonymous
“Finally got this year’s copy of Who’s Charging What! Had no idea it was you who did so many of my favorite packages. Your work reminds me why I got into direct in the first place. Thanks for showing the rest of us the way!”
“Wow!” Gross is 4 times and net is double!”
The Asian Wall Street Journal
“A 14% response is perfectly incredible!”
“Not sure if anyone’s mailing these days. And I’m really not sure anyone’s posting 10% response rates. Anyone, that is, but MaryJanesFarm!”
G.K. , Belvoir Media Group
“We were astonished when your direct mail package pulled 72% better. I had not thought such an increase was possible.”
Rob Dubin, Publisher, Sailing Quarterly
“Your package beat our launch package by almost 50% on a net response basis. This is a phenomenal response!”
Jackie Prince, Doubletake
“Your Yellow Poly direct mail package has been the control at Playboy for at least 12 seasons!”
Phyllis Rotunno, Playboy
“The [Trigger] 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.”
Denison Hatch, Who’s Mailing What!
“Josh, I was singing your praises and reading your copy to a class of 102 people attending the Columbia Journalism School’s Annual Publishing Course.”
“Dear Mr. Manheimer, I hardly ever write to people I don’t know on the Internet, but had to after I stumbled across your website and was blown away by control samples you put up… …and even more blown away by the PR pitches you gave out for FREE. As a fresh copywriter - you sir, are a breath of fresh air in a world of self-proclaimed Internet copywriting “gurus” and an inspiration for someone who wants to hone their craft.“
“Damn you, Manheimer. I’m on a really tight deadline and unfortunately I just discovered your site. Not only did all the cool stuff on it cost me a good hour on my project, I’ll probably have to polish up my copy an extra half dozen to get it anywhere near where you’ve raised the bar. Thanks a bunch.”
“Hi Josh (or J.C., if you prefer?), What a discovery you are! Your letter leads PDF is amazing. I love your story leads. Better than a lot of similar ones I’ve seen. I’ve been studying direct response copywriting for a while, but I don’t often see your name and I’m not sure why. You’re obviously one of the best out there.”
“I have used your letter with our current donors, and so far, it has done awesome. This is the best response rate we have
ever received.” Rob Benn-Frenette, O.N.B
“The direct mail package [for Writer’s Digest] was so successful that, for years, it crushed tests written by some of the biggest names in the business.”
“As usual, a stellar effort! In reviewing HORSE JOURNAL’S status today, I was again struck by the impact of your HORSE SENSE package. It has really helped the momentum and strength of the title.”
“I wish there was some way to give a super star rating for Josh. I can see why he is one of the world’s best direct mail copywriters! I have spent 5 years writing internet sales copy myself, but having Josh first guide me and then fix my direct marketing copy had been an unbelievable experience.
Publisher, Tax Insider
Hey Josh, excited to be here. Looking forward to learning more from you. I’m a copywriter for two Agora divisions and a handful of other clients. Always looking to up the skillzzz. You rock.
"Your launch direct mail package pulled really well! On top of that, you were such a pleasure to work with!"
—Sandy Ress, Publisher, Birder Magazine