Sports Illustrated

Denny's Daily Zinger: Can You Bring Back a Dead Brand?
January 29, 2014

A catalog that keeps dead brands alive—memories of your grandparents' childhood—is Voice of the Mountains, published by the Vermont Country Store. Among the stuff they sell: Wooden Pick-up Sticks, The Original 1935 Monopoly Game, Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser Powder. Plus slews more oldies and goodies

When Bad Comments Happen to Good Websites
September 3, 2013

Publishers who permit disrespectful, spammy comments about their stories are discouraging people looking for intelligent conversations and undermining their brands. They should implement policies, such as moderated comments, to create a more civil discourse. ... On many sites, the reader comments are another area of even lower quality, and often offensive, content. YouTube is the worst. A Cheerios commercial with a mixed-race family provoked so many racist comments on YouTube that General Mills disabled the opportunity for people to comment on it

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.

Starting a Business? Here’s What You Need to Know
August 13, 2013

Many times over the past seven decades, I have met ambitious young men and women who wanted to leave the corporate rat race and go off on their own. The idea of working like hell for five years only to have your business tank is not a pretty thought. I'm a guy who started two businesses (the WHO'S MAILING WHAT! newsletter with my wife Peggy and a freelance copy and design service). Both are still going 25 years later.

Naming the New Product
July 23, 2013

In July 2012. the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription diet drug—the first to come on the market in 13 years. In June 2013, the American Medical Association declared obesity a disease. With good reason. The Center for Disease Control declared one-third of Americans are clinically obese. The stage was set for a perfect alignment of the stars. Presumably Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers would reimburse the cost of the pills. Looking like Daniel Craig or Beyoncé would be free. Wellness would replace obesity related illnesses. Productivity would soar. The recession would be over.

Where Did All Your Search Traffic Go?
May 3, 2013

Search traffic to publishers has taken a dive in the last eight months, with traffic from Google dropping more than 30 percent from August 2012 through March 2013, according to research done by BuzzFeed. While Google makes up the bulk of search traffic to publishers, traffic from all search engines has dropped by 20 percent in the same period. BuzzFeed tracked traffic referrals to more than 200 publishers in the BuzzFeed Network, a group of sites that carry BuzzFeed's tracking code and include the Huffington Post, Daily Mail, NewsweekDailyBeast, Time, Sports Illustrated, Us Weekly, and Rolling Stone. Collectively, the sites

5 Amazing Ways to Integrate Video Into Your Direct Mail
November 13, 2012

Direct mail is great. It has proven effectiveness, it’s tactile and it holds a certain sentimentality that cannot be matched. Video has been the hottest technology for years and shows no signs of slowing down. It has been said that direct mail could suffer as a standalone marketing medium, but when made part of a multichannel strategy (through integration with email, social media or video), it actually can become stronger than the sum if its parts. Here are some ways to integrate video with Direct Mail

QR Codes Beat Out Direct Mail in Driving Response: Report
October 8, 2012

QR codes are spurring consumers to take action with response rates that are higher than other direct marketing tactics, according to a new report from Nellymoser. The report, "Scan Response Rates in National Magazines," found that readers of national magazines scan QR Codes, Microsoft Tags, digital watermarks and other mobile action codes at an average rate of 6.4 percent. The report also found that mobile users are actively engaged and view an average of 18.9 mobile pages.

The Publishing Craps Game
October 1, 2012

On Nov. 22, 1963, consultant Paul Goldberg—with a huge mailing for Consumer Reports going out across the country—was having lunch with two colleagues at the Café Carlyle in New York. The maître d' came over to the table to report that President Kennedy had been shot.

A Eureka Moment: What to Do Next
February 8, 2011

When I came across the obituary of Milton Levine, it struck a chord deep within me.

Here was a 43-year-old salesman of toys and novelties watching some ants at a July 4, 1956 picnic when he suddenly saw his future—the ant farm—a 6” x 9” two-sided plastic frame with sand, tunnels and live ants busily doing their thing as mesmerized kids watch and learn.

A half-century later, kids are still enthralled with ant farms. The basic model sells for $10.99.

Last year, Levine sold his business for $20 million. His website, UncleMilton.com has a slew of wonderful scientific gadgets for kids.

Milton Levine—described by one magazine writer as “anty-establishment”―gave pleasure (and inspiration) to millions of kids, made pots of money, obviously had great fun and went to the great beyond at 97.

Life doesn’t get any better than that!

So what does a fledgling entrepreneur do following a “eureka moment?”

How do you translate an idea into a profitable business?

My suggestion: go the dry test route.

I spent 15 years creating dry tests for clients and my own little business—the WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and archive service—started out life as a dry test.

Technically the dry test is illegal, but many years ago I discovered a possible loophole.