Direct Marketer of the Year Grolier's Dante Cirilli (3,801 wor
To get offers into the hands of kids' parents sooner, Cirilli says, "We buy any and every new birth list we can get our hands on, from the big compiled lists to lists such as Hasco's file of people who have their photos taken in the hospital." There are 3.7 million new births every year, creating a brand new source of names every year, Cirilli remarks, making the task sound almost easy.
Then, he explains, "We put them all in our database and massage them; 50 percent of the names we bring in every year are unique."
On the topic of reaching out to older kids, Cirilli says, "We still have to go out and buy lists to find older kids." He points out that this is done at critical points in the children's marketing cycle. "I break the children's market down into 0 to 3 years, 4 to 7 years and 8 to 12 years," he explains.
Cirilli also instituted an aggressive but controlled program to cross-promote within the house file. "We used to look at the list as the children's list. Now we look at the 1-year-old list, the 2-year-old list, the 3-year-old list, etc. We try to keep them in the family longer," he says. However, he adds this caveat, "I feel you have to control the exposures to a list. We look at where the response curve drops off. We don't mail the same offer to the same names over and over. Two or three times is the maximum, not six or seven."
Innovative Direct Mail
Grolier makes some powerful offers in its direct mail and advertising to draw in all these new members every year. And while the types of offers it makes haven't changed much over time, the direct mail packages have: They've become more attention getting and involving.