Anatomy of a Home Page
October 1, 2002

Here’s an analogy: Home page is to Web site as storefront is to retail and cover is to catalog. In short, it’s the first impression prospects have of your company, and a critical one at that. In fact, a home page has to work even harder than a retail storefront or print cover because it must facilitate transactions further on in the site, says Bridget Fahrland, executive creative director at e-business consultancy Fry Multimedia. “It can’t just be about catching the eye. Something there has to get [customers] to go deeper,” she explains. Though much of home page design depends on each cataloger’s

Sitting Pretty
September 1, 2002

Space Ads and DRTV Built a Customer File for Sure Fit Slipcovers By Mail Catalog.

DMA Unveils New E-Marketing Guidelines
February 6, 2002

By Paul Barbagallo, assistant editor, Target Marketing & Inside Direct Mail The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) unveiled Monday new guidelines regarding the sending of commercial solicitations by e-mail and the posting of Web site privacy policies, a shift in the organization's policy from several years ago. Initially, The DMA deemed it acceptable to prospect to an e-mail address unless its owner has requested otherwise. But the new guidelines prohibit prospecting with non-permission-based e-mail lists. According to The DMA, the new guidelines are part of a continuing effort to promote higher ethical standards among marketers. "Responsible marketers want to build trust with their customers

One-Stop E-commerce:
December 1, 2001

Type the word “Gift” into any Internet search engine, and you’ll be faced with more sites than you know what to do with. From to, online gift retailing has become a hot-button business. With such a crowded field, why would the executives of retail giant Target Corp. decide that three of its strongest print catalog brands—Wireless, Signals and Seasons—would do better under one URL, The answer lies in the shopping experience. Market researchers told Target’s online division,, that potential for cross-selling among the three catalogs was high, but that navigating three different sites was not as easy it should be.

Opportunity for Better Online CRM
September 12, 2001

Direct marketers could do a better job of integrating their e-commerce and online CRM (customer relationship management) initiatives with their overall advertising and marketing activities, a recent study by Target Marketing magazine and MSGi Direct found. Clearly, there is room for improvement in this area, as only half, or 53 percent, reported high degrees of integration. Companies that do not align their online and off-line marketing communication run the risk of sending inconsistent brand messages to the marketplace. Tip: As more and more consumers seek and are targeted with personalized Internet solicitations, the importance of coordinating branding and marketing communication becomes increasingly

Good Time to Test Alternative Print Media
September 12, 2001

If you haven't already done so, now's a good time to test alternative print media, says Michael Feldstein, director of alternate media for Boardroom Inc. While the cost for solo direct mail continues to escalate due to higher postage and printing expenses, costs for package inserts, co-op mailings, FSIs, statement stuffers and the other choices have risen at a much slower pace, he explains. Plus, here's another positive: According to Feldstein, the long-term value of customers generated via alternative print media is "generally just as good as direct mail over time." And when you compare their long-term value to direct response TV-generated names,

Find and Target Multi-Buyers
September 1, 2001

Multi-buyers, active mail-order purchasers, buy from several, often related, catalogs. But all multi-buyers aren’t created equal. This month, I’ll examine strategies for mailing and re-mailing to multi-buyers; how to maximize this group’s buying performance; the priority multi-buyers should get in your merge/purge; and more. Mailing Strategies Your service bureau identifies multi-buyers each time you perform a merge/purge (the process in which duplicate names are found on the various lists you plan to use for your upcoming mailing). A name you rent also may appear on two or more lists you rent from other list owners. Unless you have a “net-name” agreement with

Acquire New Customers... Without Spending $1K/M (1,696 words)
July 1, 2001

By Denny Hatch Periodically I get phone calls from fledgling entrepreneurs who have great products and want to get into direct mail. "What else have you got?" is always my first question. "Wha ... what do you mean?" "What other products?" "This is my only product." I say, "In the words of consultant Susan McIntyre: 'The key to long-term profitability is to build a large house list of repeat buyers.' That's true for any direct marketing business—catalog or otherwise." "But don't you want to hear about my product?" "What does it sell for?" "Uh, $20, maybe." "Test it in space," I tell

And the Winner Is...Nose-hair Clippers! (788 words)
May 5, 2001

A proven leader can help guide your product selection By Denny Hatch "Creating direct mail without studying other people's successful direct mail is like trying to do brain surgery without studying brains." —Axel Andersson "Even top catalogers with years of experience seldom beat the Rule of Thirds: For any given catalog, one-third of the merchandise will sell well, one-third will sell OK and one-third will bomb." —Susan McIntyre So you wanna beat consultant Susan McIntyre's "Rule of Thirds"? In my opinion, the greatest single source for merchandise research for catalogers is the SkyMall catalog—found in the seat pockets of just

Alternate Media-Other Catalogers Use?and Why (1,957 words)
September 1, 2000

By Scott Shrake 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