England

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

I received this email about Jame Thornton's passing a couple of weeks ago from Anthony Green, which was truly sad news. Thornton was a brilliant genius, a serial entrepreneur and known to many as Mr. Direct Marketing SE Asia.

In 1922, Ernest Hemingway's wife, Hadley Richardson, left both the original manuscripts and carbon copies of all the early short stories on a train in the Gare de Lyon in Paris. They were never found. T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") left the original manuscript of his "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" in the café of the Reading railroad station in England and never found it

Some hobbyists are train spotters and plane spotters. I am a yacht-spotter. What triggered this column was seeing Lady Sandals, a mega-yacht at Penn's Landing on the Delaware River. I Googled Lady Sandals—135' and once owned by Nicolas Cage. Google supplied dozens of interior and exterior photographs of the ship. At that same pier, I spotted McFarland, a massive dredger operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. I chatted with a member of the crew and was invited aboard for a tour the next day.

History is littered with love-hate relationships: England and France, Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, to name a few. I'd like to add sales and marketing to the list of friend-enemies. The sales-marketing "frenemy" relationship is ingrained in many organizations

Mailing is about to get more expensive. Regulators approved a temporary price hike of 3 cents for a First Class stamp, bringing the charge to 49 cents a letter in an effort to help the Postal Service recover from severe mail decreases brought on by the 2008 economic downturn. Many consumers won't feel the price increase immediately. Forever stamps … can be purchased at the lower price until the new rate is effective on Jan. 26. The higher rate will last no more than two years, allowing the Postal Service to recoup $2.8 billion

I was thinking that when I called 1-800-CONTACTS. We must be a pain most of the time, but their customer service people always sound happy to hear from me. That was the case this week when Kristine Taylor was so cheerful about handling the return and getting my new trifocal lenses from England. Very few marketers ever think about the value of actually dealing with existing customers, probably because they’re so focused on new customer acquisition. The “back end” of the business—returns, credits, handling complaints, answering questions, even keeping track of customers—doesn’t interest them much. It should.

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