Direct Marketing Association

4 Ways to Build a Successful E-Mail Marketing Strategy
October 21, 2008

In a session I presented at the DMA08 annual conference and exhibition last week in Las Vegas, I provided several tips to help marketers better prepare their e-mail communication strategies. In particular, I focused on a couple of areas: the building blocks needed to get an e-mail campaign up and running, and how to make your e-mails more relevant to your customers. Here’s a rundown of what I went over. 1. Learn from tests conducted by major marketers. If you include an offer in your e-mail, for example, is it more powerful to present that offer as dollars off or a percentage discount? Changing

Reflections on DMA08: Two Viewpoints
October 21, 2008

Major industry events, such as last week’s DMA08 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, can’t help but give you a feel for the climate and direction this business is headed, particularly when you get the view from all around. So Catalog Success: Tactics & Tips columnist and catalog consultant Jim Coogan and Catalog Success Editor-in-Chief Paul Miller did just that, taking the temperature from every quarter during various stages of its five-day run. Here’s what they heard and how they saw it relating to you, the catalog/multichannel merchant. Coogan’s Take There were some bearish assessments voiced regarding the direction of the catalog industry at the

Legal Matters: Beneath Those Refund and Return Policies
October 1, 2008

Catalogs and Web sites provide customers with more than just product displays, merchandise descriptions and purchase information. They generally include a number of legal disclosures as well. Frequently overlooked, however, is an explanation of the retailer’s refund and return policy. Such a disclosure should be included, both as a matter of legal compliance and industry best practice. State Disclosure Laws Approximately one-third of states have enacted legislation related to retail sales return policies. A few states have disclosure laws specifically targeted toward certain types of direct marketers. • In California, a vendor conducting business through the Internet or other electronic means must

Catalogers Drawn to Alternative Opt-Out Service
September 30, 2008

During the NEMOA Conference in Burlington, Vt., on Sept. 18, representatives from two key member catalogers — Jim Feinson of Gardeners Supply and Steve Voigt of King Arthur Flour — reported strong results using the independent opt-out service Catalog Choice. Although both use the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service (MPS) as well (rebranded DMAChoice earlier this year), both said they feel Catalog Choice is the more consumer-friendly and better promoted of the two. “Also, we’ve learned that customers don’t trust the DMA,” Feinson said. “Its service isn’t as refined and user-friendly as Catalog Choice.” Apples to apples, Catalog Choice isn’t drastically different than

Majority of Catalogers Offer Loyalty Programs for Free
September 23, 2008

According to a recent loyalty marketing survey from the Direct Marketing Association in partnership with the loyalty marketing publisher COLLOQUY, 66.7 percent of catalogers offer their loyalty programs to customers for free. The survey polled 250 respondents from the catalog; supermarket and grocery store; hotel and restaurant; retail and department store; and bank and credit card industries. Here are some more findings of the survey. * 25 percent of catalogers said they charge different membership fees depending on the level of the loyalty program, and less than 10 percent charge one nominal fee to customers who join; * overall, more than 70 percent of

Catalog is Top Sales Driver for Multichannel Merchants
September 2, 2008

In its annual State of the Catalog Industry report, the Direct Marketing Association revealed that 62 percent of multichannel companies, including catalog, retail and Internet merchants, use catalogs as their primary sales channel. The recent online survey includes responses from 106 multichannel merchants. Here are some highlights from the report. * The print catalog is the largest revenue generator among all channels, with an average of nearly 50 percent of sales in 2007 and 2008; * 32 percent of respondents use search marketing as a tool to cross-sell offline buyers online; * circulation has surged in the past five years as more companies use

Tips to Help You Cut Unwanted and Undeliverable Mail
August 5, 2008

Unwanted and undeliverable mail benefits no one. For marketers, it’s an unnecessary expense; for consumers, it’s an aggravation; and for policymakers, it’s viewed as counter to environmental stewardship. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) recently announced an ambitious public goal to significantly reduce unwanted and undeliverable mail. Its efforts hope to save one million tons of carbon dioxide in five years. Each organization in the direct marketing community can and should support this effort. Listed below are several tips you can implement to help. To clean your lists of unwanted mail: 1. Run your prospecting lists against the DMA’s Mail Preference Service monthly, or

Text Messaging Dominates the Mobile Market
July 29, 2008

A recently released survey from the Direct Marketing Association of 800 cell phone users suggests if you’re going to market to consumers via their mobile phones, text messaging is the channel to target. Text messages account for 70 percent of consumer mobile marketing responses, easily surpassing a 41 percent response rate to surveys sent to cell phones and a 30 percent response rate for e-mail offers. Here’s a look at some more of the survey’s findings. * 24 percent of those surveyed have responded to a mobile offer; * one-third of the respondents who said they didn’t respond to any mobile marketing offers indicated

Going Green
June 24, 2008

Many B-to-B marketers are doing everything they can to “go green” these days, certainly the wise thing to do. Thinking green can help save money in these tough times and position your brand with your customers in a favorable light. With privacy, identity theft and the perception of “junk mail/catalogs” all being hot issues in the marketplace, everything we do as B-to-B mailers helps reinforce our positive position.
Merely going green isn’t enough, however. Find ways to communicate with your customers what you’re doing so they “get it.” Make sure your mailings are up-to-date and relevant. For instance, do you allow customers to set

Image Suppression Continues to Vex E-Mail Marketers
June 17, 2008

A new survey from the Email Experience Council, the e-mail marketing arm of the Direct Marketing Association, provides a measure of caution to multichannel marketers: Think twice before launching that e-mail campaign full of images. If not, risk having your images suppressed and your message rendered useless. The Retail Email Rendering Benchmark Study, which polled 576 online retailers and marketers, found that 23 percent of retailers send e-mails that are completely unintelligible when images are blocked. Of the 77 percent whose e-mails were intelligible, there were significant variations in clarity based on their use of HTML text and alt tags. Here are some