TG: What are some of best practices that you have learned over the years that you think other mailers would benefit from?
TC: Knowing your P&L inside and out is critical. In a number of markets—certainly in the publishing and continuity markets, which is where I have most of my experience—almost all mailers lose money on acquiring a new customer. They spend more on marketing than they are going to get back on revenue from that consumer’s first transaction. Lifetime value is a word that is often thrown around and is hard to quantify, but knowing what additional sales you are likely to get out of a consumer is critical so you know how deep a hole you can dig to acquire them.
This interview initially appeared in the January 2006 issue of Inside Direct Mail, a sister publication of Target Marketing; Visit www.insidedirectmail.com for more information.