The 50 Best Tips of 2006
Weigh your words.
You’re in command of the reaction to your words. Check each noun and verb to be sure it’s as colorful, specific and dynamic as it can be. Consider the subtle differences you communicate to your customers. Ask how they react to “autumn” and “fall”; “pants” and “trousers”; “acquire” and “own”; or “made by” and “built by.”
—Herschell Gordon Lewis, Lewis Enterprises, source, “Three Quick Tips For Better Catalog Copy,” June 6, Catalog Success Idea Factory
Photo shoots and TV monitors.
At product photo shoots, have your photographer set up a TV monitor. This allows you to keep an eye on what’s being photographed without butting in and interrupting the creative process. “Photographers all have different processes because they’re shooting different things. But a monitor allows us to see where they’re going.”
—Laurie Harquail, Rejuvenation, source, “Picture Perfect,” August, Catalog Success
Acquisitions & Valuations
Pinpoint a buyer of your company.
If you’re looking to sell your company, you’ll find that buyers fall into two categories: strategic or financial. Strategic buyers may pay more for your business, because they can recast your income statement by leveraging existing overhead structure. Financial buyers care only about growth and profit. They’ll probably want to sell your company in three to five years for a profit. Smaller catalogers should look for strategic buyers.
—Stephen R. Lett, Lett Direct,, Strategy, “Exit the Stage Right,” January, Catalog Success
Invest in audited annual statements.
Whether you’re large or small, pay the accounting fees to produce an audited annual statement. The lack of audited statements can limit your attractiveness in the deal marketplace.
—Larry West, West Cos. Inc., Valuations & Acquisitions, “Know What to Ask,” October, Catalog Success
Don’t waste good creative.
Sierra Trading Post catalog often will launch an e-mail campaign on a Monday, and find that 75 percent of recipients don’t open it. While the e-mails could be getting trapped in spam filters or simply are deleted, there’s a chance that customers don’t see the message. “So we’ll send it again on Friday to the 75 percent that haven’t opened it. Although the open rate usually is low — no more than 5 percent usually — clickthrough rates for those who open the second e-mail are much higher than normal.”
—Doug Williams, Sierra Trading Post, source, “Test for Success,” May 23, 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.