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
By Gina Valentino Answers to five FAQs. Maintaining a sound balance between assortment, price points and gross margin is a difficult task for any cataloger to master. Add to the job the "clanging" of other variables — such as the mix between new and repeat products, imports vs. domestically sourced items, branded vs. private-label merchandise, and durables vs. disposables — and you see how harmony quickly can turn to cacophony. It's not unusual, therefore, for business-to-business (b-to-b) catalogers to merchandise a catalog with every product and part number found in the warehouse. A decision to increase catalog page count often is
By Steve Trollinger For business-to-business (b-to-b) catalogers, the basic prospecting process using lists consists of several steps. In this article, I'll focus on three of them: - understanding what you can spend on a customer; - identifying the potential prospect universe; and - using your merge/purge reports. These general steps include the key elements of getting through list prospecting in a way that gives you the most information and greatest opportunity for success. Expense Per Customer Understanding lifetime value, or even 12-month payback, is the first step in the customer-acquisition process, no matter what method you use to get new clients. Determine what
10 steps to help create staying power for your big book By Gina Valentino As a business-to-business (b-to-b) cataloger, you know that your large catalog is an essential selling tool, as well as a brand differentiator. Its benchmarks of success may include strong revenues, remarkable customer response and overall profitability. A good strategy for any catalog's mailing frequency should be based on the book's anticipated order-response curve. But when you create a large b-to-b catalog that's expected to have a shelf life of four, six or even 12 months, how can you ensure that it keeps selling well during its entire campaign?
One of the major challenges faced by catalogers is building the customer or buyer file. There is a lot of misunderstanding on how important this process is. For example: • Start-up catalogers are impatient and want to make money in the first year or at the latest, the second year. But they haven't built a buyer list of any size. • Many veteran catalogers do a poor job of measuring what it costs to get a customer and prioritizing the various lists and outside media used in prospecting. • Few catalogs measure the lifetime value (LTV) of their buyers (by media) that can
by Jack Schmid THE BIG IDEA! What direct marketer has not dreamed of coming up with that totally unique, breakthrough concept like the "Johnson Box" or the negative option club or another creative ploy that gives one immortality in industry recognition. Whether you're a designer, photographer, writer, printer or order form manufacturer, everyone is seeking that special creative technique that will help their work stand out, differentiate themselves from the competition and get better results. "Beat the Control!" is the cry of creative professionals. Let's look at a number of ways that successful catalogers are thinking "outside the box" in their creative efforts.