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Consumers send most direct mailers directly to the dumps. Avoid these common mistakes and your message may make it past the wastepaper basket.

This story appears in the July 1999 issue of

"Avoid mistakes before seeking brilliance." This may sound a bit on the safe side, but when it comes to creating an effective direct-mail piece, it's also a sure way to avoid creative catastrophes. To avoid mistakes:

1. Don't be cutesy. Pun-laden copy combined with a garish design, wild colors and hard-to-read type hides your message and is a recipe for the circular file.

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