Blog Activity

  • How to Survive in the New Age of Cold Calling


    February, 2014

    Consider how sales people have to operate their cold calls these days.  Walk into a building and take the elevator to the floor of a prospect?  That ended with 9/11.  Now it’s a picture ID, just to get into the lobby.  If there’s a security desk, you’re going to need a contact name at your target firm—or that’s as far as you’re going to get. 

    But there are solutions.  One of the best things about the Internet age:  You can find just about everything you need online.  Before your calls, you can easily find company addresses and phone numbers.  And if you’re really lucky, you may find a list of company personnel, sometimes with their email addresses. 

    Armed with a name, I stand a chance.  Here’s how I proceed:  First, I put together a sales kit with product samples and my company information.  In the lobby, I have the guard call up, so I can get upstairs to see my targets. Invariably, the call goes to voice mail.  At that point, the guard may let me up to the company’s reception desk.  There, I can talk to the receptionist and leave behind my materials, to be delivered to the prospect.

    On the off chance that the prospect does pick up, I ask for the phone, and get the quizzical “Do we have an appointment?”  I say “No, but if you have 5 minutes I’d like to tell you how I can help you.”  The answer is usually “No,” but now the prospect knows I’m a real person, and I get to leave my information for them.

    The next day I make a follow-up call to set up an appointment.  Again, we have the problem of them picking up the phone.  That’s where polite persistence is a must.   Also, I find that calling at odd times can work to get a hold of them. 

    If I can’t get upstairs to see them, my next step is the old, reliable, mail system.  I drop the sales kit in the mail, wait 3 or 4 days, and call again for an appointment.  By then, they are likely to know who I am, and maybe they’ll see me. 

    If I get the prospect on the phone, often it turns out not to be the right person, and the process starts all over again. 

    I have learned that I can’t be too pushy.  That’s a turn-off.  After my first voice mail message, I keep trying to call, to get them live on the phone.  But I won’t leave another message until 2 weeks have gone by.  At the end of my voice mail message, I always say “If you have a problem, I’m here to help you.”  It’s surprising, but when people get desperate they do call me. 

    Prospecting, or cold calling, rarely provides instant gratification. It is a long process that requires patience and persistence.  So be prepared.  



    John Swensen
    John Swensen's picture
  • Save $450 on Integrated Marketing Week in June

    DMCNY rarely offers special benefits to both members and non-members.  But this deal is too good to pass up.  DMCNY is a strategic partner of The DirectMarketing Association for Integrated Marketing Week (IMW) to be held on June 3 and 4 at The Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 W  18th Street.

    Now in its second year, IMW is where 1500 of the most senior marketing leaders meet to share their integrated marketing successes, road test the new tech, meet the top vendors and make decisions about the tools and partnerships that can help them deliver across all channels.

    DMCNY constituents save $450 if you register for the conference by April 15.  Click here for details and to register and use the promo code DMCNY1 to take advantage of the savings.

    Some details:

    No single channel can win out any more. Today, it’s about being wherever customers are, giving them relevant messages, and making sure that each interaction is intelligently connected to the next.  

    Which means delivering great customer experience and truly integrated marketing, across any and every channel: web, social, mobile, broadcast, email, in-store, outdoor and beyond. And that means re-engineering processes, investing in new technology, and creating entirely new, integrated strategies.

    This is the next great challenge for every marketer. And this is exactly what IMW in June is all about – helping marketers rise to the toughest challenge of them all: delivering the multichannel customer experience.

  • Bill Baird's picture

    March 13 Luncheon - "The New Analytics”

    A lively panel of marketing analytic professionals provided a myriad of insights and predictions to a packed room of DMCNY members and attendees at the Yale Club, including a significant contingent of inquisitive students from local undergraduate and graduate direct marketing programs.  This article, written by DMCNY member Bill Baird, describes just some of the many comments and predictions of the day. MODERATOR:  Tony Branda, Chief Analytics & Database Marketing Officer, Consumer & Small Business Decision Management, Citibank 

    PANELISTS:  Charles Swift, Jr., VP Strategy & Marketing Operations, Hearst Magazines;  Sheryl Pattek, VP Principal Analyst Serving CMO Professionals, Forrester Research; Yongyong Kennedy, SVP Product Analytics and Market Segment Strategy, Citibank 

    On March 13, 2014, a lively panel of marketing analytic professionals provided a myriad of insights and predictions to a packed room of DMCNY members and attendees at the Yale Club, including a significant contingent of inquisitive students from local undergraduate and graduate direct marketing programs.  This article, written by DMCNY member Bill Baird, describes just some of the many comments and predictions of the day. 


    • A common theme across panelists was to follow a process: first identify the business need and questions to be answered, then identify the data that will get you there, and then build the technology around that.  
    • According to research from Bain and Company, organizations that use data strategically are 5 times more likely to make decisions faster, 3 times more likely to execute the intended decisions and 2 times more likely to deliver higher levels of financial performance.  
    • Citibank is testing big data to operationalize analytics that can’t be implemented with business intelligence platforms.  They are however still more in the R&D learning mode than in the mode of operationalizing infrastructure based on what’s been learned.   
    • Hearst has found roles have reversed.  Whereas the marketers used to live in the world of possibilities and the IT people lived in the world of pragmatism, the opposite is now the case.   


    • Citibank uses conventional direct response as a starting point, but this is a small part of the whole.  They are starting to pursue a direct targeting approach, using a predictive model for non-direct response media.  For in-store events, for example, they provide the bank manager with a list of modeled names to choose from vs. expecting them to choose on their own.   
    • Last-click attribution is still the most commonly-used attribution model for determining which customer touchpoint produced the order.  But Forrester noted this is the least effective measurement to use.  Companies need to focus increasingly on integrated marketing because, with the advent of new touchpoints (social media, mobile, etc.), the customer decision-making journey has changed.  


    • Marketing automation platform service providers enable the marketer to manage multiple touchpoints in an automated fashion from a single platform, as well as measuring attribution in numerous ways.  Panelists mentioned IBM Unica and Eloqua as examples of such service providers.  Picking the software is the least important piece – identifying the end-to-end marketing process, staffing, content and data strategy are more important. 
    • The best place to start with marketing automation and attribution is with retention, onboarding or cross-selling -- not with acquisition, panelists said.  These forms of marketing are easier to manage as well as being simpler applications.   

    • Panelists suggested studying USAA, Harrahs and Disney as best practice marketers.     


    • From a management perspective, Citibank has a dedicated social media marketing group.  Both Citibank and Hearst monitor social media sources for content to be managed, both positive and negative.  Another example is Dell’s Social Media Command Center.

      Positive examples are situations where something is being said or done which benefits the company, and the marketer’s role is to find ways to expand the benefit.  Conversely, negative buzz is managed in a manner to reduce its impact on the brand and/or business, responding to minimize its impact.    

    • One marketing strategy is to build microsites to get relevant topics discussed.  

    • Leveraging and measuring tweets was a common topic for the presenters. One issue is the unanswered question of how to monetize tweets--as well as all social media efforts. 



    • One obstacle is proving the accuracy of your numbers.  
    • Another is ensuring that existing analytics connect with the decision to be made.  You need to understand the internal customer’s needs.  
    • Backward-looking decisions are easy to support, whereas forward-looking ones are more difficult to prove.  
    • Use the agile approach: test and learn, test and learn more, roll out once the strategy is proven.  


    Panelists’ comments included:

    “How can we drive (more) customer transactions on line?”

    “Our database is no longer viewed as a marketing database; it’s now viewed as a company database.”

    “There is no model for adding unstructured data to structured data.”

    “Tracking cross-platform behavior and data (is an obstacle).” 

    “SAS predicts a massive shortfall of analytical professionals by 2018.”


  • The New Lead "Generation"

    "I'm not trying to 'cause a big s-s-sensation,
    I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation"

    —The Who

    Everyone's talking 'bout the new generation, the New Lead "Generation." It's not just the new g-g-g-enerations of marketers talking content, mobile apps and social media, it's about the latest in lead g-g-g-generation approaches as well. With today's hyper-consumer there are new challenges as well as massive opportunities.

    DMCNY has assembled some of today's best and innovative experts to tackle some of the key questions about lead generation today in this Half-Day Breakfast Seminar. Three sessions that will educate, question, discuss and challenge what we know, don't know and think we know.

    Additional coverage "In the News" 

    "Four Strategies for Lead Generation"
    Direct Marketing News (March 10, 2014)

    Additional video coverage

    See videos from our March Lead Gen keynote speaker Jeffrey Rohs from Exact Target talking about direct an interactive imperatives during the DMCNY half day event on Lead Generation on March 4 at FIT. And an interview with Claire Burns from Emma.


    Here's what the morning will look like.

    • 8:00-8:30—Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking
    • 8:30-9:30—The Audience Imperative
      Speaker: Jeffrey Rohrs
      Smart businesses aren't leaving their success to chance. Instead, they're building proprietary audiences across email, mobile, social, and other web-based channels in order to generate "attention on demand." Jeff will share how this is reducing their dependence on paid media and turning audiences into assets.
    • 9:30-9:45—Networking Break
    • 9:45-10:30—The New Lead "Generation" Panel Program
      Moderators: Ava Seavey & Vic Golio
      Panelists: Deborah Holland & Dany Sfeir
      This will be a lively discussion with a group of ground-breaking industry experts on the latest in lead generation approaches.
    • 10:30-10:45—Networking Break
    • 10:45-11:30—The Mathematics of Marketing
      Speaker: Dave Scott
      The discipline of marketing is changing from an art to a science. Stealing from the direct marketing industry, author David Scott will discuss cutting-edge ways to measure ROI no matter the marketing approach.
    • 11:30—Event concludes

    Register Today—space will be limited and you don want to miss out on the New Lead G-G-G-Generation!

    Event Sponsorship: 

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 8:00am
    Registration and Breakfast: 8:00-8:30 am
    Program: 8:30-11:30 am

    Member Price: 


    Non-Member Price: 

  • Videos - March Lead Gen Event

    See videos from our March Lead Gen keynote speaker Jeffrey Rohs from Exact Target talking about direct an interactive imperatives during the DMCNY half day event on Lead Generation on March 4 at FIT. 

    And, view Claire Burns from Emma, DMCNY's sponsor talking about how Emma helps email marketers send emails to consumers.  

    Many thanks to our videographer Ken Kraetzer!

  • DMCNY "In The News" March Lead Gen Event

    DMCNY held a half day seminar on Lead Generation on March 4, 2014.  Direct Marketing News covered the event in an article titled "4 Strategies for Lead Generation."  

    The article lead was: Stimulating and capturing interest of a customer is paramount to lead generation. As chief marketers, Deborah Holland and Dany Sfei know this well. Holland, EVP of Publishers Clearing House, and Sfeir, CMO of North America for mattress brand Dormeo Octaspring, weighed in four strategies for new lead generation at the Direct Marketing Club of New York's “New Lead Generation” seminar.

  • Year end Tax Tips


    November, 2013

    Our trusted DMCNY accountant offers us—again—a gaggle of useful tips for tax and financial planning at yearend 2013.  [David, watch out!  We’re going to have to make this an annual thing!]

    A health savings account.  These provide a great tax break, even if you don’t itemize your deductions.  And the money helps you pay medical expenses.  Keep in mind, if you don’t use all of the money in one year, you may carry it to the next year, even if you change jobs.

    Party time.  You can only write off half of your business meals and entertainment expenses.   But if you hold an event, like a party, a picnic or a BBQ, for the entire company, that’s 100% deductible.

    Obamacare.  If you are having trouble understanding the new law (and who isn’t), go to:

    Married couples of the same sex.  All who are legally married will now have to file federal returns as married, even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage.  The rules for state returns depend on the law of the state where you live.

    December 31 is the last day to set up and deposit up to $51k into your solo 401(k).  It’s also the deadline for setting up your Keogh retirement plan. 

    New York State driver’s license. You may have to forfeit your license if you owe more than $10k in taxes.

    Warm up.  If you are retiring and want to move someplace warm, look into 3 questions:  How the state taxes retirement income; what the sales and real estate taxes are; and whether there is an estate tax.  Keep in mind that states offering tax breaks in one area may raise revenue by taxing other activities. State rules vary widely. One place to start your research is

    The tax man cometh.  Starting January 1, 2013, for married couples with income over $250k (and singles above $200k), there is a 3.8% tax on investment income, including dividends, capital gains and rental income.  There will also be a 0.9% tax on wages above those amounts. The top tax rate is now 39.6%.  So, it makes sense to keep taxable bonds, REITs, and high paying stocks in your tax-deferred retirement accounts.  You can then keep tax-exempt bonds in your regular investment account, since those earnings are not included in income for this tax calculation. 

    For any further questions, club members may reach David at  


    David Lord
    David Lord's picture
  • 60 Minutes on "Data Brokers"


    March, 2014

    No doubt, you watched or have read about the 60 Minutes feature on Sunday, March 9 on what the show called Data Brokers. They were referring to data compilers, list companies and marketers.  This is a looming privacy issue and members need to be informed.  We want to share links to the show and commentary from the DMA and others.

    60 Minutes Feature on Data Brokers

    60 Minutes Overtime on Data Brokers - 3 additional videos

    Some commentary from the industry:

    Linda Wooley, CEO, DMA blog post "Stand Up For Responsible Data Driven Marketing".  In it she says: The media are taking their cue from Congress and the FTC, who are ferociously bent on regulating our industry.  Linda calls for your participation.  

    Thorin Magee, Editor-in-Chief, Target Marketing Magazine covers this - and the headline says it all.  "60 Minutes' Skewers Marketers Over Data Collection".

    Ken Magill, founder of The Magill Report gives a no holds barred commentary in "60 Minutes' Credo: Talk to DC Bureaucrats, Regurgitate"

    eM+C Daily included a post from Stephanie Miller at the DMA in "60 Minutes Segment Unnecessarily Frightens Consumers, DMA Contends"





  • Member News


    November, 2013

    Donna Baier Stein was honored as the 2013 Copywriter of the year by AWAI (Association of Writers and Artists, Inc.) at a ceremony in Delray Beach FL.  Donna also spoke at the conference on "Stepping into the Flow: Crafting Successful Copy That's Easy to Read and Easy to Write."  

    LiftEngine announces a new solution called Merge Optimization Modeling that reduces prospecting costs and boosts campaign ROI.  "MOM" is a post-merge program that scores all prospects, allowing marketers to eliminate those with a low propensity to respond.  Contact Chris Montana to learn more.

    Adrea Rubin Media, cin., recently hired Stephen Berner as vice president of new business development.  Reach Stephen at 646-487-3785 or  

    SMS Marketing Services announces the addition of Amy Williamson as vice president of sales and Nick Tassi as senior vice president of cross-channel sales.  SMS Marketing Services also received a 2013 Gold Davey Award for print/collateral and two 2013 W3 Awards for their website.

    Gail Henry, executive VP of Leon Henry, Inc. is proud to announce their re-certification by WBENC (The Women's Business Enterprise National Council).  

    Jay Bower is happy to announce that The Crossbow Group has renewed its relationship with HP (Hewlitt-Packard)  

    Ruth Stevens and Bernice Grossman announce the publication of their new research report, "A Deep Dive into B-to-B Prospecting Databases: How Seven Data Suppliers Compare.  Click here for a free download.




    Here's the latest news from fellow club members.

  • Marketing Outlook 2014 Presentation 'In The News'

    Bruce Biegel captivated the luncheon crowd at DMCNY's January event as usual!  His recap of 2013 channel spending is helpful, his look at 2014 is insightful and you must review the top 10 trends for 2014.

    "2014 is All About the Benjamins, Forecasts Shows"
    Target Marketing Magazine (January 14, 2014)

    "What Does 2014 Have in Store for Marketers?"
    Direct Marketing News (January 10, 2014) 

    "2014 Market Outlook: The Strong Start Will Continue"
    Direct Marketing Association Advance Blog (January 10, 2014) 

    "Recent Reports: Audience Precision is Driving Programmatic Ad Buying in Digital - Setting the Stage for More Interest-Based Ads"
    {Digital Advertising Alliance Blog, January 21, 2014)

    "Have We Achieved 'Peak Mail'?"
    (Target Marketing's Marketing's Best Blogs, January 20, 2014)

    You can download Bruce Biegel's presentation is available on the Winterberry Group site. (log in required)