J. Schmid & Assoc.

Can Catalog or Internet Offers Make a Difference? (1,261 words)
September 1, 2000

By Jack Schmid Imagine the perfect catalog or Internet offer that •increased response rate 25 percent for the entire mailing, •improved average order value (AOV) by 20 percent, •motivated customers to order earlier or more often, •grabbed the attention of prospective customers and doubled order response and •made a difference compared to "no offer." The following deals with the topic of catalog and Web offers (sometimes called the proposition), and looks at the logic behind offers and surveys several catalogs to see some breakthrough offers and how their presentations get noticed. What Is an Offer? In formal terms, a catalog or

Alternate Media Other Catalogers Use and Why
September 1, 2000

Producing and mailing a catalog can be a most expensive undertaking. With alternate media you can achieve some of the same goals as with a print catalog: Testing, driving customers (new or existing) to your e--commerce site and building awareness/loyalty. Speaking at the Annual Catalog Conference in June, Kevin Kotowski, of Olson Kotowski & Co. in Los Angeles, named some top reasons catalogers use alternate media, or “non-catalog pieces:” 1) cheaper prospecting than with full-sized catalog drops, since most alternate media are cheaper to produce and mail; 2) building and strengthening your customer relationships with name and product awareness; 3)

Putting Merchandise Results to Work
September 1, 2000

By Phil Minix Great circulation planning and fabulous creative cannot save a bad product offering. Customers order from your book because they find (with your astute help) products they want. Having a strong and focused merchandise concept means offering the right product assortments at appropriate price points and knowing how to use the page space efficiently and effectively. Reviewing your merchandise results is the first step in understanding how to move forward. Components of an Effective Merchandise Review: • Do square-inch analysis of all products. • Using several financial metrics, develop a threshold for success (winners). • Roll up item information into

Personalized, Targeted E-mail Catalogs - (1,209 words)
July 1, 2000

Dream or Reality? By Jack Schmid Imagine a perfect world of marketing where a cataloger could deliver an electronic catalog to prospects within hours of the receipt of catalog requests. Or an electronic catalog that could be added to the circulation mix several times a year for customers, one that could be personalized and targeted to what the customer had previously purchased. While this may sound like a futuristic pipe dream, a number of breakthrough electronic techniques are within reach of catalogers today. There is not a cataloger out there that is not concerned about new-customer acquisition costs and finding

Outbound Strategies (1,010 words)
January 1, 2000

Figuring out How To use Outbound Telemarketing to Get and Keep Customers can be a Costly Trial, Often Ending in Error By Melissa Sepos Outbound telemarketing sales representatives often face more obstacles in their jobs than inbound TSRs. Following these five suggestions can make outbound calling yield higher customer satisfaction, increase sales and keep your employees happy. TSR Training Andrew Wetzler, catalog consultant with Andrew Wetzler and Associates in Boca Raton, FL, says training TSRs is often where companies lose ground. "For the most part, inside sales [departments] and telemarketing companies do a horrendous job of training their team," says

Separating Yourself From the Competition
January 1, 2000

Created on an island known for its leisurely, laid back attitude, the Black Dog Holiday Catalog is obviously an organic product of its surroundings and customers. It sells the wares of the 30-year-old Black Dog tavern and bakery of Martha’s Vineyard. The 56-page holiday catalog doubles as a monthly calendar for year-round use. Inside is Black Dog paraphernalia displayed through illustrations and customers’ personal snap shots. The book is laid out in seemingly incongruous themes, such as dogs, kids, outdoor activities and events, but is unified by the island lifestyle. Much effort goes into differentiating the 12-year-old catalog from others, but the

Catalog Covers - Lessons of the Holiday Season (828 words)
January 1, 2000

By Jack Schmid Cataloging Holiday Covers This article focuses on a number of innovative catalog covers from the past holiday season. Several new techniques were used by companies to make their catalogs stand out. I would be remiss if I didn't put on my teaching hat and make a number of professorial comments about catalog covers in general before analyzing them specifically. Are covers important? You bet your sweet bippie they are! My guess is that this past fall/holiday will be remembered as having the all-time highest number of catalogs mailed. My personal record for catalogs received in one day was 39. It

10 Ways to Put More Zing in Your Prospecting With Alternative Media
October 1, 1999

One of cataloging’s hottest buzz phrases this past year has been alternative media. List brokers hate the trend, but most savvy catalogers are not only embracing alternative media, they are having enough success with it to build on. Historically catalogers have relied on list rentals to build their customer files. And it worked. Lists proved to be productive and had excellent persistency or lifetime value over time. So why complain or switch from something that’s working? The answer is an economic one. The winning lists of yesteryear are just not responding as well as they did in the past. When I started in

Adding the "P" (Product Category) to RFM (1,079 words)
August 1, 1999

There are few catalogers who don't know what RFM stands for. It is the technique of capturing customer purchase history by the three most important variables: R = Recency -- date of customer's last purchase; F = Frequency of purchase -- number of times a customer bought; M = Monetary -- lifetime dollars spent on a catalog by a customer. RFM is the catalog industry standard for segmenting a catalog's customer or buyer file. RFM is not applicable to new-customer acquisition—only customer list marketing. A term that is less familiar is RFMP, in which the "P" stands for Product Category. While simple

Mining Your Customer Files
May 1, 1999

Many catalogers, especially smaller and medium-sized ones, are seriously challenged when it comes to developing a stronger revenue and profit stream from their customer lists. The following challenges are endemic to all catalogers in working their customer lists: Knowing which are the best customers (i.e., the ones with the highest lifetime value (LTV) and those most likely to respond to the next mailing); Knowing how to build customer loyalty without having to buy it with discounts, premiums or extensive (and expensive) point programs; Knowing when and how to reactivate those once-loyal customers who you haven’t heard from in some time; Knowing how to