CMS Inc.

State of the Co-ops ’07
July 1, 2007

With the postal rate increase in effect and the marketplace demonstrating fierce competition, catalogers are seeking more efficient ways to handle the database information they accumulate. Certainly, there’s no shortage of companies that offer to streamline the process, but how do mailers know which of them is best for their needs? Here (in alphabetical order) is what the nation’s eight cooperative database firms are doing this year to set themselves apart. Abacus Alliance Acquired by marketing technology firm Epsilon earlier this year, Abacus recently launched its next generation solution, Abacus ONE, based on the company’s current proven modeling system. “We have taken what was

Industry Eye: Catalogers’ Updates, People on the Move & Tech Talk
May 1, 2007

Catalogers’ Updates Metrostyle: This unit of New York-based Redcats USA, is emblazoning the cycle two winner of “America’s Next Top Model” TV show, Yoanna House, on the cover of its spring catalog in an attempt to showcase the catalog as a women’s apparel fashion authority. Selecting the contest winner comes after Redcats changed the name of this value-priced book from Lerner. Harry & David Holdings: In April, this multichannel marketer agreed to sell its Jackson & Perkins catalog/ wholesale plants and gardening tools business to an investment group led by Donald and Glenda Hachenberger for $49 million. In a separate deal, Harry & David also agreed to

Postal Matters: NEMOA Town Hall Meeting Brings Out Cost-saving Ideas, Old & New
March 27, 2007

In a jam-packed emergency town hall meeting organized during last week’s NEMOA conference in Cambridge, Mass., to address the impending huge postage increases, catalogers and vendors present tossed out myriad ideas. Some are revolutionary, some revisit past practices, albeit in a modern way. Naturally, not many of them weren’t fully hashed out, but some could have merit for your company, some might be a little obvious (but watch for a new twist), some not so obvious. Take your pick. 1. Find ways to do more co-mailing. Find noncompetitive co-mailing candidates with your printer, pointed out the meeting’s leader, Russ Gaitskill, president of the Garnet Hill

SPECIAL EDITION: Postal Rate Recommendation Could be Catastrophic for Catalogers
March 2, 2007

The Feb. 26 announcement by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of its postal rate recommendations on the surface looked like good news for mailers. But a closer look at the rates for the various bulk mail subclasses exposes a number of potentially enormous rate hikes for a significant number of catalogers. The PRC recommendation is now in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors, who can either accept, reject or accept them under protest. Although the PRC recommended an average rate increase of 9.3 percent for Standard Mail, the bulk mail category that most catalogers and other direct mailers use, a closer

EXCLUSIVE NEWS FLASH: Postal Rate Recommendation Could be Catastrophic for Catalogers
March 2, 2007

The Feb. 26 announcement by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of its postal rate recommendations on the surface looked like good news for mailers. But a closer look at the rates for the various bulk mail subclasses exposes a number of potentially enormous rate hikes for a significant number of catalogers. The PRC recommendation is now in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors, who can either accept, reject or accept them under protest. Although the PRC recommended an average rate increase of 9.3 percent for Standard Mail, the bulk mail category that most catalogers and other direct mailers use, a closer

Strategy: Find the Right Lists
December 1, 2006

Assuming you have the right merchandise, 70 percent or more of a successful mailing campaign is dependent on the lists you use. Proper list selection means the difference between profits or losses on the income statement. This includes the proper use of your housefile and the outside rented lists you use. The specific lists you mail and the quantities of every list included in your plan are important considerations. I will talk about the different types of lists available and what you can do to improve your results. All mailing lists can be classified into three different types: 1. Direct response lists.

Dig for Gold in Your Housefile
December 1, 2002

Evaluating customers based on accurate and timely data—especially behavioral and demographic data—has given catalogers who understand and leverage the value of a marketing database the ability to achieve significant performance gains. But in terms of understanding customers and marketing to them as wisely as possible, this technique is just a beginning. Indexing transactional activity (that is, matching all activity to the appropriate customer) creates an even higher level of marketing database utility—a truly customer-centric view of behavioral data. With this kind of data you can improve customer segmentation simply because the data is more accurately rolled up, easier to access and “cleaner”