BlissOut Catalog’s Perfect Marketing Makeup
September 1, 2000

Goops and scrubs, loofahs and lipsticks. All presented in bright colorful layouts. Seductive copy (“it’s more than treats the eye”) makes you want to buy this stuff so you, too, can feel good. And then there’s BlissGirl. She may not be perfect, but this illustrated character sure has fun living the spa life and trying out all the latest products the beauty world has to offer. Founded just four years ago, BlissOut catalog has come a long way in such a short time, due in large part to the vision of Bliss spa founder, Marcia Kilgore, and the know-how and enthusiasm of the catalog’s

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

Case Study: Sundance Catalog
April 1, 2000

Nestled at the base of Utah’s Mount Timpanogos, among the giant pine trees lies a small 6,000-acre village. Established in 1969 by Robert Redford, the area has become an educational resource for artists and a place of recreation that fosters social and environmental responsibility. The resort area was purchased by Redford with his earnings from the 1967 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” from which the village gets its name. In the past 30 years, Sundance has become more than a tiny village of beauty. It is now home to a host of non-profit organizations founded by Redford, including The Sundance Film Festival,

10 Ways to Put More Zing in Your Prospecting With Alternative Media
October 1, 1999

One of cataloging’s hottest buzz phrases this past year has been alternative media. List brokers hate the trend, but most savvy catalogers are not only embracing alternative media, they are having enough success with it to build on. Historically catalogers have relied on list rentals to build their customer files. And it worked. Lists proved to be productive and had excellent persistency or lifetime value over time. So why complain or switch from something that’s working? The answer is an economic one. The winning lists of yesteryear are just not responding as well as they did in the past. When I started in

The Puzzling, Frustrating 1 Percent Response Rate
May 1, 1999

For this inaugural article, no rule of thumb could be better to start with than the oldest, strangest, most puzzling and often the most frustrating rule of them all: the 1 percent response rate. Definition: 1 Percent Response Rule Most catalogers have at least heard of this rule, but I’ve never seen a really careful definition of it. So here’s my precise definition of the 1 percent response rule: The 1 Percent Response Rule: If you mail an average-size catalog, with merchandise of average desirability, at average-value price points, to an average selection of response lists, then your average response rate (number of orders

Thinking Outside the Box
February 1, 1999

About this time nine years ago I was getting set to be married, so I registered my china and crystal patterns with a Big Department Store’s bridal registry. Then, a funny thing happened: I started receiving boxes at my home from someplace called Ross-Simons. “What store is this?” I asked my mother, for while it carried the precise gifts I had selected, I had neither been there nor heard of it. “It’s not a store. It’s a catalog,” she replied. More recently, in the fall of 1997 my sister was wed. For her bridal registry, she chose to skip the Big Department