Gina Valentino

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

I repeat; repetition works especially when it's used as a strategic marketing tool. As a writer, I've learned from experience it increases the likelihood of capturing attention and generating measurable response. Try these tips for using repetition to fuel more clicks, calls, mailed-in cards and visits to your store or website.

By Irene Cherkassky This past holiday season, bigger wasn't always better as a slew of smaller format holiday catalogs and gift guides came through the Who's Mailing What! Archive—and many consumers' mailboxes. The petite mailings were mailed by a wide range of marketers that obviously felt good things do come in small packages. This year's holiday effort from brand-conscious Banana Republic, for example, is a bright yellow book edged in gold (Archive code #910-605111-0411A). The focus is on lavish images of Banana Republic-clad models and tastefully arranged clothing designed to stimulate gift ideas and pairings. Another small-format piece arrived from American Eagle (AE)

Sending too many catalogs to your retail stores and anticipating response rates on par with your best mail-order customer segments is a mistake. Monitor catalog usage at each store as well as response rates for better planning and forecasting. Keep the package inserts, or in-store displays with catalogs, limited. --Gina Valentino, vice president and general manager, J. Schmid & Associates

By Gina Valentino Flashback five years. 'Brick and mortar' was predominately a term used to describe a retail store location, and in particular used to describe a separate business unit from the catalog and/or Internet business. The retail store was considered, and more importantly treated, as an entirely different means of doing business. It was almost elite and certainly not included in the same sentence as catalog or Internet by corporate management or industry analysts. Fast forward to 2005. You don't hear 'brick and mortar' much at all. Instead, retail operations are part of a company's multichannel business. Multichannel describes two or more

By Hallie Mummert Multichannel marketing strategies, such as online ordering supported by in-store returns or e-mails sent before and after a direct mail drop, are proving to be powerful ways to encourage customers to interact with marketers in any way that best fits their needs. But successful multichannel marketing requires a thorough understanding of where your sales or leads originate so you can better allocate marketing resources. According to a March 2004 study by J.C. Williams Group (commissioned by DoubleClick and Abacus), some of the top challenges faced by multichannel marketers are measuring cross-channel influence and ensuring the integrity of integrated customer data. "Tracking

By Gina Valentino Nobody likes to talk about outsourcing. Looking beyond the walls of the organization is complicated. But for good managers, the decision-making process should be ruled by simple math and balanced with sound judgment. Regardless of the type of company, outsourcing provides alternatives to hiring full-time employees and investing in capital. As with any decision, a cost justification is necessary. Each organization is different, and the decision to outsource or develop the resources internally requires due diligence. Keep It Simple There are as many metrics as there are managers. When developing comparison data to determine whether in-house or outsource options

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