Lisa Yorgey Lester

Lisa Yorgey Lester
Tap Into the Baby Boom

According to a 2007 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, there were approximately 4.3 million births in the United States in 2006 (the latest year available for such data). This is the highest birthrate since 1961. Demographics point to a young, female market in the early stage of its prime earning years. While many an expectant father basks in the glow of his partner's pregnancy, expectant mothers make the lion's share of purchasing decisions. Indeed, 85 percent of the subscribers to Fit Pregnancy magazine are females, and the median age is 28 with a median household income of $42,764. What's more, the CDC reports that single mothers account for 8 percent of births.

The ASPCA’s Ayumi Stubbs on Viral Marketing

Viral marketing, or “tell-a-friend,” e-mail campaigns can be an effective tool for broadening the reach of marketing messages because they encourage recipients to share your missives with their friends and family. As forwarded communications are received from a trusted source, this approach can be a particularly useful way for nonprofits to generate awareness of their cause, and to drive new constituents to a Web site. This week, Target Marketing talks with Ayumi Stubbs, manager of Internet communications for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), about how the nonprofit is using viral marketing to spread its message and drive donations. Target

Three Ways to Combat E-mail List Fatigue

Are your e-mail response rates starting to flag? If so, your list might be suffering from fatigue—a symptom associated with over mailing a file. In its whitepaper, Email 2.0: How to Optimize Your 2007 Email Marketing, Atlanta, Ga.-based direct marketing services provider Response Media suggests implementing the following three strategies to tackle this challenge. 1. Consider the big picture. Look at both your offline and online data to determine exactly how many touches your customers receive. According to Response Media, one marketer discovered that excess postal mailings were driving higher e-mail unsubscribe rates. 2. Segment out non-responders for reactivation. “Subscribers who are consistently unresponsive can be

List Roundtable: How can direct marketers boost their list rental revenue?

John Papalia, president/CEO, Statlistics The biggest key to list rental revenue growth is managing all your opportunities. Are you developing out-of-market business with tiered pricing strategies? Are you using all available database opportunities, both public and private? Are you promoting your file … using a comprehensive marketing plan specifically tailored to your list(s) and market? Is your file represented at the major industry trade shows, and are meetings being booked at these shows to obtain new business? Further analysis of your file would include selections. Are there additional selects that could be added through data enhancements? For example, small businesses are a growing area. Do you

Better Address Data, Better Global Delivery

The Web is a global medium that allows marketers to reach customers across all borders. And delivering international orders in a timely manner goes a long way toward solidifying these customer relationships. To help ensure ship-to addresses are correct from the start, marketers using a standard payment page for all global customers should provide fields that can accommodate multiple naming and address formats, points out Renée Frappier, marketing manager for PacNet Services, an international payment processing company based in Vancouver, Canada. How much space is ideal? Generally speaking, five lines of 40 characters per line works for a consumer address. This includes a line for

Build Your Site With Conversion In Mind

The success of any Web-based marketing effort depends on its ability to turn visitors into leads or buyers. And “the Web sites, landing pages and even banner ads that achieve the greatest conversion rates do more than enable visitors to locate and navigate to relevant content and achieve the goal that first prompted their visit,” writes Jeannette Kocsis, director of online marketing at Harte-Hanks Direct and author of The Conversion Point: Leveraging the Web to Convert Visitors into Customers, a whitepaper recently published by Harte-Hanks. The entire process should be concise, easy to follow and quick. To this end, Kocsis recommends marketers and site developers

Boost Web Site Conversion

Only 1 percent to 3 percent of all Web site visitors convert into customers, reports Topica, an online marketing and sales solutions provider based in San Francisco, in its whitepaper The Basics of Website Visitor Conversion. If the only way visitors can engage with your company is by making a purchase, this means 97 percent of your traffic will leave without taking any action. One way to improve your conversion rates, suggests Topica, is to establish a lead acquisition program that captures Web site visitors not yet ready to buy, but who have expressed an interest in your product or services and may be persuaded

Design for Easy Site Navigation

The majority of Web visitors land on your homepage and never go any further. They either click on the wrong link and land on your site by mistake, or they have no incentive to stay and dig deeper. To get visitors to scratch below the surface, you need to make it easy for them to navigate your site. According to Amy Africa, chief marketing imagina-8-tor of Web solutions firm EightbyEight, an effective navigation arrangement offers several tiers of navigation and forms a large “C” shape on the page. * The action bar at the top tells visitors what you want them to do and should

Three Online Customer Loyalty Mistakes to Avoid

If you fail to serve the customer, you will lose a sale and possibly others that might have followed, which is serious enough. But if you fail to manage your customer relationships intelligently, you will lost their trust and destroy your business relationship, writes Ken Burke, founder and CEO of e-commerce technology and services provider MarketLive, in his book “Intelligent Selling: The Art and Science of Selling Online.” Burke recommends you avoid the following common mistakes that have a negative impact on customer loyalty. 1. Channel misalignment: Customers get disappointed and lose respect for your business when online discounts are not honored offline, when return policies

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 to the Hispanic market, is your database set up to handle multiple surnames? If customers respond to your Spanish-language offer via a toll-free number, are they greeted by a Spanish-speaking teleservices rep? As Gustovo Grüber of Banta Direct Marketing Group points out in "Shore Up Your Back-end," these all-important, but often ignored, back-end operational issues are key to solidifying customer relationships in ethnic

Make Your Customer’s Wish Your Command

The Internet has shifted the balance of power, and the customer is firmly in control. Customers want multiple ways to find information, buy products and get support; and they expect consistent service and recognition across all channels. This customer mandate challenges contact centers to meet these expectations in a time of shrinking budgets and resources, according to “5 Contact Center Megatrends and How to Ride Them,” a whitepaper published by contact center solutions provider eGain. To meet this challenge head on, eGain recommends call center executives take the following two steps. 1. Think like your customers, and design service processes and scenarios from their

The New Vanguard

By Irene Cherkassky, Lisa Yorgey Lester and Hallie Mummert Every industry has its luminaries—pioneers whose names become synonymous with the techniques or products they developed. Ed Burnett, Ralph Lane Polk II, Richard Benson, John Caples, Leon L. Bean, Lillian Vernon, Jeff Bezos and, of course, Lester Wunderman come to mind. But not every trailblazer operates in the white-hot spotlight. Many conduct brilliant work day after day for their companies in relative anonymity. That is, until Target Marketing decided to nose around and find those professionals who are setting new standards for direct marketing performance. With the help of our Editorial Advisory Board and other

New Delivery Services Available to International Mailers

By Lisa Yorgey Lester Two new services recently have been launched to help U.S. marketers better serve their customers residing within Asia and the Pacific Rim. From the U.S. Postal Service comes an enhancement to its pre-existing Global Express Mail service—a five-day guaranteed delivery service. Until October, the date-certain guaranteed service was available to non-commercial mailers only. According to the USPS, the service has no hidden surcharges, and customers can track a shipment's progress online at, or by calling (800) 222-1811. Launched this summer, the Global Express Mail service with guarantee represents a historic agreement with the postal administrations

Read the Signals

By Lisa Yorgey Lester How to identify possible churn within your database. Customer defection should come as no surprise. Your customers are waving goodbye as they slowly walk out the door. If you learn to read the signs beforehand, you can launch a preemptive strike to potentially keep them from churning—before you need to spend additional money to win back customers in whom you've already invested. That is, if they are profitable. If not, you may simply want to let them keep walking. Suss Out Churn At its essence, segmentation divides a file into groups that behave differently. In this case, you want to

Direct Marketer of the Year Pat Corpora, president & CEO,

Pat Corpora, president & CEO, By Lisa Yorgey Lester Giving Silkies hosiery continuity program a new pair of legs. Every workday, Pat Corpora comes into the office at 7:30 a.m. and heads for the mailroom, where he sifts through the orders that have come in overnight. This physical connection with the mail, says Corpora, gives him "a sense of the business." As president and CEO of HCI Direct, Corpora's business for the past three years has been putting the customer in control of the Bensalem, Pa.-based company's Silkies hosiery continuity program. With nearly 25 years of direct marketing experience, Corpora is well suited