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February 2008 Issue

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Nuts & Bolts - Gift Card : Six Tips to Reel in Unused Gift Cards
For the fourth straight year, gift cards were expected to be the top gift purchase this holiday season, with 69 percent of consumers planning to buy them, according to the Deloitte & Touche 2007 Annual Holiday Survey....
E-mail : The Metrics That Matter
Say what you want about e-mail. The fact is, it is the backbone of online marketing and communications. E-mail remains the top online marketing channel today, according to Forrester Research. And for good reason. No other channel provides such clear,...
Nuts & Bolts - Book Club : Lessons From a DM Vet
With chapter headings such as “Make Someone Mad Today” and “Steal Smart,” Lee Marc Stein’s “Street Smart Direct Marketing” (2007, Stein) is the exception to typical, dry marketing how-to tomes. The book is a compilation of lessons learned from, as...
B-to-B Insights : B-to-B Marketing in 1978 vs. 2008
I started my career in B-to-B marketing in the late 1970s, and by the early 1980s I thought I had a pretty good handle on the basics. I believed I could continue to use the methods I’d learned during my...
Nuts & Bolts - Case Study : Redesigned for Better ROI
Challenge: Expand service capabilities, improve distribution systems and reduce waste Solution: Revamp fulfillment processes Results: Improved ROI and support for sales team...
Market Focus - Pet Owners : It's Raining Cat and Dog Lovers
No matter who you’re marketing to, you’re more than likely to reach a pet owner. After all, 63 percent of U.S. households—more than 71 million homes—have one or more pets, according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by...
Famous Last Words : Two Businesses to Test
I am a new business ideas junkie—businesses that are proven winners and others maybe worth a test. Here‘s two....
Cover Story : In the Right Market
It’s not always what you say. Sometimes it’s to whom you say it that matters most—at least that’s the experience of the direct marketing team at Wisconsin–based AIG Travel Guard, a leading travel insurance plan provider and part of the...
Brand Matters : Are You Listening?
What do Charles Schwab Corp., JC Penney, Netflix and The Vermont Country Store all have in common? Great branding conversations with their customers....
Production : Foundation for Automation
Mainstream direct marketing finally has discovered full-color, variable digital print. The volume of full-color digital print continues to jump and has become the fastest-growing direct marketing medium. The reason for its growth is no secret to firms that are driven...
E-commerce Link : Demystifying Social Computing
Social computing technologies are an increasingly vital part of consumers’ lives. Industry analyst Forrester Research reports that use of social networking sites grew a whopping 90 percent from 2006 to 2007; in the same time period, blog consumption grew by...
Editor's Note : Ice Pack for That Black Eye?
For decades, direct marketing was a red-headed stepchild to Madison Avenue, which allowed practitioners to enjoy their success quietly. Now that general advertisers have come over to the measurable side, a much bigger spotlight has been trained on direct marketing....