B-to-B Marketers Up Their Online Spending

Even as the economy crumbles around them, B-to-B merchants are investing more in online marketing. GlobalSpec, a specialized vertical search, information services and e-publishing company, revealed in a recent survey that 30 percent of respondents devoted more than half of their overall 2008 marketing budgets to online initiatives, up 10 percent from 2007. The online survey polled 468 B-to-B marketers from a wide range of industries. Here are some more findings of the report: * on average, 37 percent of the respondents’ marketing budgets are spent online; * 38 percent said their companies spent more on marketing in 2008 vs. 2007, while 41

Free Shipping: Managing Downstream Consequences

Situation: You’re caught in a trap. Dilemma: For many, business isn’t meeting expectations. You’re told that you have to offer free shipping. You’re told that you have to hold market share “during these challenging economic times.” Temptation: Free shipping usually provides a positive bump in sales. Many catalogers see sales increases between 5 percent and 35 percent when offering free shipping to loyal customers or prospects. The impact on profitability varies, depending upon the gross margin of the product being sold by the merchant. Action: Free shipping promotions aren’t new to catalog marketing. But downstream treatment of customers who respond via free shipping is

Tips to Building Successful E-Mail Lists, Part 1 of 2

In a session at last month’s All About eMail Virtual Conference & Expo, presented by eM+C magazine (sister publication of Catalog Success), Arthur Middleton Hughes, senior strategist at the e-mail marketing firm e-Dialog, presented his best practices for acquiring e-mail addresses, most notably by incentivizing consumers and employees. Here’s a look at Hughes’ top tips and observations from the session. “The e-mail isn’t anywhere near as important as the audience,” Hughes said. “The list is everything. If you have the right audience, you can make money. If you have the wrong audience, you can’t.” Offer rewards to help find the right audience. Knowing that

Web Budgeting: What Makes Sense Right Now, Part 2 of 3

As I continue with part two in our three-part series examining how catalogers should adjust their marketing budgets to account for an influx of Web traffic and buyers, this week I provide a list of Web programs that catalogers should consider investing in. (For part 1, and a recap of how catalog/multichannel merchants can begin the process of planning their Web marketing budgets, click here.) The following online programs have proven worthwhile for catalogers to invest resources in: * Search engine optimization (SEO) solutions have become a big part of most catalogers’ marketing programs because paid and natural search are proving profitable and scalable.