Direct Mail

Test Private Customer Sales
December 18, 2007

Like you, I receive many mail offers that just don’t grab my attention. If it looks like a “mass mailing,” I don’t perceive it to be relevant. In this age of variable printing and personalization, there’s really no excuse not to be testing various personalized offers. One such proven offer is the private customer sale.
This involves digging into your customer file to find what products your customers have bought in the recent past, or what products they’re likely to buy based on past buying behavior. With this information, you’re able to send a personally addressed mail piece (letter, postcard, catalog, etc.) offering

Have Lands’ End and Sears Finally Gotten it Right? Almost.
December 14, 2007

I must admit I’ve frequently scrutinized those Lands’ End “ghettos” in Sears stores ever since Sears acquired the pride of Dodgeville, Wis., five and a half years ago. For a few years, Sears tried to sprinkle Lands’ End products amidst its mostly forgettable array of private label and largely undesirable polyester clothing. But I’m happy to report Sears is getting closer to getting the Lands’ End integration thing right. And when I received a 12-page mini-booklet — not quite a catalog, per se — I was truly blown away. The 63⁄4-inch x 51⁄8 inch outer cover wraps around eight 63⁄4 inch x 4 3⁄4

Beat or Meet Your Sales Forecasts by Year’s End, Part 3
October 9, 2007

One thing you can do to generate additional revenue between now and the end of the year is to make use of a postcard. We talked previously in this series about using postcards before and after a catalog drop to enhance your catalog’s offerings and increase revenue. We also talked about finding room in your mail schedule to drop an additional catalog.
Now, here’s another way to use a postcard.
Instead of an extra catalog, do a postcard mailing to select groups of customers. Determine what part of your customers and/or prospects would respond to a postcard. Consider mailing to older customers who

Cost-cutting Tips You Can Take to the Bank
September 1, 2007

Much has been said and written about the stunning postage increase that took effect earlier this year. With new rates running upwards of 40 percent-plus greater than the previous ones for some Standard mail (catalog) categories, this may be the toughest challenge I’ve seen this industry encounter in all my years covering the business. Fortunately for all of us, we have sharp minds like our lead columnist Stephen R. Lett and his vice president at Lett Direct, Sandy Wolstencroft. Steve and Sandy took it upon themselves to break down virtually all the ways you can implement change in your catalog mailing strategy to

The Future of SEM: What Marketers Need to Know
April 10, 2007

As catalogers, you know the importance of search engine marketing for your Web sites and ultimately on your revenue. But technological advances and users’ preferences can make a difference in search engine results, page algorithms and spiders, as well as search engine optimization and overall SEM strategies. Manoj Jasra, director of technology at Enquiro Search Solutions, a search engine marketing firm in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, recently shared his thoughts on SEM changes in a blog entry. He warns marketers of some key factors to watch for: *Growth of personalized search. Because this is becoming more prominent, Web site operators have to work hard on Web

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