Special Report Matchbacks
March 1, 2006

By Terrell Sellix A matchback is the process of matching order records back to mailing-tape records to determine the actual source of those orders. Matchbacks have been used for years on a limited basis to try to pinpoint the source of unknown orders: typically 5 percent to 20 percent of orders. With the advent of the Web and the increase in multichannel marketing, understanding where your orders and customers are coming from has become harder to learn — and yet more critical to know — than ever. The shift has brought matchbacks into the limelight of customer order-tracking and results analysis. This Special

Sound Circulation Tactics for B-to-B Catalogers
September 1, 2005

By Stephen R. Lett If yours is a business-to-business (b-to-b) or a business-to-institution (b-to-i) catalog, no doubt you have questions about effective prospecting techniques. Below are some tips on how to use your housefile as a prospecting file, such as mailing by name of individual vs. by functional title. The Income Statement One of the significant differences between a consumer and a b-to-b catalog company is the income statement. The EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of a typical b-to-b company ranges from 10 to 12 percent. Consumer catalogs tend to be less profitable at 3 to 6 percent.

Cooperative Databases
April 28, 2005

How the co-ops can improve your revenue per catalog mailed By Stephen R. Lett Are you a stock picker or a mutual fund investor? If you can select specific stocks that always yield a good return, you're among the few. Most of us feel safer buying mutual funds to minimize risk while still yielding a good return. You're probably wondering what this has to do with using cooperative databases. Well, buying mutual funds is a lot like prospecting using co-op databases. While it's always a good idea to continue to prospect via rented or exchanged lists, it sometimes can be safer to mail

E-mail Marketing Ideas
March 26, 2003

Speakers at The Direct Marketing Association's recent Catalog-on-the-Road conference offered some helpful hints for those engaged in e-mail marketing communications with their current customers: 1. Send order confirmations in html format, advises George Kiebala, vice president of sales, Experian Marketing Services. Most e-mailed order confirmations are in text-only format. But because more people are gaining access to html files, try sending customers pictures of the products they ordered — along with any appropriate cross-sell items — in your order confirmations. Caveat: Not everyone can access html, so periodically poll your customer base to determine availability. 2. Compel call center reps to gather

National Geographic-Maintaining the Gold Standard (1,449 words)
December 10, 2002

By Gabrielle Mosquera How National Geographic's catalog merchandise upholds the Society's heritage. National Geographic's yellow rectangle is recognized worldwide for its authority and credibility as a source of exploration information. Consequently, the pressure to feature similarly authentic catalog products runs high. But the catalog staff welcomes the challenge. "You have to be willing to follow the process of approval for each item," says Linda Berkeley, president of National Geographic Enterprises, of which the catalog is a subdivision. "You have to be willing to walk away from items that are inappropriate, even if you

Catalogers are Turning to the Co-op Databases for Prospecting
December 10, 2002

By Alicia Orr Suman With fewer hotline names and a scarcity of new rental lists to test, catalogers have been faced with a drought of new names to mail this year. Seeking ways to beef up their mail plans with quality names at the lowest possible cost, more catalogers appear to be tapping into cooperative catalog databases. Catalog co-ops have been around for more than a decade. But only recently have some reached the size and scope needed to become a substantial piece of your prospecting plan—making many catalogers more apt to ramp up usage of this alternative source of

Catalog Profile: Austad’s
May 1, 1999

When Mammoth Sports Group purchased the Austad’s golf catalog from Hanover Direct this past October, it became “a new company under new ownership with a new mission,” says Kent Arett, president of Mammoth Sports Group located in Jessup, MD. “We knew there was a lot of potential there that was not being tapped. This was an underperforming business. That was the whole reason we bought it [Austad’s],” Arett explains. Under terms of the agreement, Mammoth Sports Group, which also owns several Mammoth Golf superstores and an e-commerce site, purchased Austad’s complete inventory, customer base and historical artwork with plans to quickly ramp up the

Using the Right Kind of Data (2,213 words)
February 1, 1999

Finding your best customers with the right kinds of data The tumultuous growth of the Internet has shown that catalogers that traditionally relied solely on print media now have new ways of reaching customers and prospects. However, anything new requires some degree of change: The world of the Web caters to customers' whims and offers to satisfy those desires on demand. That means now is the time for catalog companies to get sophisticated about what they sell and to whom. Can you leverage the information in your database to provide customers with more of the products they want at the right times? What about