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Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

Our Relationship Begins When You Tell Me a Story! This past November, I flew to New York City for the Silver Apple Award ceremony. My friend Murray Miller of American Express was among the individuals being honored, and my friends at Boardroom/Bottom Line received the Corporate Apple Award. After each award, the honoree said a few words, well actually a lot of words, which is OK with me. It struck me, as it does every year at the Apples, that long-time direct marketers all seem to be great storytellers. I think that’s one reason the ceremony always is packed. We like hearing their tales

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

By Lisa Yorgey This January, the German government announced its plans to scrap two laws that have been thorns in the side for direct marketers doing business in Germany. Enacted in the protectionist era of the 1930s, the first law limited companies from offering consumers discounts of more than 3 percent. The second piece of legislation, which has attracted a good deal of press coverage in the past few years, was its bonus gift act. This law forbade any free giveaway of significant value with a purchase. U.S. cataloger Lands' End was most notably affected by this piece of legislation. Following the launch

By Kelly J. Andrews A very good retail salesperson upsells this handbag to match that dress, the lamp to complement the sofa. To contrast, telephone reps, lacking face-to-face contact, used to function as mere order-takers, not salespeople. Direct marketers relied on persuasive copy to sell, not their inbound reps. This outdated reality has changed. The reasons are several: First, the increased costs of mailing have put pressure on call centers to increase order sizes and become profit centers. Second, upselling and cross-selling efforts not only increase average order size, but also help retain customers by turning single-buyers into multi-buyers and upping their involvement with

by Pat Friesen Yes, it's true: Birds of a feather do flock together. In the direct marketing world this means that customers who do business with you in all likelihood know other people who need your products or services, too. In other words, your customers may, in fact, be able to point you to your best prospects. And that's true whether you sell to consumers or businesses...or are prospecting for new members for an organization. So, if you are interested in the cost-efficient acquisition of highly qualified new prospects, you should have a customer referral program up and running. If you don't, you're

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