Jack Schmid

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

By Jack Schmid The fourth quarter is critical for many catalogers. Indeed, performance in this last stretch may well determine the outcome of your year-end profitability. As such, blunders committed during the fall season can have a negative impact on your bottom line. As you gear up for the fourth quarter, avoid these common mistakes. Not testing and promoting offers. Offers are one of the most important aspects to test. Will free shipping and handling out perform a free gift or no offer at all? Is a discount better than a gift certificate? What kind of gain do you need to pay for each

Hanover Direct Had Nearly Drowned Among Too Many Properties, But its Focus is Clear Now: A New Merchandising Strategy that Concentrates on Core Brands. By Alicia Orr Suman Focus. That's what was lacking at Hanover Direct, says Tom Shull, president and CEO of the company. Hanover Direct, nearly insolvent when Shull took the helm two-and-a half years ago, at one time had 22 businesses. To get out of debt, Hanover shed catalogs and other businesses, and concentrated on growing its strongest brands. Shull, a turnaround specialist who had worked on the revitalizations of both Barneys and Macy's, says it was a

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

How are direct marketers coping? by Denny Hatch, Contributing Editor On November 22, 1963, Consumer Reports circulation director Paul Goldberg was having lunch at the Pierre hotel in New York with two of his counterparts in the business when the maitre d' came over to say that the President of the United States had been shot. "Oh, my God!" said the woman on Goldberg's right. "Oh, my God!," said the woman on Goldberg's left. "Oh, my mail!" said Goldberg. It's a given: A major catastrophe will clobber results as Americans spend an inordinate number of additional hours watching events unfold on television while mail,

by Alan Weber There is a revolution going on in database marketing, and it's not about making computers go faster. It is about making people smarter. Based on the idea that bringing decision makers closer to the knowledge in the database will enable better decisions, radical changes are now being made in how marketing decision support is done. Instead of computers that think for them, decision makers want the information brought to their desktop, so they can make the best judgement calls possible. At one time, database marketers judged service bureaus based on what they took away—problems with data storage, programming and other technical

by Jack Schmid In almost every survey taken during the past decade, catalogers have consistently mentioned the rising cost of paper, printing and mailing (including postage) as a major area of concern. And we see no trend that will lessen this concern. If it isn't postage cost increases, it's paper. Catalogers are forced to find innovative ways to reduce the cost of their catalogs in the mail—or any cost increase will come right out of the bottom line. What is the right answer? Should you: • Raise your prices to reflect the cost increase? • Find a new printer who can print for less?

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