CRM Special Report: Just One Question with E.piphany’s Jon Miller
October 1, 2004

Target Marketing: What steps can direct marketers take to increase the value of their CRM initiatives while containing costs? Jon Miller, senior director of marketing and analytic applications, E.piphany: As marketers have relied more and more on traditional outbound channels, they are becoming less and less successful. The problem: Direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing and similar channels are only effective if they interrupt whatever the customer is doing at the time to gain his attention. The result is a growing consumer backlash. A recent study by Yankelovich Partners indicates that 65 percent of consumers feel constantly bombarded with too many marketing messages, and 61

Drive Profitable Behavior
September 1, 2004

Strategies for building a successful customer loyalty program Roughly 80 percent of Americans participating in a loyalty program say their membership in the program impacts their purchasing decisions, according to a recent Maritz poll of consumers. Seventy-four percent of Americans say that without a loyalty program, they would buy less from any given company. Indeed, many savvy direct marketers realize the value of customer loyalty, and have been offering loyalty programs for years to drive repeat purchases and establish stronger customer relationships. But, with the growing number of loyalty programs on the market, consumers have more choices than ever before. The competition is fierce,

Balancing Act
August 1, 2004

Special Olympics focuses on long-term donor value while continuing to invest in acquisition Having an eye toward long-term donor value means you can’t just focus on getting good response to your next mailing campaign. You have to think in terms of donor lifecycles—from first-time renewals through retention and even to recapturing lapsed or dormant donors. As Joan Wheatley, vice president of donor development for Special Olympics Inc., knows, any one of these existing donor segments with whom you’ve established a relationship is likely to have a higher lifetime value than a batch of just-acquired names. For example, when it comes to renewal mailings, Special

Famous Last Words: Falling on Deaf Eyes
July 1, 2004

I read seven newspapers a day. Two of them—The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal—are consumed in hard copy over coffee in the early morning. The other five—The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post—are scanned on the Internet along with regular visits to AOL’s news page and Matt Drudge’s deliciously scurrilous Web site ( One morning, when things were going particularly badly in Iraq and former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, I saw a Web ad for John Kerry in The Times and sent him $500 charged to my American Express

Survey Says: A Taste of Good Customer Service
June 1, 2004

When customers open a package of mail-order Fairytale Brownies, they’re greeted by more than the wafting aroma of chocolate. They also encounter a survey-sweepstakes card. If they answer a few questions—such as “How did the brownies taste?”—and return the postage-paid survey card within 30 days, they are entered into a monthly drawing for a dozen more Fairytale Brownies. The sweeps prize works because, well, few people don’t like free gourmet brownies. And, since the drawing is held monthly, recipients have a good chance of winning. Fairytale’s whole presentation is fun and friendly, and welcomes customers to participate and comment. And they do: 2,600 surveys

A Billion-Dollar Bank Takes Steps to Retain Customers
May 1, 2004

BankFinancial, a $1.6 billion financial institution, is no stranger to predictive marketing. It has been reaping the benefits of it for some seven years. Recently, however, BankFinancial executives wanted to be more proactive with efforts to retain the approximately 1.5 percent of BankFinancial customers who left the bank each year, but felt limited in their ability to mix data sources and segment effectively. They enlisted SPSS’s recently released PredictiveMarketing software, which enables the integration of data sources, such as records at the transactional level, account level, and even customer and household level. Staff now can “slice and dice” data in many ways. “It’s like

Catalog and Direct Selling: Say Thank You
May 1, 2004

18 ideas to build loyalty by thanking your customers We’ve all been taught to be polite and to say thank you when people go out of their way on our behalf. So why is it that many companies have not transferred this desirable characteristic to their marketing plans? Think about it. Your customers have trusted you. They’ve chosen to spend their hard-earned money with you—even in times of economic hardship. Have you taken the time and energy to thank them? Really thank them? For a thank-you to truly resonate, consider the following: • It must be relevant and specific. The more generic your

Editor’s Notes: Orphaned Customers
April 1, 2004

About a month ago I attended the Direct Marketing Association’s Conference & Exhibition. Despite the Jan. 1 enactment of the Can Spam Act, attendees and speakers were very bullish on the potential still waiting to be tapped by online marketing strategies. But several marketers expressed reservations—especially when it came to affiliate programs. Online partnerships, marketers cautioned, require careful partner selection, monitoring and tweaking for success. But it’s not only sales revenue you have to safeguard; your company reputation is also at stake, as evidenced in the following example of customer abandonment. Target Marketing’s Senior Editor, Brian Howard, was surfing the Web last November

Surrounding a Market
March 1, 2004

A Powerful Blend of Direct Marketing Science and Market Research Drives The Hartford’s AARP Insurance Program. Every seven minutes, a U.S. adult turns 50. For AARP, a nonprofit membership organization that advocates on behalf of Americans age 50 and older, that translates into a little more than 200 new potential members a day. And for The Hartford, a 190-year-old investment management and insurance firm based in Hartford, CT, it also means a steady influx of new names for prospecting. Due to The Hartford’s relationship with AARP as the exclusive provider of discounted automobile (and homeowner) insurance to the association’s members, it has more of

Pathmark’s Advantage: A Loyalty Program That Works
March 1, 2004

Loyalty programs are not uncommon these days, so creating one that will stand out in the crowd demands rewards that are truly appealing to customers. For example, grocery stores offering special discounts to program members are a dime a dozen. So when Pathmark—a grocery chain with stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware—set out to inspire loyalty from its customers, it took the discount-based incentives a step further. Its program, More Savings at More Places, established an exclusive benefit in the Pathmark Advantage Club by providing savings at other stores where Pathmark consumers shop heavily. PowerPact, the multiservices marketing agency