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May 2006 Issue

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Home-shopping Home Runs
By Ron Perlstein Eight secrets to grand-slam sales. Home shopping is a merchandising phenomenon unlike anything we've ever experienced in modern civilization. It's a 24-hours-a-day shopping mall without a parking problem, without a dress code, and without kids or husbands...
Web Strategies
Always Room for Improvement

By Tracy A. Gill Problem: Office Depot's Web site search tool, while strong, was one of the weaker links in its user experience. Solution: Wholesale change of the search tool. Result: Improved conversion, average order value and customer return rates....
E-commerce Link: Search and Rescue
Online sales continue to be robust, but with fewer new people shopping online, Web merchants are feeling lost in terms of catching their share of the online dollar. Search engines are good survival tools for staying in front of online...
Special Report
Multicultural Marketing

Edited by Lisa Yorgey Lester When it comes to multicultural marketing, much ado has been made of front-end processes such as creative, and list and media selection. However, the back-end processes of direct marketing often get neglected. If you sell...
A Kid and His Blog
What was your free time like when you were a teenager? I loved shopping at the mall and talking on the phone with my best friend for hours about life's critical issues (or nothing at all, if you subscribe to...
Word of Mouth- A Marketing Gameplan
By Hallie Mummert Years ago, word of mouth meant that a dissatisfied customer told about 10 friends about her experience with your company and then maybe a handful of these people related the story to two or three more people....
The Math of Contact Center Staffing
By Penny Reynolds Calculating Resource Requirements and Understanding Staff and Service Tradeoffs Sharpen your pencils. Dust off the calculator. It's time for a math lesson. Running your catalog's call center operation means managing by the numbers. And the most important number...
Sell to Non-buyers
By shifting the company's primary focus and attention to prospects who haven't even heard of it yet, a company can enter the domain of the market leaders. ... Instead of doing what everyone else does, plant good ideas with non-customers—when...
Present Perfect
Some folks have a knack for gift giving. They just know the perfect gift for every special occasion, leaving you marveling at their great intuition and taste. However, while intuition may be good enough for some, Cleveland-based personalized gift retailer...
Always Room for Improvement
Problem: Office Depot’s Web site search tool, while strong, was one of the weaker links in its user experience. Solution: Wholesale change of the search tool. Result: Improved conversion, average order value and customer return rates. Most online retailers would...
Eye on Privacy: Would Paying for E-mail Decrease Spam?
We’re all pretty used to paying for postage, whether sending a postcard to an old friend or getting the new catalog out to our best customers. In the e-mail channel, though, things have been a bit different. E-mail is a...
Authentication Done Right
E-mail authentication—clearly identifying, and thereby establishing accountability of an e-mail sender—has moved from the realm of sought-after ideal to executable reality. The implementation of authentication protocols like sender ID and Domain Key Identified Mail quickly is becoming a requirement if...
A Formula for Success
Five years ago, extra doughnuts and rich coffee were bestowed on anyone who could provide the top 10 keywords that brought visitors to the company Web site. Two years ago, it was hip to show which keywords generated the most...
Multicultural Special Report: Shore Up Your Back-end
More than 20 years ago, only a small group of very progressive companies and nonprofit organizations used direct mail to penetrate the Hispanic market. Most of these “pioneer” companies naively allocated the majority of their resources to the front-end processes...
Multicultural Special Report: Tune in to Espanol
Direct response television (DRTV) advertising that targets Hispanic audiences has proven to be an effective way to reach a growing segment of the U.S. consumer market whose purchasing power is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2010. According to Nielsen...