Kelly J. Andrews

By Kelly J. Andrews A very good retail salesperson upsells this handbag to match that dress, the lamp to complement the sofa. To contrast, telephone reps, lacking face-to-face contact, used to function as mere order-takers, not salespeople. Direct marketers relied on persuasive copy to sell, not their inbound reps. This outdated reality has changed. The reasons are several: First, the increased costs of mailing have put pressure on call centers to increase order sizes and become profit centers. Second, upselling and cross-selling efforts not only increase average order size, but also help retain customers by turning single-buyers into multi-buyers and upping their involvement with

by Kelly J. Andrews The best way to build a house, cabinet or bookcase is from the bottom up. The editors of Today's Woodworker usually advocate starting with quality raw materials and building from scratch. But when the Medina, MN, publisher wanted to increase the circulation of its decade-old enthusiast magazine, the nail-by-nail and board-by-board approach wasn't fast enough. Instead, Today's Woodworker took a rare short cut and joined the merger and acquisition trend within the direct marketing industry. Rockler Companies Inc., which owns the magazine, bought Woodworker's Journal from publishing giant Primedia Corp. Rockler relaunched the combined magazine as Woodworker's Journal, the

Reported by Kelly J. Andrews There's no doubt the direct marketing industry is thriving. Survey after survey shows that both revenues and profits are up, and research companies predict that the future will remain rosy for years to come. However, that bright and happy big picture is made up of lots of small ones—thousands of direct marketers that each have a unique story, strategy and perspective. To find out what's happening at ground level, we conducted a State of the Industry survey that took a close look at direct marketers across the country. The direct marketers we surveyed are a cross-section of

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