Multichannel Integration

Catalog and Direct Selling: Track Retail Results
March 4, 2006

In the mid 1990s, most direct marketers captured about 80 percent of their orders with source codes. What a difference a decade makes! Today, if multichannel direct marketers capture 50 percent of their orders with source codes, they are doing well. Tracking response to a direct response promotion in a retail environment can be particularly challenging. Barcodes certainly help. When you mail a postcard that’s also the response device, e.g., “Bring this postcard to your nearest store to receive your discount,” you can track a portion of your orders with a high level of accuracy. However, any direct marketer who has tried it knows

The Many Paths of Direct Marketing
March 1, 2006

To remain relevant to customers and boost the bottom line, today’s direct marketing campaigns must move across the borders of direct marketing media nimbly and fluidly. More importantly, marketing channels need to work in unison so that prospects and customers receive not only a consistent message, but one that builds a case for your products and brand. Does your direct mail creative prominently feature a Web site address where customers can find out more about your product and the particular offer being pitched? Do your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts coordinate with your print ad copy? There are many ways to integrate offline and

Share of Pocket: Mobile Marketing Is Poised for Growth
March 1, 2006

With cell phones more commonplace than computers and mobile devices—such as PDAs and smart phones—catching on quickly, it’s no wonder mobile marketing looks attractive to direct marketers. According to the Cellular & Telecommunications Internet Association, there are 203 million wireless subscribers in the United States, with 70 percent or higher penetration in most major metropolitan areas. On the demographics end, this market trends younger, with most wireless subscribers between the ages of 13 and 34, cites mobile market research firm M:Metrics Inc. But the 35 to 44 age group continues to expand its use of these devices year over year. “What we are seeing

What’s Your Value?
March 1, 2006

In today’s multichannel selling environment, there are a number of important analytical metrics that every direct marketer needs to know and constantly measure. Among them: • What is the value of your customer list—today and projected for the next three years? • What does it cost to recruit or acquire a new customer? and • What is your “payback” period—that is the time it takes for a new customer to become profitable? These are critical measurements of the financial health of a company. Let’s look at ways to value your customer list, and home in on the specific customer metric of

Online Synergy
January 1, 2006

Is everyone on the same page? Tactics for integrating your online marketing efforts. The phrase “online integration” has been bandied about for years, but it appears that few companies really understand and implement it successfully. In fact, many don’t have a clear definition of what integration actually entails. Having migrated from direct mail to the Internet back in 1995, I’ll give you my perspective on the positives that can result from an integrated online program, as well as the negatives that will occur if you don’t have such a program. Nowadays, most direct marketers are using, or plan to use, some or all of

January 1, 2006

As I write this, I'm still shocked by recent news clips of people being trampled in front of a Wal-Mart and by other stories of violence associated with Black Friday. This kind of competitive shopping underscores the physical safety of mail order. Sure, you might get carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive Web surfing or a nasty paper cut from a catalog page, but these maladies are far more easy to avoid than being punched in the face for a cheap laptop. Interestingly, none of the reporters covering such acts of shopping violence thought to note that some people were avoiding the retail mayhem

Successful Space
January 1, 2006

Some direct marketers spend thousands of dollars creating and placing space advertisements only to find their money ill spent. Can space ads be a successful part of your marketing mix? Possibly, but only if you avoid the pratfalls of failed efforts. This medium is worth testing, but how can you learn their secrets and execute successful space campaigns year after year? By breaking down the anatomy of the space ad and building a smart campaign inside and out. Strategy: The Bones of the Space Ad While creative is an important component, a successful space ad must begin with solid bones. Long before the

Room to Grow
December 1, 2005

Highlights for Children was a 43-year-old magazine with a strong brand before marketing any other offerings to its core customers: parents of young children. In 1946, Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and his wife Caroline Clark Myers founded Highlights for Children Inc. The privately-held company flourished with a single product—Highlights for Children® magazine—throughout four full decades before deciding it was time to grow its brand and its business. Today, Highlights for Children Inc. houses under its corporate umbrella several kids’ book club programs, a toy and game catalog, and an interactive Web site. “We are now much more than a single magazine for children.

Lessons in Multichannel Marketing
December 1, 2004

Scotiabank and Frederick’s of Hollywood mix media to propel customer interaction. Long before the Internet, direct marketing companies practiced multichannel marketing, especially business-to-business firms. But this layered communication approach was more about pushing sales messages to prospects and customers than it was about being accessible and ready to take sales or questions at the prospect’s or customer’s convenience. As the industry continues to realize, the Internet has completely transformed the direct marketer/customer relationship. By pairing e-mail and the Web with offline media, direct marketers are able to develop compelling campaigns that offer recipients the ultimate in communication choices. Benefits of Channel Coordination For Michael

Catalog and Direct Selling: Get Them Back
December 1, 2004

... for the second sale It’s the end of the year and you’re probably tabulating the first-time buyer count—how many customers have made their very first purchase this year. And you’re also looking at how many first-time buyers you have overall—customers who’ve only made one purchase in their lifetime. To keep the customer file strong and profitable, these first-time buyers need to buy again next year. But, next year is just days away. What can you do to influence a second purchase? Begin With RFM Planning how to influence the second sale should be part of your overall annual contact strategy. The annual contact