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Internet Marketing FAQs
June 1, 2002

Answers That Can Help Get the Creative Wheels Rolling By John Deneen E-commerce is a lot like philosophy—questions are answered only by asking more questions. The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that are pertinent to inquire about your Web-inclusion program. Now that Web orders comprise 20 percent to 25 percent of most catalog orders, does it still make sense to manually enter these orders? While there will be some upfront costs associated with developing the programs and systems to automate the process, the question really involves whether this is the time to do it. One major cataloger reports that

Build a Responsive E-mail Housefile
May 1, 2002

Bring some creativity to the task, but keep your direct marketing roots in mind. By Kim MacPherson By now, you know that marketing with e-mail—particularly to your own list of leads and customers—can be quite profitable. After all, cross-selling and upselling to an existing base of warm eyeballs is easier and less expensive than trying to acquire new leads and customers cold. The challenge is to build a list of people who will be receptive to your offers. And "challenge" is the key word, because just about every traditional direct marketer with an online presence is collecting e-mail addresses in some way.

Driving Customer-Acquisition Traffic
May 1, 2002

By Kelly J. Andrews Let It Ride The business-transforming power of e-commerce seemed unlimited just two years ago. Back then, the door was open for direct marketers to apply their knowledge to a new direct-to-consumer medium that had reached mass acceptance at unprecedented speeds. Business plans were laid, money was invested, and glossy front-ends were seamlessly integrated with flawless back-ends. But for many marketers, results didn't live up to the hype. Blame the economy, blame overblown expectations, but don't blame the medium itself. Says Will Tifft, senior vice president and general manager, mail and network product marketing, 24/7 Real Media, "The

Internet Buyers-The New Castrati (676 words)
March 1, 2001

By Denny Hatch The equivalent of rock stars in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe were the castrati, former choir boys whose soprano voices were so pure and exquisite they were subjected to castration. Said one writer, "[The castrati] were frequently described as having the 'voices of angels.' This was no doubt due to the combination of a child's fresh voice with the vocal power of a man, and the high register of a woman." Being neutered did not make for connubial bliss, but the money was great and, socially, these eunuchs were lionized. Recently, my friend Russell Perkins, one of the

Internet Special Report - Re-Learning the Basics of Marketing (
February 1, 2001

by Dev Bhata In 1993, before Web marketing even existed, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers published the most important book on the subject of marketing to an audience of one: "The One To One Future." The authors described the importance of knowing and marketing to individual customers and establishing one-to-one relationships with them. They said the fax machine and fax bulletin boards as harbingers of the new dialogues were possible, if only marketers would take the time to get to know their customers. It took the Web to make Peppers and Rogers' ideas come alive. Newly minted Web marketers took the book as their

How to Drive Federal Buyers to Your Web Site (950 words)
February 1, 2001

By Mark Amtower If you seek a customer who buys just about every type of product and service imaginable, look no further than Uncle Sam. Ignore the horror stories you may have heard about arcane processes such as needing a GSA number or some other government contract, or how slowly the Feds pay vendors. The federal government has more than 500,000 small purchase (i.e., less than $2,500) credit cards that were used more than 25 million times in fiscal year 2000. Total spent: $12.2 billion. By far the greatest beneficiaries of this largess are catalogers and other direct marketers selling on the

50+ Web Surfers (944 words)
January 1, 2001

Web surfers age 50 or older are the fastest-growing demographic for online music sales, according to a recent Media Metrix study. Online marketers should take notice of this growing number of Web-savvy seniors. Trendiness won't work for a group that has been setting trends for decades. Candace Corlett, senior partner at 50+ Marketing Directions, advises to shift your marketing messages from 'cool' to 'smart.' "Whirling, dancing, animated stuff is great for the younger set, but generally silly to the senior surfer," she says. Media streams and flashy graphics aren't going to reach this set. "Emphasize service over price. The 50-plus crowd has

Is the Internet Eden or Armageddon? (1,887 words)
September 1, 2000

by Denny Hatch In the place without place, anarchy reigns once worked for a cherubic-faced, hard-drinking publisher named Franklin Watts. "Good morning, Frank," I would say each day. "How are you?" "Happy as a country without a history," he'd respond. How long has it been since the Internet was without a history and considered the new Garden of Eden—a paradise of investor and intellectual euphoria unmatched in the entire spectrum of human endeavor? Less than eight months. Remember the thinking of those heady times? • For investors, here were infinite horizons of obscene profits that turned traditional business models on their ear. "Those who

The Battle of Brand vs. Direct (1,220 words)
April 1, 2000

by Bob Hacker Brand is now presented as the holy grail of marketing—"brand it and they will come"—with general advertising agencies the self-proclaimed Delphic oracles of brand stewardship. That one-size-fits-all marketing prescription is too simplistic and very misleading, particularly for direct marketers. The first part of this article addresses the issue of brand and how it relates to a company's success. In this case, we'll define success as the ability to increase revenue and profit, since no CEO would spend a dime on advertising, promotion, direct marketing, public relations—or the people who manage these functions—without some expectation of positive return on investment (ROI). In

Extending Upselling and Cross-Selling Efforts (2,414 words)
November 1, 1999

By Kelly J. Andrews A very good retail salesperson upsells this handbag to match that dress, the lamp to complement the sofa. To contrast, telephone reps, lacking face-to-face contact, used to function as mere order-takers, not salespeople. Direct marketers relied on persuasive copy to sell, not their inbound reps. This outdated reality has changed. The reasons are several: First, the increased costs of mailing have put pressure on call centers to increase order sizes and become profit centers. Second, upselling and cross-selling efforts not only increase average order size, but also help retain customers by turning single-buyers into multi-buyers and upping their involvement with