Bombay Company Finds an E-mail Match
January 1, 2003

When Matt Corey joined furniture and accessories merchant Bombay Company as vice president of e-commerce in May 2002, he had his work cut out for him. The company’s existing e-mail program not only was costly, but it lacked Web-based and usability tracking tools. “We needed a program that would grow with us,” says Corey. The company’s combined needs for a source of advice on best e-mail practices, more efficient e-mail campaigns and Web-technology management led it to e-mail solutions provider Silverpop, which offers Dynamic Messaging 3.0 software. The solution enables users who aren’t already familiar with information technology to rapidly

Nine West Guarantees Custom-fit E-mails
December 1, 2002

Imagine if your monthly e-mail newsletters were as individual as your customers’ buying habits. Shoe retailer Nine West has enjoyed this impressive achievement since 2000. Through a partnership with online relationship marketing company Yesmail, Nine West sends myriad versions of its e-newsletter every month, each tailored around customers’ purchase history, ZIP code and/or buying channel. The efforts have increased both online and offline traffic, note company officials. Always on the lookout to cut postal costs, as well as provide a more interactive shopping experience, Nine West chose Yesmail to provide highly personalized content to its 300,000-member opt-in database. According to Dianne Binford,

Segment your e-mail housefile
November 1, 2002

Sure, it’s time-consuming. It may double or even triple the time you spend putting together an e-mail campaign. But according to industry experts, the potential sales and conversion benefits of segmenting your e-mail housefile—that is, sending different messages and offers to different segments of your customer file—are well worth the effort. The experts also agree that e-mail housefile segmentation isn’t much different from segmenting your print buyers; it’s just a little more involved. “What you get with e-mail is more behavior-based information,” sums up Reggie Brady, president of consultancy Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions. “The trick is making sense of that information and organizing

E-mail Appending: Pros, Cons and Action Tips
April 1, 2002

Spam is in the eye of the beholder. This adage offered by Anne Holland, publisher of MarketingSherpa.com, encapsulates the current discussions about e-mail appending. Most of the debates center around privacy as it relates to recipients’ permission. Some experts propose that the existence of a business relationship in one channel (e.g., direct mail) doesn’t justify marketers’ contact through another (e.g., online) when the customer hasn’t given his or her specific permission. “Until [customers] grant permission to send that e-mail, you shouldn’t assume you have it,” says Margie Arbon, director of operations for Mail Abuse Prevention System, a non-profit organization that works with Internet service

10 Terrific Uses of E-mail
January 1, 2002

Although it’s still new territory for most catalogers, e-mail marketing can work extremely well in conjunction with catalog mailing programs. This month we offer 10 tips to make the most effective use of your e-mail marketing campaigns. 1. Get registrations and opt-ins. Successful e-mail marketers concentrate on prompting prospects and customers to register their e-mail addresses for future mailings. (A common technique is to get registrations through a sweepstakes or online contest.) Once customers have registered or opted-in, the ideal number and frequency of follow-up mailings will vary by type of offer. (For more on this, see “24 Tips for E-mail Marketing Success,”

Nine Tips for Building Your E-mail Housefile
August 1, 2001

All of my favorite catalogs (both business and consumer) regularly e-mail to me promotions or newsletters. It appears that today’s catalogers are taking e-mail communication seriously and devoting significant marketing efforts to regularly contacting customers and prospects. Indeed, a cataloger’s e-mail file is a valuable asset in building site traffic and sales. Following are nine tips to aggressively grow your e-mail list. Prominently feature on your Web site’s home page an invitation to sign up for e-mailed communications. Most catalogs offer a subscription for e-mail specials or newsletters; but they can be amazingly hard to find. Sometimes I have to scroll down below

Techniques That Get Your E-mail Opened
November 1, 2000

E-mail marketing is new for many catalogers, and most are now concentrating on growing an in-house e-mail file. Some have started weekly or monthly newsletters that contain specials, and others are sending promotions. While many are becoming comfortable with the process of creating e-mail marketing messages, the competition for customers’ attention is growing. In the near future, it will become important for catalogers to set themselves apart from other e-mail marketers. As with print catalogs, several response-boosting techniques are worth testing in e-mail. Looking for Lists Most catalogers are working with their own housefiles right now. They have e-mail registration on

Alternate Media Other Catalogers Use and Why
September 1, 2000

Producing and mailing a catalog can be a most expensive undertaking. With alternate media you can achieve some of the same goals as with a print catalog: Testing, driving customers (new or existing) to your e--commerce site and building awareness/loyalty. Speaking at the Annual Catalog Conference in June, Kevin Kotowski, of Olson Kotowski & Co. in Los Angeles, named some top reasons catalogers use alternate media, or “non-catalog pieces:” 1) cheaper prospecting than with full-sized catalog drops, since most alternate media are cheaper to produce and mail; 2) building and strengthening your customer relationships with name and product awareness; 3)

Lifetime Value: Acquisition Costs Across Different Media
June 1, 2000

Two things are common to many database marketers. First, they can measure acquisition cost well (what it takes to turn a prospect into a customer), but they don’t employ a sound method of judging lifetime value (LTV). Second, they emphasize prospecting rather than retention/cross-selling/upselling. The combination of these two traits, measuring acquisition but not LTV and concentrating on prospecting rather than retention, often leads to profitability problems when testing new media. For a “traditional” cataloger, who sells only through direct mail and prospects only with rented lists, there can be a major difference in the long-term profitability of buyers from different sources. For

Mony Modes, One Voice
June 1, 2000

A single customer contact center presents one company message across e-mail, Web chat and telephone calls As catalogers move business online, they are noticing an increase in the number of incoming calls to the call center. Theoretically, the Internet is supposed to reduce the number of calls. But Web sites, especially commerce-enabled ones, are generating more contact for catalogers. Many of the incoming calls are for customer service. The customer is on the site, they have loaded up their shopping cart, but they have a question about the color, the size, the quantity or they can’t figure out how to complete the transaction.