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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.

It is high season for politicians scrambling for dollars. The Hillary Clinton juggernaut continues apace with a record $26 million in the till in the first quarter of 2007—over three times what any other candidate has ever raised at this point. Meanwhile, America is looking at the strangest election in history. By the end of January 2008, two states will have held their nominating caucuses for president and vice president (Iowa and Nevada) and two more states—New Hampshire and South Carolina—will have held their primaries. On Feb. 5, 2008, an estimated 21 additional states will hold primary elections including such behemoths as California, New

That a passenger went ballistic after waiting an hour-and-a-half for his luggage and wound up in police custody was unfortunate, but not surprising. Much is happening in the world to give us all angst—tight security and long lines at airports, the high price of oil and natural disasters. All can interrupt the normal patterns of our lives. Marketers have two choices: (1) Business as usual or (2) use news to enhance your business by scoring Brownie points with your customers and prospects (and perhaps making extra sales). This is old-fashioned PR, salesmanship and customer retention management. Savvy Hotel and Rental-car Marketers Last month when arrests were make in the

Think Before You Act Feb. 2, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 9 IN THE NEWS Multimedia Launch of 'Bubble' Gets Mixed Response An experiment in launching a movie almost simultaneously in the cinema, on cable television and on DVD attracted few theater-goers, although the film has done well in DVD orders, according to its makers. —Sarah McBride, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30, 2006 In the film world, the time-honored sequence for release of a new movie is theater distribution first, followed by DVDs for purchase and rental, and finally presentation on cable or network TV. "Bubble" is a low-budget thriller directed by

By Phil Minix, senior vice president of catalog and tours marketing at Reiman Publications Let's face it: We've gotten spoiled by the fact that we can count on our staffs to answer calls promptly, take phone orders efficiently, easily process Web orders, ship products to customers in a timely fashion and have the merchandise arrive in good condition. Since the processes often run so smoothly, we sometimes take them for granted. But should we? Here are six suggestions on things we could be doing — as an industry — to make customers' experiences more enjoyable and rewarding, and to ensure they

By Lois K. Geller And for direct marketers that means Real Honest A year ago, we all watched a ghastly tower of smoke and dust billow out of the site that was the World Trade Center. Not long after that, a lunatic started poisoning our mail with anthrax. The news then turned to a host of institutions that lied, cheated and stole from us. Last year, I wrote a column titled "Pinocchio Was Here" (Oct. 2001) about deception in direct mail. After the events of the last 12 months, and with the economy in the tank, I want to look at this

I have a basket that's the resting place of many direct mail pieces. There also are some old receipts, past issues of Readers' Digest and a good deal of catalogs there, too. I like to read catalogs at my leisure; it's recreational and relaxing. Some of them have sticky notes hanging off their pages marking things I want to buy. Other catalogs I keep because I like to look at them and get inspired with great ideas for our clients. Some catalogs are so well done I can't bear to throw them out. At Mason & Geller, we've been fortunate to do our

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