Affiliate Marketing 101: 4 Steps for Beginners
April 7, 2014

Just as one doesn't open a store without first identifying the kind of merchandise to be sold or the location of the business, an affiliate marketer doesn't just build a presence on the internet without knowing what audience to target or what to offer visitors who come to their website. There are four basic steps a person must take to start the journey toward affiliate marketing:

Free Is Bad
March 4, 2014

Yahoo has 196.6 million unique visitors each month. Yet Yahoo generated zero new revenue in 2013. My opinion: Yahoo CEO No. 6 (in as many years), Marissa Mayer, is hanging on by her fingernails. Any person with 196.6 million names unable to generate new revenue should seek some other line of work. What triggered this column was a Feb. 17, 2014 Time magazine story, "THE MAYER EVENT:It's crunch time for Yahoo's turnaround strategy."

Line Extensions to Generate Revenue
December 3, 2013

Many years ago I had lunch with Chuck Tannen, publisher of FOLIO: The Magazine of Magazine Management. I asked Chuck whether FOLIO was profitable. "We have the Folio conference and exposition," he said. "Plus card decks, consulting contracts, books, advertising in the magazine and of course subscription revenue. Every time we acquire a new subscriber, it's my license to sell that that person whatever I can to help make his business grow. My aim is to surround the market."

Generate Quality Leads With Social Media Insights
November 7, 2013

Many organizations rely on social media to create awareness and branding, but few have cracked the code on how to effectively use it for lead generation. Combining and triangulating on customer purchase patterns, forum discussions, and social media feeds can help in predicting future purchases and accelerate existing sales opportunities. Here's how to glean insights from your existing social media properties—both internal (sponsored and owned forums) and external (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)—to generate quality leads.

7 Things to Investigate When Approving Affiliates
September 11, 2013

We all know affiliates have the potential to be highly beneficial to a company's bottom line. But affiliates can also be a big risk. If companies want to mitigate the risk from affiliates, they must be able to prevent and detect low-quality traffic and affiliate fraud.

Top 50 Mailers
September 1, 2013

Welcome to the brand new list of Target Marketing's Top 50 Mailers. For the first time, we are relying exclusively on data from our partner Who's Mailing What! in compiling this list, as well as the other lists in this article, combined with list management information provided by SRDS. Who's Mailing What! has compiled the most complete library of direct mail and email in the world, and has tracked mail for more than 25 years. Earlier this year, it relaunched on a state-of-the-art, fully searchable platform.

How a Guy Saw a Super Deal and Snagged It!
August 20, 2013

In 1984, Peggy and I launched WHO'S MAILING WHAT!—the newsletter and archive service for junk mailers. We started exhibiting at local direct marketing shows in various cities. We trolled for subscribers and I also got a lot of speaking gigs around the country and overseas. Everywhere I went—even London—I would run into a tall, taciturn, archetypical Texan in cowboy boots and Stetson hat. Often, he would be dragging a roller suitcase with an overcoat stacked on top.

The Marketplace Fairness Act: Should You Join the Fight to Defeat It?
June 26, 2013

I do not often get invited to meet with politicians about pending legislation, but next week I will have the rare pleasure of sitting down with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act. In preparation for the meeting, I asked Terri Alpert, an active opponent of the bill, to educate me about what is at stake for small businesses. Alpert is a well-respected CEO in Connecticut who has built two top-shelf brands (Uno Alla Volta and Artisan Table) that do over $14 million in sales, and employ more than fifty people year-round

How Dell Joins Conversations About its Brand in Social Media
April 19, 2013

Jason Duty, Dell's director of global social outreach services, says that social media for brands is no longer the Wild West: an ungoverned, new frontier. Instead, he says, it's more like the Blob: all encompassing, slowly taking over the world and sort of sticky when you get into it.

How Big Data Spawned the Geico Gecko
March 22, 2013

Geico's Gecko spokes-lizard has become so iconic that he shows up as a human-size mascot at sporting events. He's even milking his fame with a new book. But the insurance firm did not originally intend for the popular character to become its longstanding brand representative. Data analysis determined that, according to Geico CMO Ted Ward. For 10 years, Geico has worked with Merkle, a database-marketing consultancy, to run the insurer's marketing database, handle its direct mail and print-campaign analytics and manage its targeted digital display ads. Geico also works with The Martin Agency and Horizon Media on advertising.