What better way for a tips-oriented business magazine to wind down 2006 than with the top 50 tips of the year? My staff and I spent the past several weeks going through every article that’s run so far in Catalog Success and the Catalog Success Idea Factory e-newsletter this year to bring you the ultimate how-to “cheat sheet.” Throughout these pages, we’ve synthesized the year’s best tips, summarizing, and in some cases quoting directly, from stories and/or the sources themselves, where noted. Below each, you’ll see the industry expert who offered the tip. We reference the issue from which the tips originate so
J.C. Whitney & Co.
Through countless catalog experiences, Ed Bjorncrantz’s passion for growth and the catalog business never has ebbed. How he got involved in cataloging: After attending Colgate University, C. Eduard Bjorncrantz was hired to run the catalog sales office for the Arlington, Va., Sears store. He later left the post to get his MBA at the University of Virginia, after which he went back to work for Sears in its Chicago offices in a product management program. Among other assignments, Bjorncrantz was appointed assistant catalog marketing manager for bedspreads and draperies — then the largest catalog division in the company. Following assignments in retail marketing and
In the online battle for customer loyalty, catalogers have increasingly turned to e-mail marketing. However, an e-mail in-box—like the home telephone—is a communication channel that consumers rail against when it’s used to trick them into hearing a sales pitch. Unlike the postal mail box, consumers take personal umbrage at hearing “You’ve got mail!” for messages, not from friends, but from companies out to sell something unsolicited. Catalogers’ e-mails, then, must be user-friendly. Effective e-mail marketing campaigns can result in double-digit response rates, increased sales and exponential growth in e-mail address lists. On the other hand, impersonal bulk newsletters, excessive e-mailings and complicated opt-out systems