Jack Rosenfeld’s Take on 2008: Play Good Defense
5. Consider retail. “The retail business is tough,” Rosenfeld said, “but we as catalogers have to consider it now. Some catalog concepts fit retail; it’s been done successfully, and we do have to look at it.”
6. Co-mail. With all the tremendous discounts to be had from today’s postal system, “you have to co-mail with a lot of volume,” Rosenfeld said. “You may have to change mail dates and other things. We’ve actually solicited other mailers — mostly smaller ones — to co-mail with us, and we’ve saved a huge amount of money.”
7. Consider mailing a slim jim. Although a show of hands revealed almost none of the 100 or so catalogers in attendance mailing slim jims, Rosenfeld urged them to reshape their books to save in postage and paper. “You can save up to 35 percent depending on how much your presort discounts are,” he pointed out, “particularly with sale catalogs.”
At the same time, he noted, if your catalog isn’t making postal discount minimums, consider adding pages to your catalog.
8. Operations and fulfillment savings. To multichannel marketers who farm out their fulfillments, Rosenfeld advised them to negotiate for better rates. “In distribution,” he said, “we’ve found that incentives work. Have workers share in productivity.”
In the call center, Potpourri turns to a third party to handle upselling. “We had done it and dropped it previously,” he said. “But we’re now able to do it and sustain it. When Hanover Direct did third-party upselling, it made $20 million a year.”
But aggressive upselling can be dangerous, Rosenfeld cautioned. “Test it to see what effect it has, although the benefit outweighs the cost. To me,” he said, “an incentive program is such a good thing for a company and its workers.”