A World of Opportunity
He asks: "Where do you put your marketing costs, and where do you put your fulfillment costs?" If a marketer is used to reaching people by mail, it will have to balance its marketing dollars with electronic messaging, so they complement one another, he explains.
In adjusting their business models, marketers need to reduce spending. To improve your cost per order, you have to mail smarter, which requires both time and experience.
The availability of international lists, however, is a double-edged sword. While local, national lists continue to grow, the multinational lists that drive the global publishing market have ebbed.
Katz points out that many of the key lists, such as Book-of-the-Month Club, Barnes and Noble, and Shop the World by Mail, have disappeared in the last few years. And the core lists, such as Business Week, Time and Fortune—staples of multinational publishers—are not growing as fast as they previously had because the publications also are not aggressively mailing.
Finding good international response lists currently is a challenge, according to Katz, who is advising her clients to fill in selectively with national lists where possible, and mail core lists more conservatively. She also suggests testing lists that previously weren't successful and trying to find smaller segments on them that work.
Above all else,"If list availability is not there, and you need to get a higher response or maintain response, you have to cut your mail volume," advises Katz, who adds that many mailers currently are maintaining, but not growing their rate base as they once were.
And, as far as Katz is concerned, that's where they should be since list availability is not there to support the growth. "As the market picks up and [companies] begin to mail more, and new players come onto the market, then that market will again pick up and expand."