National Wildlife Federation

Industry Eye
August 1, 2008

Dear Editor, RE: The special report “Sustainability & the Environment,” (June 2008 issue, pg. 14). I was very pleased to see your issue devoted to the catalog industry’s response to environmental issues. It’s critical that we educate the public and legislators regarding the green benefits of catalog/direct sales over traditional store retailing. In June, I attended the American Catalog Mailers Association’s (ACMA) National Catalog Advocacy & Strategy Forum in Washington, D.C., which proved to be one of the most valuable events I’ve ever attended. There was a consensus among those attending that we are locked in a battle, fighting “do-not-mail” legislation that could

The Editor’s Take
May 1, 2008

Overall retail sales are down, and the catalog/multichannel sector is no exception. The housing market stinks. And while in the past you could often find promising trends in sales of home furnishings when housing sales were down and consumers reverted to nesting, that’s not the case now. That’s reality, and I’m afraid we can’t mask all this bad news with a runaway success story on the cover this month. But there are plenty of things you can learn from Frederick’s of Hollywood about weathering tough times. Although there are bigger success stories out there, Frederick’s has been trying to dig itself out

Q&A: BlueSky Brands’ Richard Hebert on Recent, Future Acquisitions, Goals
November 28, 2006

Having recently signed licensing agreements with the catalog brands from nonprofit organizations, Winterthur Museum and the National Wildlife Federation, Allston, Mass.-based catalog holding firm BlueSky Brands now operates five titles, including Paragon Gifts, Bits & Pieces and Bits & Pieces UK. BlueSky Brands CEO Richard Hebert discussed with Catalog Success his company’s recent acquisitions, business strategies and plans for the future. Catalog Success: What are BlueSky Brands’ goals? Richard Hebert: We’re looking to grow organically, as well as through acquisition. We’ve been pretty acquisitive so far, having obtained five retail direct-to-consumer brands in addition to the AB&C Group, our fulfillment company. And you will certainly see

Nine Tips for Two-step Acquisitions
February 1, 2004

By Gina Valentino In the old days of cataloging, a two-step acquisition was defined as a prospect converting to a customer after he or she responded to two different marketing efforts — thus taking two steps. Step one was to respond to a compelling advertisement to get a catalog. Step two was to respond to the catalog by placing an order. With two-step acquisition, the broad advertising net usually was cast in a trade magazine, and prospective customers replied by phone. Tracking costs for such acquisitions was simple, as the choices for the first step seemed finite, and the conversion meant loyal, long-term

Close More Online Sales
June 1, 2002

Catalogers know the Web can be a valuable place to sell product. However, it’s likely that many are missing the chance to generate even more sales via the Web. To boost your chance at success, pay as much attention to closing the sale online as you would in your print catalogs—perhaps even more so due to the nature of the Web. Therefore, to convert more of your Web shoppers into buyers, consider three key points in your Web-shopping process: online customer service; shipping and handling; and order-taking and processing. Online Customer Service Here are two commonly held misconceptions about online customer service:

Try Teamwork: Internet Partnerships
December 1, 2001

Putting aside for a moment the criticisms about its overall business model, offers numerous lessons for Web retailers—namely, the inherent beauty of Internet partnerships. Indeed, Amazon set the standard for this mainstay in the e-commerce world, and numerous catalogers have adopted these principles to great success. In fact, 10 percent of all Internet sales and 3 to 5 percent of all online catalog Web sales come through affiliate sites—and these numbers are rising rapidly, noted two consultants at the recent Direct Marketing Association Annual conference in Chicago. In their seminar entitled “Internet Partnerships: Understanding the Key to Catalog Growth,” John Deneen, president of