Has Bloomingdale's Spiked Its Brand?
November 13, 2015 at 8:00 am

I have faith that marketers will agree “rapey” is not quite the word you want associated with your brand. Even Bloomingdale’s agrees

4 Mail Circulation Best Practices
December 3, 2008

Going green is no longer a fad in the direct mail industry. It’s a must. And one way to go green, and save money in the process, is by removing wasteful circulation from your contact strategies. In a recent Target Marketing Group webinar, titled All About: Sustainability—Manage Your List the Green Way, Randy Erdahl, co-founder and president of Minnesota-based database marketing analytics firm Decision Intelligence, shared ideas on how to tighten circulation practices for a smaller carbon footprint and bigger ROI.

3 Tips for Catalogers on Limited Budgets
October 29, 2008

Still reeling from the 2007 postal rate increases, catalogers will need to make further budget cuts in 2009 to adjust to the faltering economy. "I think you will find that there will be a budget cut of another 10 [percent] to 20 percent for most pure play catalogers in 2009," projects Monica Smith, president and CEO of Marketsmith, a direct marketing agency with a focus on the catalog channel.

Direct Selling: Making a Match
March 1, 2008

No industry standard exists for matchback processing. That much is true. But in this article, you’ll learn methods that, when used appropriately, just might help you with the all-important task of better identifying the sources of unknown orders. First, let’s identify the real problem with matchbacks. Working with various companies during the past several years has given us the opportunity to see the outcomes of a number of matchback processes. The results? Most consumer catalogs see match rates between 25 percent and 50 percent for unaccounted-for orders (i.e., orders that cannot be attributed directly to a catalog mailing, e-mail campaign, search marketing or

Sweet Success
May 1, 2007

In a red brick building in Salem, Mass., within a stone’s throw of the Atlantic coast, is a small company that uses local labor to handcraft a line of gourmet chocolates sold through multiple channels to customers worldwide. This company is demonstrating that a viable multichannel selling strategy needn’t be reserved for just the behemoths in direct marketing. Harbor Sweets sells its luxury confections via a catalog, Web site, e-mail campaigns, retail channels and wholesale accounts, including Whole Foods Markets. Its overall sales have been growing 10 percent annually in recent years, and its average order value has increased 6 percent since 2004. Not

Direct Selling: The Theory of Relativity
May 1, 2007

No, you didn’t accidentally open a science journal, and no, this isn’t an article about Einstein’s theory of relativity. Instead, it’s an explanation of why so many direct mail efforts simply do not work. They lack relativity, the ability to relate to their audience, or for that matter, offer any relevance at all. This theory isn’t about the continuum of space and time but about cause and effect. Simply, when marketing to a target audience, if you deliver a relevant message in a relevant format in a relevant presentation, your chances of achieving a desired response will grow exponentially. This all sounds simple, right? Then

Not a Gaffe After All
May 1, 2005

IMAGINE THIS: You print 16 million catalogs a year that are seen by 500 million upscale prospects (average pass-along ratio is 20-to-1), often cooped up for hours with nothing else to read. Annually, 700,000 orders are placed, typically for 2.1 items at a $110 average order size. Oh, yes, a few more eat-your-heart-out ingredients of your catalog business: You warehouse no inventory, you ship nothing, take no returns, and you don't spend a penny on postage or list rental. Two words describe this model: yum-yum.

Catalog vs. Solo Package
June 1, 2004

Should you try both formats? In the annals of great direct marketing companies, fortunes have been made selling with both catalogs and solo packages. Both formats have their place in direct marketing and each serves a specific purpose. Unfortunately, many companies (especially startups) misunderstand the criteria for these formats and make critical strategic mistakes when using them. Likewise, seasoned direct marketers may forget the benefits of one or the other format, ignoring potential profits. Let’s explore both formats and why each of them should be considered in your marketing programs. What Makes a Catalog? A common mistake among start-ups is the belief that the company has