Direct Marketing Association

Affiliate Marketing: Give Explicit Instructions to Affiliate Marketers
February 14, 2006

Do you know where all of your online affiliate ads are being posted? Seriously, every single one of them? “Senators are beginning to wonder if marketers know where all of their online ads appear,” noted Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at The Direct Marketing Association, during his talk at the Catalog-on-the-Road Conference in Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 1. Cerasale said one car maker found its ads posted on a pornography Web site. “It’s your brand,” he told the roomful of direct marketers. “If you lose customers’ trust in this way, it’s awfully tough to get it back.” He advised merchants to establish parameters with

E-mail: Best Practices for E-mail Marketing Communications
October 25, 2005

These five best practices, offered recently by The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), are intended to improve the likelihood of permission-based e-mail being delivered successfully to a recipient’s inbox -- and being read by the intended recipient. 1. Encourage customers and prospects to add your legitimate sending e-mail address to their personal”approved list/address book” and provide up-front instructions on how to do so in registration pages. Being an approved sender yields higher response rates and generates fewer complaints and blocked messages. 2. Carefully consider the content and presentation of marketing messages, as recipients are increasingly labeling any e-mail communication that’s irrelevant to them or looks

By the Stats: Cataloger Response Rates Increase
October 25, 2005

Average response rates for catalog mailings increased this year, according to the recently released “2005 Response Rate Report” from The Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The average response rate for catalogers so far this year is 3.67 percent. This compares favorably to 2.23 percent in 2004, and 2.41 percent in 2003. However, The DMA cautions that this year’s increase may be an anomaly. A few catalog responders to the response rate survey reported above-average rates, possibly skewing the overall results. Other catalog-related findings: ¥ 1.8 percent: median cataloger response rate; ¥ $2.41: revenue per contact; and ¥ 57 cents: promotional cost per contact. Source: “2005 Response Rate Report,” The Direct

By the Stats: List Your Worries
August 2, 2005

Mailers said they are concerned about the following issues pertaining to list rentals (percentages add up to more than 100 because survey respondents could denote more than one concern): ¥ list fatigue: 88.3% ¥ list integrity/hygiene: 87.8% ¥ address standardization: 84.1% ¥ diminishing universes: 72% ¥ rising list prices: 66.9% ¥ net-name arrangements: 57.2% ¥ list theft/abuse: 50.8% ¥ excessive list negotiations: 38.8% ¥ broker compensation: 30.8% Source: The Direct Marketing Association’s 2005 Postal& E-mail Marketing Report,

Privacy: Protect Your Customers’ Personal Information
June 7, 2005

A federal bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) would require any institution that owns, licenses or collects personal information to notify the individuals to whom the information belongs if those data are believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person. Given both the recent flurry of this type of legislation and data breaches at a number of institutions in recent months, Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs for The Direct Marketing Association, offered the following advice at his session “Legislation and Privacy Issues: Protect Your Company and Manage Your Risk” at the Annual Catalog Conference held last

The Knowledge Society
April 1, 2005

In our Information Age, knowledge — not muscle power, as in the Industrial Age — is the primary economic mover. No longer can you leave your school days behind. Lifetime education is the new norm. Indeed, to retain a business advantage today, you must stay updated on systems, processes and best practices. Luckily, the direct marketing industry offers numerous such educational opportunities. I want to highlight just a few of them here. (I apologize in advance if I’ve missed one of your personal favorite events.) Following are the conferences whose planners I’ve found to consistently offer valuable education to catalog executives. The annual National

Safeguard Personal Data in Your Care, a Security Checklist
October 12, 2004

Building a solid relationship with customers starts on a foundation of trust. From faith in your product to faith that you’ll deliver on time, the consumer has to have confidence that you’ll keep up your part of the bargain. With identity theft and e-commerce attacks on the rise, one of the biggest leaps of faith that a consumer takes is just handing over his or her personal information to you. The Direct Marketing Association offers the following tips to keep your customers’ information secure: 1. Have a security policy. Establish information security policies and practices to ensure the uninterrupted security of your information systems.

Inviolable List Principles
August 1, 2004

Richard V. Benson, consultant and author of “Secrets of Successful Direct Mail” 1. Lists are the most important ingredient to the success of any promotional mailing. C. Rose Harper, first woman to serve as chairperson of the Direct Marketing Association, Direct Marketing Hall of Fame inductee, and former president of The Kleid Co. 2. Direct marketing companies don’t have a single mailing list — they have many. How many? Only segmentation will tell. Your opportunities to segment a customer file into marketing units when purchasing behavioral characteristics are vast. Thus, while the marketing Information network (mIn; offers more than 42,000

Inaccurate Insults
November 1, 2003

“Vermin,” “spammers” and “workers Americans love to hate”: These are the words recently used to describe direct marketers. The first aspersion came from William Burrus, head of the American Postal Workers Union, in an article he wrote for a recent union newsletter. And the other two came from Rich McKay, a reporter at the Orlando Sentinal, who visited last month’s annual conference of The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA). The headline for Mr. McKay’s subsequent article was “Spammers, Telemarketers Share Strategies,” and in the article, he wrote: “... direct marketers have become the workers Americans love to hate ...” I don’t

Rethink Your S&H Rate Schedules
September 1, 2003

If you set your catalog’s shipping and handling (S&H) charges based on competitors’ rates, industry standards or consumer acceptance, you may need to update your strategy, say officials of The Direct Marketing Association (DMA). This is especially true for your online orders. Here’s why: Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable about S&H charges, and some even have won class-action lawsuits against companies that they think overcharge. To combat this consumer backlash against high S&H rates, The DMA advises the following when devising fees: • Make them reasonable. “You must be able to clarify and justify to consumers that your S&H rates have