On Amazon, Everyone is Already in the Cart

Search is a tremendous way to sell — your ad shows only to someone actively searching for what you sell, at the precise moment they’re searching for it. You can customize the ad to match their intent and pick the webpage their click lands on. They would be a fool not to buy, right? Turns […]

Not saying “Thank You” cost Nordstom’s BIG money

This week the big news in Direct is that Nordstrom’s has had to cut it’s forcast because it cut it’s direct mail program. But the big takeaway isn’t that direct mail is awesome, though it is. The big takeaway is that saying “Thank you” to customers is one of the most powerful things a brand […]

Online shopping kind of sucks.

I’ve spent the last 30 years with a laser focus on how women shop and what we have now isn’t cutting it for women. The web was designed by engineers and coders who value speed and efficiency. They did a brilliant job, it’s fast and efficient, but if you actually like shopping, if you want […]

Pull up! Pull up! Behold the slide to irrelevance

A friend and colleague, Kristen Stetson, asked me recently if I knew someone at The Company Store. I don’t, but when you are done reading this please pass it on if you do. The disconnect Kristen saw a headboard that she liked in The Company Store catalog. She was looking for a headboard so this […]

The benefit of Travel Pajamas

The 3 rules of advertising are benefit, benefit, benefit When you want to increase sales of a product, the most important thing to do is determine the benefit. What is the product going to do for the customer? Most product copy focuses on the attributes, product specifications, what it does, what it’s made of, where it […]

Avocado dog food

Everytime you add new product you have to position it. Positioning is the story you tell the customer about why they want it and what it will do for them. The first and most important question is “What is it good for?” That isn’t a simple question—consider the avocado. In the 70’s, when avocado growers were […]

Using catalog space for good and not evil

When someone says “Can we promote this in the catalog?” how do you answer? Catalogs can move the needle on a lot of fronts: customer acquisition, inventory issues, brand enhancement, and customer education. To do things effectively there needs to be a pretty relentless focus on the catalog’s strategy and costs. If you need to promote […]

Finding Meaningful Sales Attribution

Pre-internet, everyone talked about being top of mind. Ads made you top of mind with the customer, and no one knew how to attribute it to ad spend. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker (1838-1922) Attribution is a mysterious thing. You have […]

Part 1: August 18th is National Mail Order Catalog Day

August 18th is National Mail Order Catalog Day! What? Yes, it’s a day dedicated to catalogers everywhere. Seriously. Not kidding. As a catalog consultant, I often tell clients that cataloging is in my blood. Part of my DNA. I recall my first real job after I graduated from college: Macauley’s Office Supply in Detroit, Michigan. […]