The 50 Best Tips of 2006
What better way for a tips-oriented business magazine to wind down 2006 than with the top 50 tips of the year? My staff and I spent the past several weeks going through every article that’s run so far in Catalog Success and the Catalog Success Idea Factory e-newsletter this year to bring you the ultimate how-to “cheat sheet.”
Throughout these pages, we’ve synthesized the year’s best tips, summarizing, and in some cases quoting directly, from stories and/or the sources themselves, where noted. Below each, you’ll see the industry expert who offered the tip. We reference the issue from which the tips originate so you can turn to your back issues or e-mails and read or re-read more on them.
And since there’s much here for everybody, depending on what part of the business you’re in, rather than rank them from the No. 1 tip through the 50th best tip of 2006, we’ve placed them in 11 different categories.
As always, Catalog Success encourages an idea-sharing platform, and I welcome your feedback. Might you have any related tips you’d like to share with other readers? Did you turn one of these tips into a home run? Or, perhaps one flopped. Whatever your experiences, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Paul Miller, Editor in Chief
Mailing & Marketing
Quick formula to improve prospecting results.
After a merge/purge, optimize rental singles (one-time buyers), and suppress the lowest-scoring 10 percent to 20 percent. Doing so should yield a 5 percent to 15 percent (or higher) lift in response. Mail a 5,000 to 10,000 back-test cell to monitor suppression results to measure the exact lift achieved.
—Stephen R. Lett, Lett Direct, Strategy column, “When Prospects Aren’t Buying,” February, Catalog Success
Wait patiently for test results
After a particular test designed to increase average order value (AOV) online didn’t immediately beat the control, “I cautiously ran the test for a few weeks. It turned out that since I conducted the test using products that had higher prices, customers for those products had a longer buying cycle. After three weeks, the test beat the control and AOV increased.”
—Geoffrey Robinson, J.C. Whitney, source, “Three Lessons Learned From a Web Site Redesign,” June 13, Catalog Success Idea Factory
- Altman Dedicated Direct
- DM Transportation
- F. Curtis Barry & Co.
- Federal Express
- Fry, Inc.
- Hershey's Gift Catalog
- J. Schmid & Assoc.
- J.C. Whitney & Co.
- Lett Direct Inc.
- Liz Kislik Associates LLC
- McIntyre Direct
- Millard Group Inc.
- Orvis Company
- SC Fulfillment Services Inc.
- Sierra Trading Post
- The Rimm-Kaufman Group
- West Companies Inc.