Direct Mail

Multichannel Brand Management: Refine Your Message
April 1, 2007

* This article is very image-heavy. For optimized Web viewing and readability, the images do not appear here. To see the print version, plus images, click on “Refine Your Multichannel Message” PDF under Related Content in the upper-right corner of this page. You must have Adobe Reader 6.0 or above to view this document. As the online channel has settled into the mainstream in recent years, multichannel integration has become more crucial for catalogers. Still, there are plenty of marketers out there who neglect, or simply fail, to maintain one voice and a cohesive visual treatment across the three key channels: catalog, Web

Insert Media: A Miniature Resurgence
February 1, 2007

Like other insert media programs, such as package stuffers and blow-ins, miniature catalogs have been around a long time. But in recent times, their popularity among catalogers appears to be on the rise. Catalogers as diverse in nature as nursing mother products marketer Motherwear International and B-to-B uniforms mailer UniFirst Corp. have been successful marketing through mini-format catalogs. What’s more, multi-title apparel and food cataloger Crosstown Traders plans to test its first miniature later this year. Defined primarily as having no more than 24 pages at various dimensions, miniatures can be a more efficient way to get your product offerings in front of

Direct Mail Spending Grew 7.5 Percent in 2006
December 19, 2006

Direct mail spending rose 7.5 percent to $60.6 billion in 2006, according to an estimate in a recent whitepaper released by marketing consultancy Winterberry Group. This follows 7.4 percent growth from 2004 to 2005. Winterberry Group further estimates that total direct mail spending will reach $73.6 billion by 2009, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 6.8 percent per year between 2005 and 2009. Overall catalog spending for the same period is expected to be slightly lower, at 5.7 percent. In addition to these stats, Winterberry Group identifies several trends it anticipates over the next 12 months: * Complex, high-volume multichannel campaigns will

Postal Reform Bill Passes House, Senate
December 11, 2006

Consider it a postal and legislative version of “Do you believe in miracles?” Late on the night of Dec. 8 and into the early morning of Dec. 9, the House and then the Senate passed a sweeping postal reform bill that will bring forth significant change in the way that postal rates are set. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this week. The bill’s passage culminates 11 years of prior failures to get a postal reform bill through both chambers of Congress. Soon after the Senate passed the bill, H.R. 6407, the Direct Marketing Association Senior Vice President of Government Affairs

Four Last-minute Tactics to Increase Your Holiday Revenue
November 21, 2006

I’ll keep this column brief (I know you want this week to end. I can’t wait for the advanced stages of tryptophan sleepiness to set in after the turkey is done). Want to add some revenue before the end of the year? Try the following:

1. Add an extra mailing in before the end of the year. Try it this way: After your last mailing is complete, mail one more catalog just to your hotline buyers, those who just responded from your last mailings of the year. If it’s too late to get your printer involved, grab some of your bounce back and office copy

Contributions to Profit: Plan for 2007, Part II
November 1, 2006

Last month in this column, I defined the basic psychological and behavioral groupings of prospects and customers as suspects, prospects, triers, buyers and advocates. Developing marketing plans with these groups in mind can increase your results and profitability. This month, in the second of a three-installment series that concludes in the December issue, I’ll explore some strategies and tactics you can implement to accomplish this. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume that you’ve done a proper circulation plan and already know who you suspect will become your customers. Your suspects have become prospects by way of list research, and you’re ready to develop

Get Creative As You Prospect
October 1, 2006

Take the road less traveled. Cataloging, by its very nature implies acquiring customers via renting lists. For some, that’s prospecting in a nutshell. But most catalogers eventually go beyond lists as a means to not only grow the business, but also to combat limited list universes, or as part of an overall expansion into multichannel marketing. But which directions make sense for your business? There are so many traditional choices, such as co-op databases, inserts, space ads, solo mailings, television or radio advertising. Compound that dilemma with the influx of newer online methods, such as paid search,, eBay and

Cataloger Spotlight: Modern Postcard
October 1, 2006

In the rapidly evolving world of multichannel marketing, the print catalog’s role isn’t only changing on the consumer side. Consider how business postcard printer Modern Postcard, which for years provided its postcards to many business-to-business (B-to-B) marketers, has evolved into a cataloger: In mid-September, the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Modern Postcard rolled out a 24-page, 10.375-inch-by-8-inch B-to-B catalog that mailed to about 200,000 prospects (80 percent) and existing customers (20 percent). “We felt that our product and service offerings were amenable to the catalog channel, and we saw the creation of a catalog as a unique means for us to differentiate ourselves, elevate our brand and continue

Still Fit to Print?
September 1, 2006

Despite rapid online gains, future still bright for print catalogs. Considering it’s now been at least a decade since debates first surfaced in this business about whether the print catalog would ultimately become obsolete in favor of online catalogs, you’d think you could make a stronger case for such a phenomenon in 2006. And today, with a rapidly growing number of catalogers reporting 50 percent-plus levels of orders placed online, the writing would seem to be on the wall. But while it’s nice to dream of the cost savings associated with alleviating paper catalogs altogether, reports of its death are greatly exaggerated, to quote Mark Twain.