Why Is Rowling Howling and Growling?


2 Tips to Avoid Soaring Parcel Rates

When the U.S. Postal Service restructured postage rates last May, some businesses took a wait-and-see approach, hoping the organization would change its mind and return to the old system of weight-based pricing. But the USPS made it clear that it wouldn’t back down. Instead, another price hike slated for next month will further widen the cost gap between automated mail, like letters and flats, and nonautomated parcels. Companies that mail large volumes of lightweight objects have been hit the hardest under the new system. Those that haven’t adapted their mailings to meet the new requirements have seen postage costs increase 40 percent since last

3 Ideas for Customer Retention Programs

To hold onto customers, whether they’re brand-new or have been interacting with your company for years, consider the following three tips from direct marketing consultant Lee Marc Stein and copywriter Mark Hallen. They were recently featured in Stein’s e-mail newsletter, Increasing Return on Marketing Dollars, along with 18 more ideas for improving customer retention through relationship marketing programs. 1. Unexpected perks do more than expected ones. Stein and Hallen advise marketers to position added-value elements carefully. For example, a software company might send an upgrade effort to its installed base, offering “30 days FREE support” to respondents. That perk might draw a few extra

Reduce Direct Mail Production Costs Without Sacrificing Effectiveness

Everyone in business is looking for ways to reduce costs these days. But reducing direct marketing efforts doesn’t have to be the answer. The good news is that you can reduce direct mail production costs and still develop relevant, attention-getting direct mail by paying attention to four areas in the process: your materials, your production choices, the use of data, and a true understanding of current postal rules and regulations. 1. The use of materials. Aside from the “green” considerations that are of vital importance today, you can actually spend less if you move to a lighter-weight paper for your piece; e.g., a 20-lb

Taunton Press’ Jane Weber on Integrating Offline/Online Creative

What came first, the print ad or the microsite? These days, savvy marketers are planning offline and online promotion components at the same time, knowing that Web-based elements can be adapted­—and even increased in number—as the campaign rolls out. That’s the goal at Taunton Press, the Newtown, Conn.-based publisher of enthusiast magazines (Fine Woodworking, Fine Cooking, Threads, etc.), books, DVD-ROMs and paid Web sites. Target Marketing checked in with Jane Weber, Taunton’s senior promotion manager, to get her perspective on the ins and outs of successfully integrating creative for multichannel marketing campaigns. Target Marketing: What direct response channels does Taunton Press use to promote

Why Is Rowling Howling and Growling?

Let’s get one thing straight at the outset. If someone creates a product or service that enhances the value of your product or service—makes it more valuable to the user and very likely results in additional sales for you—that is called a PR coup. Do not sue the guy. Glorify him. Better yet, send him a case of Dom Pérignon. A Personal Digression A number of years ago I got hooked on Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels about the British Navy during the Napoleonic era. These were the stories of Captain Jack Aubrey, a “Master and Commander,” who was a daring fighter and hero