Direct Marketing Association

Survey Shows Wide Diversity of E-mail Use
March 20, 2007

A survey released by the Direct Marketing Association on March 19 shows a noteworthy variation in e-mail marketing practices, metrics, and performance among marketers. The DMA says that the report, “Actionable Insights into E-Mail Marketing,” shows that marketers’ self-reported competence or expertise levels play a significant role in the variation. Among the reports findings, • 75 percent of e-mail campaigns are aimed at customer retention • 25 percent of e-mail campaigns are designed to acquire new customers • 68 percent of respondents use e-mail for company announcements • 63 percent of respondents use e-mail for special discounts • 63 percent of respondents use e-mail

Privacy Matters: Co-op Databases and Consumer Privacy
March 1, 2007

One of the important parts of my job, leading the Direct Marketing Association’s ethics and consumer affairs activities, is hearing reactions to the practices of individual companies — and the direct marketing community in general — directly from consumers. These real world anecdotes allow us at the DMA to identify emerging concerns and issues that we can help you address and solve. Lately we’ve noticed a new trend that most catalogers need to address: how consumers exercise their privacy choices in a world of co-op databases. The usual scenario: Someone calls a company and asks to be removed from its mailing list,

Industry Eye: Shakeups and People on the Move
February 1, 2007

Shakeups at Three Big Multichannel Retailers Executive departures have resulted in major changes at three large multichannel retailers. Below are the maneuverings. J.C. Penney: Chairman/CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman has added the responsibilities of COO for this multichannel giant following the December termination of EVP/COO Catherine West. The Home Depot: Robert Nardelli has resigned as chairman/CEO of this multichannel home improvement products merchant. He’s been replaced by Vice Chairman and EVP Frank Blake. Additionally, CFO Carol Tome has added the title of EVP, corporate services; EVP for Home Depot Supply Joe DeAngelo has been named COO; and Brian Robbins has replaced John Campi as SVP, global sourcing and

B-to-G Marketing: Three Ways to Tap into Local Governments
December 19, 2006

If you’re a B-to-B cataloger looking for a new market segment, you might want to consider dipping into the local and county government sector, according to a whitepaper released this month by the Direct Marketing Association. The DMA points to New York City and Los Angeles County as prime examples of institutions with money to spend, as these governments’ annual operating budgets, at $50 billion and $19 billion respectively, rival those of Fortune 1,000 companies. To successfully market to local and county governments, the DMA paper suggests the following: 1. Don’t overmail. While it might be profitable to blanket a particular office with catalogs

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

The Four Steps to Take Before Starting a Catalog (Ya Gotta Start Somewhere)
October 17, 2006

I’d like to address the must-have core competencies you’ll need when either starting or maintaining a catalog. But first, I’ll respond to Micah and Rob’s comments from last week. Yes, the Internet is both a pull AND push medium. I didn’t forget e-mail to drive business. I just left it out for the sake of contrasting pull vs. push. Thanks for speaking up.

On to the topic of the next few weeks: What does it take to start a catalog business?

Many of the people who ask this aren’t necessarily sitting at their kitchen tables, looking to be the next Lillian Vernons. They’re accomplished retailers,

DRTV and Radio: Think Outside the Book, Part II
July 18, 2006

As traditional catalog prospecting for new customers gets more and more challenging, consider two proven media channels that have been steady workhorses for other types of marketers for more than 50 years: television, and radio. Direct Response Television (DRTV): If a typical catalog has 150 to 200 products, there usually are one or two hit products that are worthy of elevated promotional efforts. Perhaps the most famous example is Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze® Air Purifier. This product started in the catalog with strong sales, but sales exploded after the product was promoted via an infomercial. Not only has the airing of the infomercial helped product sales,

Insert Media: Think Outside the Book, Part I
July 11, 2006

Integrating catalog, online, and retail divisions to offer multiple channels has become more the norm rather than the exception when it comes to catalog prospecting. So how can a traditional cataloger find new ways to prospect for customers in a such dynamic environment? Consider thinking outside of the book itself and going back in time. Take a look at a proven media channel that’s been a steady workhorse for other marketers for decades: insert media. While there are some catalogers using insert media as a viable channel for customer acquisition, the vast majority don’t. Insert media represents a cost-effective way to reach proven mail order

B-to-B Cataloging An Introduction to Merchandise Analysis
July 7, 2006

By George Hague Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series on analytics and measurement. The first article appeared in Catalog Success, May 2006, pg. 91, and covered circulation essentials. Part II covers merchandise analytics. Regardless of what you sell, your merchandise is the reason people purchase from your catalog. Appealing product can give your catalog a 20 percent to 30 percent lift in sales with no additional marketing expenses. Since merchandise is the driving force behind your catalog's success, product development and selection should receive the most attention in terms of strategic planning and analysis. The state-of-the-art tool for merchandise analysis

Lists: Ten Things to Consider About Consumer Prospect Databases
June 27, 2006

Certainly all mailers want to improve their new customer acquisition performance. And in a session during the DM Days New York conference last week, Caryn Gray, Experian’s senior business & strategy consultant, outlined 10 key factors for mailers to consider when working with consumer prospect databases: Specifically, a prospect database is a client-specific database comprising multi-sourced, agreed-use, non-proprietary consumer records, such as vertical response lists, that marketers use for planning, executing and tracking or measuring new customer acquisition efforts. In setting the stage for her presentation, Gray noted that the key drivers for improved prospect databases include list fatigue, a lack of new names on the