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"Manheimer and Wise have taken this technique to the next generation with a knockout of a package... in which they 'stole smart'.”
Denison Hatch
Who’s Mailing What!



In March 1986, Alan Friedenthal (now with Grey Direct) came up with an extraordinary "lift" device--a business reply merchandise return label and letter affixed to the back of a 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." This addition to the package raised response 30%, and variations have been used by Rodale (and many others) for years. Among the practitioners: Josh Manheimer and David Wise, who, created the Axel-winning "Trigger" package for Rodale in 1988.

Manheimer and Wise have taken this technique to the next generation with a knockout of a package for Southern Living's Healthy Heart Cookbook (105SOULIV1092) in which they "stole smart" from themselves and added a slew of toots and hollers of their own. The back of the 4-color 6"x9" outer envelope shows a gooey heart-shaped dessert covered with chocolate and vanilla icing with the headline: "KEEP IT BEATING eating this!"

Here's the front of the envelope with the lift device tipped on in shocking Day-Glo pink...a heart shaped window with a heart-shaped "FREE" showing through...and the promise of $50 cash ("if you're fast")... "Free recipe and orange peeler INSIDE!"

Despite the jazzy design, in this effort, copy is king: So you can imagine Frank's surprise when he arrived home from work to find me in the kitchen preparing elegant Pesto Swordfish Kabobs...buttery Oven-Fried Zucchini chips...down-home Peppery Cheese Biscuits...and the most luscious Chocolate Creme de Menthe Pie ever!


"No," I said, beaming. "The pie has zero cholesterol! The chips and biscuits -- hardly any fat. And the swordfish--may actually reverse heart disease!"

Included in the package is the actual recipe for the Creme de Menthe Pie Frank's wife was making, plus the offer of a free gift. Some versions contained a plastic orange peeler (giving them a lumpy a quality--another reason to open the envelope).

According to Wise, this package is an adaptation of the long-term control subscription effort he and Manheimer did for Southern Living's Cooking Light that shows a chocolate heart-shaped pie on the envelope with the headline: "Give Up Nothing!" Manheimer notes that the package pulled a 10.55% gross response.

"For the diet books, I always show something chocolate," Wise said, "and then let the copy prove it's okay to eat. Most people have an addiction to chocolate; it always works for diet books. in fact, if you see a mailing for a diet book featuring chocolate, chances are it's mine.

According to Diane Mooney (whom vice president Hallett Johnson calls "our resident genius"), the version containing the plastic orange peeler more than paid for itself. It also paid for itself in another mailing package. "We've bought millions of those things," Mooney confessed.

Denison Hatch
Who's Mailing What!



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