Lew Smith

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 once had lunch with Dr. Seuss at the Four Seasons in New York along with Elsworth Howell, President of Grolier Enterprises and Lew Smith, his marketing and creative VP. It was the 1960s. New York Post gossip columnist Leonard Lyons was walking around, pencil and notebook in hand, looking for material. Howell called him over to the table, "Hey Leonard, come meet Dr. Seuss!"

Avoid gray walls of type. —David Ogilvy. Today, the communications coin of the realm is the 140-character Tweet. Everybody reads tweets—politicians, celebs, kids, seniors, business people, groupies. The country's most popular Tweeter in 2012: Lady Gaga with 19,341,413 followers. Tweets are fun, punchy, readable and, yes, well written. Twitter users spend time reworking information to make the biggest impact.

My wife, Peggy, and I are hooked on watching the Philadelphia Eagles on television every week during football season. It's a fun few hours.

A very successful businessman I know has been a New York Giants season ticket holder for more than 35 years. Even though he moved to another city, he's hung onto his seats, giving them to family or selling them through his broker at a fat profit when he can't attend a game.

Recently my friend got a bill from the Giants for $40,000--a one-time payment for two "personal seat licenses," giving him the right to buy season tickets for those seats in perpetuity. The money is needed, claims management, to help finance the new $1.6 billion stadium, even though many fans are feeling more like bankers than ticket holders.

Is it smart business to screw somebody who's been a loyal customer for 35 years?

Believe it or not, in some cases the answer is yes.

In May, my wife, Peggy, and I went to Normandy for a three-day total immersion into D-Day and World War II. The biggest town in the area is Caen (pronounced caw, with the “n” silent), and we stayed at the Best Western Moderne, a fine little hotel centrally situated and a bargain next to what we paid in Paris. Caen was blown to bits during the Allied invasion, much of it reduced to rubble. In the hotel window were a couple of photographs of the old Moderne before the war. I remembered a story about World War II told to me many years

An old client and friend, Gordon Grossman, former circulation director of Reader’s Digest and a brilliant magazine consultant, has retired to a life we can only dream about. He spends much of the year traveling the world on luxury cruise ships. Last week I received the following letter from him: Very good, balanced article on the Kindle. I’m an unabashed enthusiast, and would sooner go somewhere without my credit card than my Kindle. The reason I got it is because I’m very, very tired of lugging something like 60 pounds of books on the three- or four-month cruises we take every winter. It does

When I was publishing the newsletter, WHO’S MAILING WHAT!, I would get outraged letters from readers if ever a media story used the term “junk mail” in the headline or copy. How times have changed. Next to telemarketing calls at dinnertime and cascades of spam, junk mail is beloved. For several years I have said that with the existence of the Do-Not-Call Registry and Can Spam Act, direct mail would once again become the workhorse of direct marketing. My prediction is coming true. According to Louise Story’s article in The New York Times, last year, marketers sent more than 114 billion direct mailings—catalogs, envelope efforts, self-mailers

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