Cheryl Cagle is the database/affiliates director for Direct Marketing IQ, the home of direct marketing research, and Who's Mailing What!

Tote bags, reports, books, prepaid/gift cards and points are a few of the premiums used in 1,395 direct mail offers, or 15.8 percent, received by Who's Mailing What! in 2013. Nonnprofits/Fundraising topped the chart with 365 offers using premiums, 85 of which were for tote bags. The World Wildlife Fund enticed donors with the offer of "a set of 4 FREE WWF Tote Bags." Other premiums used for this category were blankets, books, water bottles, plush toys, t-shirts and umbrellas.

While a number of different retailers continue to struggle in building mobile apps that keep people coming back, Victoria's Secret's college-focused Pink is taking a different approach by integrating its efforts with more traditional marketing tactics. The lingerie retailer's iPhone and Android app uses a smartphone's built-in camera to scan images and pieces of marketing collateral. For example, additional digital content is unlocked by hovering a mobile device over a piece of mail, per a call to action that pops up when the app is first opened. 

Facebook is stepping further into e-commerce with a feature that looks a whole lot like Pinterest. The company today is rolling out "Collections," a feature that lets brands and e-commerce sites push out images of products among Facebook users who can then click-through to make a purchase—although the buying part isn't yet taking place on Facebook. The feature is a new type of Facebook Page post. This test will begin with all U.S. Facebook members, although the company has for now teamed up with just seven retail partners: Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria's Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus,

Some of the biggest brands are turning to social media for Valentine's Day. Major marketers from Mattel to Victoria's Secret to CBS are pushing holiday hype on social media sites. The driver: to get Valentine's Day exposure. 

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