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Set Yourself Up for a Win
August 1, 2005

By Tracy A. Gill When you know the rules of the game, developing a sweepstakes promotion doesn't have to be a gamble Thanks to such mailers as Smithsonian magazine, Reader's Digest, Xerox, Consumers Union, Sky Guide, Harlequin, Craftmatic, Scholastic and Verizon, sweepstakes usage in the Who's Mailing What! Archive has remained steady over the last decade, ranging from a low of 1.8 percent in 2002 to a high of 2.5 percent in 2004. Sure, this is a relatively small—OK, quite small—percentage, but the consistency with which a dedicated few mailers turn to this response-boosting tactic tells us one

Special Report Case Study Relevance Is Key at AutoNation
April 1, 2005

By Lisa Yorgey Lester "Relevance is the most important thing for a marketer to address," says Scott Zientarski, director of database marketing with AutoNation, an automotive retailer based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. According to Zientarski, advancements in printing technology have allowed AutoNation to capitalize on opportunities derived from its database marketing activities and to abandon its previous one-size-fits-all approach for more personalized communications. One of the most notable ways the auto retailer is creating customized communications for its customers is through its service program. AutoNation represents 285 dealership locations across 18 states. Its service program includes all customers who've purchased a vehicle from an

Honey, I Shrunk the Mailbox!Big News in 2003's Top Formats
December 1, 2003

By Noelle Skodzinski There's a trend afoot in the direct mail world, and if it continues, our neighborhood mail carriers might need extra padding in their shoes to keep the spring in their step. In fact, the trend is so big that it might look as if a Rick Moranis movie went awry—and shrunk our personal postal receptacles. How big is it, you ask? Anywhere from 9-1/2" x 11-1/2" to 10-1/2" x 14" ... and even as big as 12" x 15-1/2". These are the sizes of some mail packages dropped this year by organizations of all kinds: publishers, nonprofits, retailers, you name

Printing Technology Update: Small Victories
December 1, 2003

By Hallie Mummert When asked what's new in printing technology for companies that use direct mail, the immediate observation of many direct marketing industry veterans is, "There's nothing revolutionary out there right now." That may be true, but it doesn't mean the printing industry is at a standstill. To collectively meet the needs of the end-users of print products—that's you, the direct marketer—printing companies and manufacturers of printing presses and print production software have banded together to deliver small innovations that can deliver big results. While very few printing companies have been investing in new or upgraded machinery, many have been tweaking existing

If the Media's Walls Could Talk Here's what they'd say about buying ad space
October 1, 2003

By Paul Barbagallo Buying media for direct response advertising campaigns can be either painfully complex or amazingly simple. Decisions almost always depend on one element: arithmetic. Once a buyer knows the selling price of the product or service and the allowable cost per order (CPO), they then can determine how much a client can afford to pay for every thousand impressions in the marketplace. Sheri Rothblatt, managing partner at Wunderman Media, explains that the weight you put in the market also depends on a client's seasonality, business trends and when the client needs the lead or sale. "When we're planning from a

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