Time Inc.

Is Now the Time to Test DRTV?
November 1, 2002

By Peter Marshall and Mary Ram The price is right—see if your product fits the medium. There's no doubt about it—the economy has been rough. But while general advertisers have been pulling their money back, direct marketers chug along, allocating dollars that produce leads and make direct sales—in other words, delivering results and realizing a positive return on investment (ROI). With ROI driving everyone's business decisions, cost vs. response is obviously the most important concern. Direct response television (DRTV) presents an attractive option for many advertisers in this environment. The Direct Marketing Association reports that DRTV has grown every single year by 11.5 percent

Program Your E-mail Marketing
October 1, 2002

Six Ways to Improve Your Strategy By Tricia Robinson E-mail marketing is a cost-effective way to communicate with customers and sales prospects, but are you optimizing your strategy? An e-mail program can help increase sales, build customer satisfaction and save marketing dollars. A program is a regularly scheduled, reoccurring e-mail campaign. You probably receive several e-mail marketing programs, such as weekly airline offers, daily weather forecasts, news updates or monthly newsletters. E-mail programs are effective because they establish dependable, expected communications with recipients. When designing an e-mail marketing program, consider the following six tips for e-mail marketing success: content, frequency/timing, creative/layout, data, testing

It's Time to Get Real - Real Honest! (917 words)
September 1, 2002

By Lois K. Geller And for direct marketers that means Real Honest A year ago, we all watched a ghastly tower of smoke and dust billow out of the site that was the World Trade Center. Not long after that, a lunatic started poisoning our mail with anthrax. The news then turned to a host of institutions that lied, cheated and stole from us. Last year, I wrote a column titled "Pinocchio Was Here" (Oct. 2001) about deception in direct mail. After the events of the last 12 months, and with the economy in the tank, I want to look at this

School Kids 41 Million Strong & Growing
September 1, 2002

By Alicia Orr Suman Young children, ages 5 to 9, numbered more than 20 million in 2000. Add in their slightly older siblings, and you have a market of more than 41 million children age 14 and younger, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It's a lucrative market, too. Moderate income families spend $160,600 on average, raising a child from birth through age 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports. A good portion of that expenditure happens during the elementary school years—a time of rapid physical and emotional growth for young children. Just think of all the toys, books and clothing kids consume

Celebrating 25 Years of Change
May 1, 2002

By Alicia Orr Suman Spring 1978. The first issue of ZIP magazine hit the mail. And on the cover of that predecessor to this magazine were the faces of men and women—"Some Leaders in the Direct Marketing Field," stated the headline. The features listed in the Table of Contents of that premier issue (right) have an eerie resemblance to the subjects we now cover 25 years later: • What Is the Future of the Postal Service? • Personal Privacy in an Information Society • Facsimile Machines, For the Office of the Future • Computer Networks: The New Information Robots • Alternate Delivery: Post-Mortem for

Buying Lists What Every Direct Marketer Needs to Know
January 1, 2002

By Ilene Schwartz Most articles I've read about the intricacies of buying lists begin with the same seemingly simple advice—find a good list broker. First off, finding a good list broker is not always such a simple task. And second, while you may work with some of the best list brokers in the country, the decision of what lists to mail is ultimately yours to make. Since list brokers often have particular areas of expertise (insurance, opportunity seekers, circulation, fund raising, etc.) they specialize in working with mailers within that area. If you are a large direct marketer whose business fits into one of

Market Focus--Home Workshop Enthusiasts (693 words)
January 1, 2002

If you've ever lazily flipped through your television channels on a Saturday afternoon, chances are you've happened upon the Emmy Award-winning "This Old House"—television's premier home improvement series. The show, which celebrated its 22nd anniversary season on PBS this year, unlocked America's passion for the home—and its unpredicted popularity proved how many Americans are willing to spend both time and money on various home projects. Who Are They? In line with the stereotypical image of this demographic, the average home improvement enthusiast is male, mature and married. He also tends to be middle-class, educated and family-oriented. However, clearly defining a typical home

2001 Direct Marketer of the Year
October 1, 2001

AOL & The Genius of Jan Brandt By Denny Hatch In 1993, Internet access was essentially a three-horse race. The text-heavy CompuServe was owned by the tax accounting people H&R Block and had about a million members. So did the cartoon-oriented Prodigy, a joint venture among CBS, Sears and IBM. The longshot was America Online (AOL), with its elegant Graphical User Interface (GUI), chat rooms and exclusive community-building techniques, that had been taken public the prior year by founder Steve Case; he had just under 250,000 members and was doing about $40 million a year in revenue. One advantage Case had over the

Five Steps To Energize Your Marketing Database (2,420 words)
August 1, 2001

Five Steps To Energize Your Marketing Database Part 1 of 5-Conduct Intensive Customer Analysis A marketing database doesn't have to be reserved only for marketing use anymore. It can be used to define your company's core business strategy. Whether you are a consumer or business-to-business marketer, or whether you have a web strategy or not, the steps that will be described in this 5 article series are timeless in their ability to impact your business. Here is the first of five steps you can undertake: Have you ever queried your database for the names of your best customers? Often, simply knowing

Testing Offers (505 words)
August 1, 2001

Tricks for Testing Offers By Hallie Mummert REAlitY cHECK: When those response envelopes pour into the fulfillment house, it's largely due to the offer—not the great typeface that evoked the spirit of the product, or the photo of the item on the outer envelope, or the number of times the word "you" showed up in the sales letter. These copy and design elements play an important part in getting the message across—but the message is the offer. So if you're thinking of tinkering with your offer, here are a few options for you to ponder. . Shipping and Handling: You can play up or