Solutions

Market Focus: Meeting Planners
July 1, 2005

Although technology has long threatened to do away with face-to-face communication, the availability of video and phone conferencing has yet to curb the need for professionals to gather with peers to exchange ideas, introduce new products or share business best practices. Meeting and event planners are the key to making those face-to-face meetings happen, whether in the shape of large industry trade shows, small-scale seminars or even coordinating that technical wonder, the webinar. In fact, according to Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine, a trade publication targeting the decision makers involved in planning meetings, incentives and conventions, this is a growing market.

Meet the Planners
July 1, 2005

By Irene Chernassky Although technology has long threatened to do away with face-to-face communication, the availability of video and phone conferencing has yet to curb the need for professionals to gather with peers to exchange ideas, introduce new products or share business best practices. Meeting and event planners are the key to making those face-to-face meetings happen, whether in the shape of large industry trade shows, small-scale seminars or even coordinating that technical wonder, the webinar. In fact, according to Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine, a trade publication targeting the decision makers involved in planning meetings, incentives and conventions, this is a growing

Eliminate Unknown User Errors
May 9, 2005

ISPs block domains in part based on the number of "unknown user " errors generated when sending mass e-mails. Keeping your e-mail list clean and current will help lower the percentage of bad addresses on your list resulting in "unknown user " codes at ISPs. Some things you should do: * Use a bounce algorithm that will remove all bad addresses from your file promptly, handing both "inline" and "message" bounces. * Process your file through a consumer-reported e-mail change-of-address service. * Run your file through a list hygiene service. * Require double entry of addresses for accuracy. * Check addresses for RFC compliance

Know Your Customer!
January 1, 2005

By Mary Ann Kleinfelter Analytics that turn database insight into profit ... starting with a look at how trending your housefile can help you forecast the future. Segmentation is a valuable tool you can use to analyze and trend your customer database. With segmentation, you can create groups within your housefile based on past performance, like characteristics, predicted performance or any of a host of methods. The most effective segmentation starts with a plan. The plan should be customer focused and employ those attributes most critical to your business. Identify Meaningful Segments A good place to start is with recency, frequency and monetary

Stand Out From the Crowd
January 1, 2005

By Regina Brady It's 2005, and if you haven't yet made any New Year's resolutions, there's still time. At the top of your list should be a look at improving your e-mail programs. Here are some ideas to help you fine-tune your e-mail marketing efforts and differentiate your campaigns from the competition. DON'T just offer discounts. The vast majority of e-mails I receive offer a sale, a percentage off, or free shipping and handling. Of course, everyone likes a sale and the chance to save money, but it won't differentiate you from the other e-mails already in crowded inboxes. A recent Jupiter Research

Outsource Solutions: Production
September 1, 2004

Vendor Coordination Checklist Working with a vendor that acts as your supply chain simplifies the direct mail production process. If it doesn’t, find another supplier! Sometimes, perhaps because of existing inventory or a transition in vendors, you find yourself working with multiple vendors to manufacture and mail your direct mail package. The following is a checklist that can ease the pain of managing multiple components through multiple vendors: • Current Specifications. Make sure you have current specifications from each vendor. A new piece of equipment or a new vendor may offer better quality, faster throughput and new format options, but it also

Outsource Solutions: E-mail Marketing
August 1, 2004

How Flexible Is Your E-mail? I’ve been reading about the pros and cons of outsourced vs. in-house e-mail delivery systems for a long time now, and it occurs to me that there’s an important aspect of the decision that’s often overlooked by companies carrying out a typical cost/benefit outsourcing analysis: the impact this decision can have on the flexibility of your e-mail operations. While there are numerous areas in which relying on an external e-mail vendor can deliver significant cost benefits and/or operational efficiency, there are four areas where an in-house solution can result in greater flexibility that would be difficult to achieve with

List Buying Guide: List Challenges and Solutions in 2004
August 1, 2004

Experts encourage marketers to broaden their list horizons. The constant in the direct marketing world is the need to hunt for viable sources of prospecting names. In the early days of this industry, the variety of lists now on the market didn’t exist; list professionals and their clients would have to talk companies—sometimes competitors—into renting or exchanging names. As the number of lists on the market grew, it became a great deal easier for marketers to find quality lists for their offers. Now, average response rates suggest that marketers have tapped out every possible list source. According to a number of

A Failing Grade
November 1, 2003

Why the Mathematics of CRM Don't Work By Arthur Middleton Hughes In many companies, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has proven a failure. The National Retail Federation's annual CRM conference survey of North American retail companies found 69 percent of its respondents gained little or no benefit from their CRM investments. Why is that? What was CRM supposed to do? There were two basic operating objectives: >Build and maintain a large data warehouse with lots of information about customers and prospects accessed by million-dollar CRM software. >Use that information to make the right offer to the right customer at the right time, thereby increasing

Product Fulfillment Problems and Solutions
April 1, 2003

By Barry Blumenfield To most people, order fulfillment may appear to be a fairly straightforward process—take an order and ship out the product. But it actually is quite complex. Consistently fulfilling customers' expectations requires a seamless integration of the product development and production, creative and promotional efforts, telemarketing scripts, order processing, customer service and shipping. For many mail-order businesses today, these tasks are handled by a combination of separate in-house departments and third-party suppliers. It is therefore exceedingly difficult to orchestrate a seamless integration of all involved parties. We decided to take a look at the common fulfillment problems encountered by