Focus on an Incremental Break-Even Point
December 1, 2009

There's a cost associated with acquiring new buyers through print media. Marketers who rely heavily on catalogs need to invest in converting prospects to buyers (one-time purchasers) and buyers to customers (two-time or more purchasers). How much you're willing to pay for new buyers depends on what you can afford, how fast you want to grow and the lifetime values of the buyers acquired.

Co-op Database NextAction to be Acquired by VC Firm
September 9, 2009

All About ROI has learned that NextAction, a Westminster, Colo.-based co-op database, last week signed an agreement with a majority investor, General Catalyst (GC) to take over the co-op database. GC is a venture capital and private equity firm with nearly $2 billion under management.

Techniques to Find and Cut Unprofitable Circ
May 5, 2009

The last few months have been a roller-coaster ride, with response rates trending downward due to our economy's struggles. No one knows if/when we're going to hit a plateau, but almost everyone agrees that response rates are taking a hit. Smart mailers are looking to cut the wasted circ through agressive suppression opportunities. Here are some techniques to find households that won’t respond.

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

Editor’s Take
July 1, 2008

A quick note: Our June issue was already at the printer while the 25th Annual Conference for Catalog and Multichannel Merchants (ACCM) was taking place on May 19-22 in Kissimmee, Fla. So belatedly, here’s my postconference recap. This was my 22nd consecutive tour of duty at what was once known as the National Catalog Conference, and the Annual Catalog Conference after that. But rest assured, I’m not going to give you one of these old-fogey reflections on how “it ain’t like it used to be.” Instead, let’s track back just a few years to Boston, June 2001. That was probably the most apprehensive

State of the Co-ops ’08
July 1, 2008

With mailing costs rising and the economy slumping, will catalog co-op databases remain relevant in tomorrow’s multichannel direct-marketing environment? The pool of hot names is certainly drying up as the number of catalog mailers is thinning. Witness the passing — or likely scaled-down futures — of the Lillian Vernon, BlueSky Brands, Bloomingdale’s by Mail and The Sharper Image catalogs. Likewise, the number of co-op databases fell to seven over the past year, with American List Counsel pulling the plug on its PerformanceLink database after two years. This year’s report, with each co-op listed in alphabetical order, recaps what each of them has

Guest View: Economic Malaise, Plethora of Vendor Intros Among Highlights From ACCM
May 30, 2008

Editor’s Note: Jim Coogan, a catalog consultant since 1993 and former VP of marketing at Woodworker’s Supply, among other catalog and retail positions, has been a regular contributor for Catalog Success and the Catalog Success: Tactics & Tips e-newsletter for the past year. He attended the May 19-22 ACCM conference in Kissimmee, Fla., and filed the following recap on the event. I’ll file my own personal reflections on the conference in the July print edition. — Paul Miller, editor-in-chief There’s nothing like an economic downturn to get people’s attention. And the state of the economy and how it would affect catalogers was topic A

State of the Co-ops ’07
July 1, 2007

With the postal rate increase in effect and the marketplace demonstrating fierce competition, catalogers are seeking more efficient ways to handle the database information they accumulate. Certainly, there’s no shortage of companies that offer to streamline the process, but how do mailers know which of them is best for their needs? Here (in alphabetical order) is what the nation’s eight cooperative database firms are doing this year to set themselves apart. Abacus Alliance Acquired by marketing technology firm Epsilon earlier this year, Abacus recently launched its next generation solution, Abacus ONE, based on the company’s current proven modeling system. “We have taken what was

Four Tips from Daring Entrepreneur Eric States, Owner of After 5 and Surf to Summit
February 1, 2007

As a small cataloger on the rise, Eric States, owner of the After 5 and Surf to Summit catalogs, offers four tips, trips, tricks and blunders to share with fellow rising marketers: 1. “My first catalog cost me $80,000 to put it out there,” he recalls. “It was full of mistakes. A small trial, when you’re trying to figure things out, is important. Each book, you learn something. That’s your Ouija board.” Start small and test. “Put great emphasis on working with the co-op databases,” States says, “because their modeling capabilities are so strong. Once you have a feel of your merchandise, you need