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

Mobile has reinvented the way travelers plan and book trips. This year, around 70 million Americans will book travel through their mobile devices, representing a spend of about $75 million. Those sales will grow to nearly $95 million in just two years.

Here's an AP headline and lede last week: "Americans Living Longer as Most Death Rates Fall"—Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell.

A number of years ago, we took a terrific Norwegian Cruise Lines tour of the Baltic—St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Copenhagen. The company kept us on its roster of customers. We became “Latitudes Insider” members.

On her office computer a couple of years later, my wife Peggy received a last-minute “Latitudes” offer from Norwegian Cruise Lines at a time when we seriously needed a break. Clicking on the offer, she discovered not only a 7-day Bahamas cruise, but also an upgrade to a suite for very little additional money—tiny bedroom with separate sitting room and balcony. She booked it. If one of us wanted to read while the other slept late or napped, the layout was perfect. What’s more, Norwegian Cruise Lines treats its suite buyers to extra services: exclusive access to private dining areas, concierge service, mini-bar, etc. We returned to New York from the Caribbean thoroughly refreshed.

Over the years, we have booked Club ABC Tours, a company that can buy all-inclusive upmarket travel at very good prices and pass the savings on to its customers.

On April 12, I found identical offers four hours apart from both of these companies—a one-day sale for myriad cruises on Norwegian Epic.

Of course, I opened them.

The ABC offer was off the wall—gibberish.

I noodled around the Norwegian Cruise Line offer and felt the offers were so-so.

“The right offer should be so attractive,” said the great Claude Hopkins, “that only a lunatic would say no.”

I abandoned the hunt.

One night in the early 1980s, my wife, Peggy, and I were sitting in the second row of the Mark Hellinger Theater watching the musical romp “Sugar Babies,” starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller. Mickey Rooney (amazingly, this was his Broadway debut) was standing outside a hotel room door listening to what was going on inside between two newlyweds. It was the setup for a very old joke that I had known since boyhood. “When you get to the umbrella, it’s mine!” Rooney shouted through the door. I let out a guffaw that rocked the theater and the audience followed suit. Rooney marched down

Adieu, Franc! Bonjour, Euro! By Lisa Yorgey Fireworks, parades and great fanfare marked France's adieu to the franc, a currency in circulation in its current form for more than 200 years. The Germans were a bit more pragmatic in their lebe woh—or goodbye—to the deutsche mark and let it quietly retire, reports Sascha Fuhren, marketing director, Deutsche Post. In total, about 304 million people living within 12 European countries have bid a fond farewell to their national currencies and embraced the euro. The Changeover The three-year transitional phase for the euro currency came to an end on Jan. 1, 2002. Euro cash

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