30 Ways to Amp Up a Renewal Series
April 1, 2009

Renewal series add regular cash to your coffers and build loyal, long-term relationships. Yet many publishers ignore them or consider them an afterthought, lavishing money and creative capital on new acquisition packages instead. They leave easy money on the table, since it costs less to renew a subscriber than acquire one.

Straight Talk: Guess-free, Waste-free Marketing
March 1, 2009

In the preface of his recent book "Prove It Before You Promote It" (Wiley & Sons), Steve Cuno says that cutting marketing because sales are down is like reducing insulin when a patient's diabetes has gotten worse. But while marketing's role shouldn't be diminished, Cuno illustrates how it can be far better played.

First Up: 4 Highlights in Holiday Note Card Packages
March 1, 2009

When prospects are still thinking about turkey dinners on Thanksgiving, direct mailers are one step ahead-dropping packages in November and December to stoke holiday activity. In the nonprofit sector, many packages arrive around holiday time, weighed down with freemiums such as gift wrap, gift bags, gift tags, calendars, address labels and stickers, among other items to help prospects with gift giving and ringing in the new year

Strategy Session: Think Like a Direct Marketer
February 1, 2009

Coca-Cola has kept its soft-drink recipe a secret for more than 100 years. It was originally a public relations strategy, which helped Coca-Cola stand out of the pack of dozens of cola drinks and eventually dominate the market. Today, with revenues greater than many of the countries it markets in, Coca-Cola sells more than $50 billion worth of beverages every day.
According to Wikipedia, the few employees who know the recipe must fly on separate planes when traveling and cannot be left alone with strangers while they are together. As recently as 2006, three people were arrested who were trying to sell the secret recipe for Coca-Cola to the company's arch-rival, Pepsi, for $2 million. Pepsi was decent enough to decline and called in the FBI.

Straight Talk: Creating a Higher Level of Engagement
February 1, 2009

In October, I attended the DMA08 show in Las Vegas and had the great pleasure of hearing Wayne Pick, executive creative director of Rapp New Zealand, talk about how truly creative direct mail can warm up cold prospects. He discussed how many folks are suffering from the double-whammy of fiscal and, to use his term, "time poverty" and simply require more innovative, relevant and even honest mail in order to respond. Afterward, I invited him and his wife, Kim Pick, head of copy at Rapp, to be a part of our webinar series and present on a similar topic. Because "Winning

The 3 Biggest E-commerce Tips for Small Business, Circa 2009
January 29, 2009

With the economic crisis forcing small business owners to slash costs while building up sales and revenue, e-commerce is increasingly being seen as an attractive market environment for small businesses to operate within. In an online environment, trade is relatively open in terms of market access. Small businesses can compete on a level playing field with their larger industry competitors, and minimize their business costs.

More people than ever are trying to make money online...
January 28, 2009

"More people than ever are trying to make money online these days. And it seems just as many are frustrated with their results so far.

If you’re having trouble creating an online business, it might be because you’re following approaches that really don’t work anymore. The truth is, some models that worked a few years ago for early adopters are difficult if not impossible for new players to successfully get going today.

The key to avoiding this frustration is to see where things are going and become an early-adopter in the next big wave of the commercial Internet. Of course, even if you’re already doing well, it never hurts to take a look forward, right?"

—Jan. 26 " Forget Everything You Know About Making Money Online (And Start Making Some)," posted by Brian Clark, Copyblogger

I often talk to small business people who lament at...
December 16, 2008

"I often talk to small business people who lament at how the marketing deck is stacked against them. The big guys have the connections, the money, and the brand name. 'How can I compete?' I hear them asking. I always have the same answer - Internet marketing, especially organic search marketing. But when I tell them this, often I get disbelief. These small business owners have painfully learned over the years that marketing is for big companies, not for them. They're wrong."

— Dec. 11, "Why Small Businesses Need Search," posted by Mike Moran, Search Engine Guide Blog

Putting a Social Touch on Network Marketing
November 1, 2008

When you break it all down, networking means two things to Internet networking equipment and network management tools and solutions provider Cisco Systems: the networking tools the San Jose, Calif.-based company manufactures, markets and sells and how it markets its products through social networking tools.