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

Somewhere in my prowling of the Web I ran across a mention of a book about punctuation that was a runaway bestseller in the United Kingdom and, at the time, not yet available in the United States. I found the book, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” by Lynne Truss ($12.25; Gotham Books;, on’s bestseller list and ordered it. The nutty title comes from an old joke about a panda in a restaurant who had dinner, pulled out a six-gun, fired into the ceiling and walked out. The joke comes from the definition for panda in

Staying in touch with your customers is no easy task--as any direct marketer will tell you--and trying to get a repeat sale can be an even harder proposition. But Prentice Hall has taken a route that makes doing both seem like a simple task. Prentice Hall, a publisher of mostly business books, has found a way to reach and thank its customers, while at the same time pitch another sale to them. We recently received a mailing from the company in a white, #10 envelope with three clear plastic windows (801PREHAL0801B). Visible through the largest of the windows is a message stating,

Business book publishing company, Prentice Hall, has added an interesting twist to the envelope-within-an-envelope format. Last November, the marketer dropped a mailing containing six, sealed #10 envelope packets to promote its line of books (801PRENTA1198B). Each envelope is addressed to an individual company title, and all efforts are inserted into one outer envelope that is addressed to the prospective company's mailroom manager. On the front of the 5"x111/2" manila envelope is the headline: "Attention Mailroom: Please open and distribute the enclosed letters." Each inner envelope contains a business reply card, a letter and/or a brochure describing a particular business book. Some of the creative

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