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

The B-to-B Mailer’s Rules of the Road
July 1, 2000

“Compared to the business-to-business arena, consumer direct marketing is a no-brainer.” —Lee Kroll, Kroll Direct Marketing Many will disagree with Lee Kroll’s statement. But I, for one, think he’s dead on. Read on, consider all of the challenges the b-to-b marketer faces when it comes to lists, and decide for yourself. Consumer Direct Marketing The universe has roughly 110 million households. Most receive mail in a box or through a slot in the front door. They answer their own telephones. True, in the words of Chicago freelancer Lea Pierce, “All mail is opened over the wastebasket.” But, chances are pretty good that if you

Merchandise Spotlight-Leatherman Tool (664 words)
May 1, 1999

"Necessity is the mother of invention." —William Wycherley (1671). By Denny Hatch PEOPLE WHO TRAVEL need stuff—a tiny screwdriver with tiny screws to fix eyeglasses, a bottle opener, tweezers for splinters, a sewing kit, sunburn skin cream, a poncho, laxative, Imodium A-D—you know the drill. Ever tried to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew? For Tim Leatherman, the epiphany came on his European honeymoon in 1975 where he had to deal with a very temperamental '68 Fiat he'd bought for $300. In an interview with USA Today, Leatherman said, "All I had was this Boy Scout knife, which we