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June 2007 Issue

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B-to-B Insights: What Are We Doing Here? (Part One)
Regular readers of this column may be surprised to learn that, although I’ve spent my entire career in marketing, I didn’t start out in B-to-B direct marketing. Yes, Russell Kern got his feet wet as a general advertising account guy!...
E-Commerce Link: Keepin’ It Optimized
Last October, Google brought Web site testing to the masses with the launch of Google Website Optimizer, a free tool that enables marketers to test and optimize their online campaigns. If you haven’t started testing your site already, it’s time...
Nuts&Bolts: Global Update
Unique names. Fresh lists. Prospect lists are a basic need in direct marketing. We need them to maintain our customer base and to fuel expansion, whether into new markets or more deeply into a current market. Because of our niche...
Nuts&Bolts: Book Club
The direct marketing industry would be wise to place Jeanne S. Jennings’ “The Email Marketing Kit” (SitePoint Pty., $197) in the top nightstand drawer of every hotel room on the trade-show circuit. It’s a comprehensive primer for the e-mail marketing...
Editor’s Notes: Who Inspires You?
In less than a month, the editorial team and I will begin the challenging but wholly rewarding task of reviewing nominations for our annual Direct Marketer of the Year Award. The challenging part is selecting just one individual to recognize...
Nuts&Bolts: 5-minute Interview With National Wildlife Federation’s Anne Senft
With the online environment morphing at light speed, direct mail may seem like a stable but stagnant channel. But that’s certainly not the case for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), a Reston, Va.-based nonprofit whose mission is to inspire Americans...
Creative Travels
When you think of the National Geographic Society, you may envision the iconic yellow-bordered magazine that you sneaked peeks at as a kid in hopes of catching a glimpse of naked tribespeople. But while the photo-packed magazine is a big...
Special Report: Paper and Production
This special report bears the moniker of “Printing and Production,” but in all honesty, it’s missing a third “P” for postal. Every discussion of direct mail production for this editorial section either started with or came around to the topic...
Special Report: Driving Innovation
Direct mail is marketing’s workhorse for a reason. It’s resolute and reliable, even in the face of challenge. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) “2006 Response Rate Trends Report,” the medium produces the second highest response rates (behind catalogs)...
Special Report: Less Envelope, More Response
Less may be more—at least when it comes to outer envelopes, suggests Michelle Rudiman, director of marketing for design software solution provider Autodesk. The company put this theory to the test during a direct mail campaign in September 2005, replacing...
Special Report: The Shape of Things to Come
As I write this, it’s a week before the May 14 implementation date for the majority of the rate increases and mail prep changes associated with the 2007 postal rate case. And while mailers are focusing their attention on these...
Market Focus: Professional Photographers
Professional photographers are a mysterious bunch: No one knows exactly how many there are (estimates range from 34,000 to 200,000); they’re both creatives and businesspeople; and they buy everything from the expected photography equipment to museum passes and cruise trips....
B-to-B: On the Right Track
The most basic form of response tracking requires direct marketers to determine which promotions generate the most sales, orders or inquiries for lead generation. Tracking activity to the promotion that generated it has always been a challenge, especially for B-to-B...
Famous Last Words: Spin-marketing
A world-class Belgian restaurant, ZoT, opened 11⁄2 blocks from my 1817 Philadelphia row house. The Bombay Sapphire martinis (shaken not stirred), endive salad, frites and 29 recipes for steamed mussels are to die for. At ZoT, my wife, Peggy, and...
Nuts&Bolts: Fast Facts
Quarterly analysis of direct mail offers from magazine and newsletter publishers over the last two years exhibits a distinctive pattern of rising premium use from quarter to quarter within a year. But the last quarter of 2006 produced a small...
E-commerce: Roll Out the Red Carpet
The idea that word of mouth helps sell products and services isn’t new. Asking a neighbor, friend or colleague how they like their new car or new wireless service provider is standard party or office cooler conversation. But as the...