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Denny's Daily Zinger: The New York Times - Grand Merchant & Cataloger

April 24, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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"Once I have a buying customer, it's my license to sell that person anything I've got," Folio: editor Chuck Tannen said to me over lunch years ago.

Recently, I did pieces on two organizations that embraced Chuck Tannen's business philosophy—American Girl and Playbill.

These people blitz their audience with buying opportunities.

I am continually astonished at the number of organizations with enormous databases of users who never make an offer for a paid product or service—e.g., Yahoo. I get the sense they are terrified of offending.

The most recent convert to the Chuck Tannen business model is The New York Times. I've been a reader for 60 years.

At one point recently, the Times was in dire financial shape—forced to borrow $225 million against its new HQ building in order to pay bills.

Daily, the Times is offering me a cornucopia of goodies à la Playbill and American Girl.

I love it!

The old "gray lady" got her mojo back, big time:

  • My favorite venue is The New York Times Store. It has phenomenal stuff at splendid prices. Great art (including a first-edition Audubon print!), collectibles, ship models, old sliver, souvenir front pages,
  • Yummy travel opportunities all over the world.
  • A wine club.
  • Times Premier "for those with a curiosity that matches our own."

Takeaways to Consider

  • If you have a database of customers, make great offers and delight them!
  • "People love to be sold stuff." —Franklin Watts
  • P.S. Will you share with readers what you're doing?
Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. His most recent book is "Write Everything Right!" Contact him at


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