Blog Activity

  • 31st Annual Silver Apple Awards Gala

    Our 31st Annual gala where we recognize the best among our own who have contributed to direct marketing and the community for 25 years or more.

    Start making your plans to attend the 2015 Silver Apple Awards Gala - New York's most prestigious event for Direct and Interactive marketers.

    We will hold the presentation and dinner at New York's glorious Edison Ballroom. It won't be the same if you're not there!

    Support scholarships for direct and interactive marketing education - and enjoy a gala evening with colleagues, clients and friends. But hurry, tables and tickets go fast! All tables and tickets include open service cocktail reception, dinner, wine service and dessert.

    Learn more: 2015 Honorees Bios| Past List of Honorees | Advertising Reservation Form to follow

    Members: Be sure to login with your UserID and Password to get the lowest rate.

    Individual Tickets

    DMCNY Members - $250

    Non-Members - $290

    Table Sponsorships

    Tables of 10:

    Benefactor - $2,500

    Patron - $3,500, includes a full page in the Commemorative Program

    Foundation Sponsor - $5,000, includes a full page in the Commemorative Program, a $1,000 scholarship to a local college teaching direct marketing, and podium recognition

    Leadership Sponsor - 2 tables of 10 - $8,500, includes a full page in the Commemorative Program, a $2,000 scholarship to a local college teaching direct marketing, podium recognition and Reception signage

    Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities

    High profile opportunities for your company to support the honorees and direct marketing educational programs.

    Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 6:00pm
    Members: Be sure to login with your UserID and Password to get the lowest rate.
  • Learn Why Yesterday's Continuity is Today's Subscription - Subscription Marketing for Tomorrow's Customers

    Today’s consumers demand innovation, personalized attention and products tailored to their unique tastes.

    Successful book, consumable products, streaming video as well as box-of-the-month type subscription programs are all growing due to today's consumer purchasing behavior changes. Are you keeping up? What’s on the horizon?

    Sign up now for this insightful look on the future of subscription marketing, featuring a specially assembled team of experts from e-commerce to fulfillment and more.

    Space is limited and promises to fill up fast, so reserve your seat today. You’ll save $15 off the price of same-day registration at the door, so don’t delay.

    Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 11:30am
    Networking & Cocktails: 11:30am - 12:20pm
    Luncheon & Presentation: 12:20pm - 2:00pm

    Member Price: 


    Non-Member Price: 

  • Five Tips for Public Speaking


    June, 2015

    A Stand-up Comic in the World

    of Sales: Five Tips for Public Speaking

    For ten of my 14 years in direct marketing, I’ve had the pleasure of being in a client-facing role. For six years, I have also been a standup comedian, a role that has helped me become a more effective Communicator and public speaker. 

    Last October I had the honor of serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the DMA14 conference in San Diego. Perhaps you saw me in action. That gig was my first experience putting my personal and professional worlds together. I loved it, and I learned a lot. 

    So I thought I’d share with you five tips for public speaking, which I have learned from comedy and sales.

    Do your research. Whether MC’ing an event or presenting to a single client, try to understand as much as you can about that organization. This is much easier now than it was when I first started in our industry. There is a wealth of information on the Internet, so use it.

    Always try and address a room as if you’re having an intimate conversation with an individual

    or a small group. When I looked out at that DMA audience of several thousand people, I admit, I was pretty overwhelmed. But when I reminded myself that I was just having a conversation, it made all the difference. Of course, it helped that my first joke hit the mark!

    Read the room. Whether at a comedy club or a client demo, pay attention to how your audience is reacting to the presentation and content. If you see that they are less interested in a certain set of products or topics, shift gears and move to another area of focus. In a comedy club, if you lose the audience, watch out—they’ll start heckling you.

    Set an expectation. Right up front, I like to introduce the topics, along with the time the presentation will last. I get specific, for example,“Today we will discuss our five product offerings, covering 12 slides, taking 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions at the end. ”There is nothing worse than an audience that doesn’t know how long a presentation will be. 

    Fess up. If you really don’t know the answer to something, don’t try and fake your way out of it. It’s okay to say you don’t know, take that person’s contact info and get back to them with a follow-up call or email. This only works if you actually follow up, so please make sure you do. 

    Those are five tips that come to mind, but I do want to add one pet peeve I have in presentations. I advise presenters to avoid beginning an answer to a question from the audience with “Great question.”

    To me, this implies that some audience questions are better than others, and may cause hurt feelings in the group. Just something for you to consider. 

    Happy speaking, and happy selling to all.


    Vinnie Pietrafesa
    Vinnie Pietrafesa's picture

    Vincent Pietrafesa is Director of Business Development at BusinessWatch Network, a proud board member of DMCNY and the rising-star comedian Vincent James. Reach him at

  • A Great Time with Good People, Bring a Client or Colleague!

    "Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."

    - Jane Howard

    Here's a chance to come out, network with fellow members of the direct marketing community, and make new connections!

    Join DMCNY friends and colleagues on April 8. The evening kicks off at 6:00 p.m. at Hurley's. See you there!

    Register Today, Then Have a Drink on us!

    Only $25 for Members ($35 for Non-Members) gets you a free drink, plenty of hors d'oeuvres - and, of course, the chance to reacquaint yourself with the tri-state area's premier direct marketers.

    Event Sponsorship: 

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 6:00pm
    6:00pm - 9:00pm

    Member Price: 


    Non-Member Price: 

  • Bruce Biegel's 2015 Annual Outlook

    Once again we kicked off the New Year at DMCNY with the razor-sharp predictions of Bruce A. Biegel, Senior Managing Director of the Winterberry Group and Petsky Prunier advisor. Biegel made sense of the major forces shaping our industry in 2014 and forecasted their effects in 2015 and beyond.

    If you joined us for the January 9 luncheon, this is a must-download presentation.  For those who weren't able to make the luncheon, get a glimpse of what you missed.

    To download the presentation, the file is attached below.

    Additional coverage "In the News" 

    Target Marketing Magazine (January 12, 2015)
    "Ad Spending Will ‘Be the Highest Ever’ in 2015, Says Biegel

    Direct Marketing News (January 9, 2015) 
    "Where Will Marketing Grow in 2015"



    File attachment: 

    Biegel-2015 Annual Outlook-DMCNY.pdf2.48 MB
  • DMCNY Member News


    December, 2014

    Big congratulations to Joe Frick of Adrea Rubin Media Inc., who received Datalogix's prestigious 360A partner award for August 2014. Joe Frick, VP of Marketing and Social Media,, 646-487-3768.

    Prompt Direct recently unveiled PromptTRACK Alerts, a customizable mailer notification tool.  As mail is scanned, Prompt lets the mailer know when it reaches a particular point in its journey, for example, when delivery is imminent. Phil Catalano,

    MeritDirect, the leading provide of global multichannel marketing services, is pleased to announce the opening of a new satellite office in San Joe CA, expanding the company to the West Coast.  The operations in San Jose will be managed by Chris Blohm, Senior Vice President of Data & Media Services, and staffed by Deirdre Blohm, Vice President of Customer Acquisition & Retention.  Contact Chris Blohm at 669-231-4753 or Deirdre Blohm at 660-231-4410.

    Fosina Marketing Group celebrates quite the "giving quarter," having signed several new humanitarian non-profit clients, helping them fundraise online via sustaining giving.  The company also assisted their client Amora Coffee with going "Pink" to increase Breast Cancer Awareness.  The Fosina team also got wet and donated to ALS, and took to the links in support of the Hudson Valley Junior Achievement Golf Outling.  Ray Schneeberger, VP Sales,  203-546-5547.


    Donna Baier Stein, Brian Kurtz, and Bob Bly all spoke at the American Writers and Artists Institute 4-Day Copywriting Bootcamp in DelRay Beach FL in October.  Richard Armstrong gave the keynote address.  Donna Baier Stein,, 908-872-1775.

    The club presented its 2014 Mal Dunn Leadership Award sponsored by Alliant to Bruce Biegel, senior managing director, Winterberry Group, at a special luncheon on Thursday, September 11.  The Mal Dunn Leadership Award recognizes data-driven marketing professionals for their exemplary service to the field.

    Leon Henry Inc. is proud to announce their recertification by WBENC (The Women's Business Enterprise National Council) for the 6th year in a row.  Leon Henry Inc. is also certified as a New York State Woman Owned Business Enterprise.  Contact or call 914-285-3456. 



    To help bring our vibrant DM community closer, let us know what you and your company are up to!  Send your news to  Notices will be placed in the newsletter and online.

  • Bill Baird's picture

    DMCNY September Luncheon Notes - OmniChannel Marketing

    The September presentation by Paradysz and PM Digital’s co-founder and co-CEO Chris Paradysz and VP, Advisory Services Michael McVeigh focused on the growing need for Omnichannel marketing, the related challenges marketers face, and strategies and solutions to meet those challenges.

    The top takeaways were: 

    What is Omnichannel Marketing?  It’s a strategy that builds campaigns and infrastructure from the point of view of the customer.  It fights fragmentation to achieve customer-centric foundations.  And it drives content based on unique customer behaviors and histories. 

    Why is Omnichannel Marketing Necessary? Customers are spending more than double the amount of time per day on mobile devices vs. 4 years ago, as well as doubling the number of consultations prior to purchase.  They rely on more information sources and expect a seamless buying experience across the channels closest to those sources.  Furthermore, your competitors are investing in omnichannel: 83% of marketers said they intended to invest in it in 2014. 

    Who’s Doing it Right?  One example is Skriiiex, a 26-year-old music producer and DJ who produced $16m in revenue in 2013 using a vast portfolio of social media followers, fans, subscribers and downloadable sources.  Another strong example is Macy’s, where the stores are fulfillment centers; sales reps order products for customers on line; and budgets are omnichannel (and not in silo’s). 

    The Challenges.  Challenges include the fear of the strategic overhaul that omnichannel implies.  A transition to omnichannel threatens existing separate digital and offline groups.  And fractured & isolated capabilities contradict findings across the board. 

    The Process.  The key to successfully leveraging data across all touch points is to create a comprehensive view of how customers behave from channel to channel to understand (and optimize) the experience.  

    First understand your audience – what do they care about?  What are their preferences?  Your goal is to understand these customer profiles well enough to develop a marketing recipe strategy that will drive engagement. 

    Then segment your audience and build a contact strategy for each segment. 

    How Do You Know When You Need a Dashboard?  When weekly report attachments take up over 90% of your inbox storage … and amount to more than 90% of your unread messages.  (Or if your existing dashboard can’t pass the “Fortune Cookie Test”: Are you less likely to open your dashboard than a fortune cookie … or do you find its contents less informative?)

    What is an Effective Dashboard?  It scales up to an executive level; drills down to campaign, channel and customer segment; enables you as the user to interact by time period with filters to answer questions as they occur to you; and displays Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) versus goal and budget. 

    Competitive Dashboards.  In an omnichannel environment, things change quickly.  As with your own business, you need to know how effectively your competitors are growing, engaging and retaining customers in each channel.  You need to understand how they’re doing it.  And to determine whether you should emulate what they’re doing.   You should be doing this vigilantly across channels, using competitive dashboards.  

    Multichannel Attribution.  As of November 2013, 18% of marketers were practicing sophisticated cross-channel attribution, which identifies how spending in one channel effects responsiveness in another.  As of September 2013, 2% of marketers used a combined attribution strategy to achieve omnichannel success, and this number is growing rapidly.

  • Email May Not Be Sexy – But It’s HOT!


    June, 2012

    Despite the ongoing challenges to email, it still rules as a major customer service and marketing channel. Here are some insights from an industry veteran about how to take your email campaigns to the next level.

    All the buzz today is about social and mobile, but the true workhorses for direct marketers are direct mail and email. Both channels are not particularly sexy, but they certainly do work!

    I’m going to focus on email. Let’s start with research from the Direct Marketing Association in late 2011:

    • Email is the single marketing channel that produces the highest ROI.
    • For every dollar invested in this highly profitable channel, the return on investment in 2012 is 39.40. (The second highest channel is search, pegged at $22.38.)

    One major reason for email’s top position is that it is inexpensive – particularly if you use it to communicate with opt-in customers and prospects. While it is relatively easy to “batch and blast” email, savvy marketers take advantage of personalizing technology to make their efforts pay off.

    Here are three concepts that will help you take your email program to the next level:


    Relevance is all about making your customer feel special. Use the data you collected when they signed up, and personalize your emails. Better yet, if you can link email subscribers to your customer database, you know if they interact with you in multiple channels how much they’ve spent with you and what they buy. You can mine this data to focus on offers, products and promotions that will capture their attention.

    Take it a step further and look at their behavior in terms of what truly interests them. If you have good tracking in place, you should be able to connect email activity (a click-through on a particular link) to site activity (did they view multiple pages, how much time did they spend online, what product categories did they focus on?)

    Then, you can use this data to present products and offers that are truly of interest.

    Dynamic Personalization

    Dynamic personalization in email can boost relevance. The basic concept behind it is to set up if/then rules to deliver appropriate messaging. To keep this process simple, think of your email template(s). Reserve a block within the template to present relevant content. Let’s pretend it’s the dead of winter and you sell shoes. With dynamic personalization, the first item featured to those in the north are Uggs boots – and to those in the south, Birkenstock sandals. The rest of the message might be the same for all, but the primary offer will resonate more based on geography. It’s more relevant. And the latest email technology makes this easy to do.

    Triggered Messaging

    Triggered messaging can be pure gold for marketers. These messages are also based on rules that look at user actions (or inaction) from email and your website (for example, a welcome message sent within minutes of someone signing up for your email program).

    My two favorite triggered messages are:

    • Cross-selling in email order confirmations
    • Sending an email to someone who has started the check-out process at your website but did not complete the order

    You are leaving money on the table if you don’t try these two techniques!

    Today, between 50% and 75% of all Web shopping carts are abandoned. Do nothing, and you’ve lost the sale. Send one or more reminders that the customer has left something in their cart and you can re-capture between 5% and 15% of otherwise lost sales. My advice is to send more than one email and don’t start with a discount.

    And, if possible, you should picture the abandoned item in the email.

    It Works. Period.

    Let me close with one marketer’s experience that I recently observed: Only 4.1% of their total email volume was triggered and transactional in nature. Yet a whopping 41.2% of their email trackable sales were generated from those messages! I hope that’s an eye-opener for you.

    To thrive in today’s marketplace, be relevant, and use dynamic personalization and triggered email messages. You’ll be glad you did!

    Reggie Brady is president of Reggie BradyMarketing Solutions, a direct and email marketing consultancy. Reach her at 203-838-8138 or


    Reggie Brady
    Reggie Brady's picture

    Reggie Brady is president of Reggie BradyMarketing Solutions, a direct and email marketing consultancy. Reach her at 203-838-8138 or

  • Driving Multichannel Marketing Through Online Preferences


    March, 2012

    Customers’ channel preferences are changing left and right – and it’s more important than ever to know which channel your customer is paying attention to and using.

    Whether selling to consumers or to businesses, leveraging an online preference center is an effective best practice used by savvy marketers to deliver strategic communications and engage customers. Essentially, it is a place where the customer shakes hands with a brand.

    Maintaining Productive Online Preference Centers

    Here are six considerations to keep in mind when operating Online Preference Centers:

    1. Give Customers a True Choice in Their Communications. The first step in creating a preference center strategy is identifying the channels a marketer can support and finding out if those channels can be integrated at the database level. Channels may include all the traditional media, but it is important to consider social and mobile, too. Use the preference center to confirm preferred address and contact details for data accuracy.

      The next choice is one of frequency (ie, monthly, or maximum number of messages per week). In the past, the frequency of customer marketing communications often was determined by budget, occasionally determined by result optimization and often determined by the needs of multiple groups within an organization (a marketer only has one list of customers, and that list might be accessed by many people, resulting in too-frequent communications). Some channels, such as mobile, require frequency expectations – and a preference center can help enable the customer to provide their own frequency of communications.

      Finally, customers should be able to choose their content. Marketers may want to consider groupings of content (ie, sports or entertainment) as well as types of content, such as offers, events or new-product launches.

      Another aspect of the preference center is the “save” of the opt-out. When customers click on the opt-out link, the preference center can offer alternatives to the customer, such as less-frequent communications and the availability of different channels or different content. This allows a customer to opt down or to change content preferences.
    2. Enable Multichannel Marketing. Most marketers today communicate with customers across several different channels. Many understand that campaigns and corporate content should vary by channel, particularly in today’s environment where email, social and mobile communications are often managed by different teams. But, good marketers also know that campaigns must be carefully coordinated across different communication types. Remember that we all have our own version of what multichannel means to us. Putting the customer in charge of his or her own multichannel experience will mean better relevancy and results.
    3. Learn About and Understand Customers. Marketers can obtain a multitude of useful information about consumers through information provided in an online preference center. At the very minimum, asking for an email address, mobile phone numbers for text opt-in or a physical address for fulfillment is essential in improving data quality.

      Beyond those imperatives, there’s an opportunity to ask for information that will enhance the customer’s relationship and the flow of future communications. For example, consider offering dynamic surveys and polls to gain information about customers that can result in improved offers and communications. Leverage the fact that a brand recognizes its customer, and all of the behaviors associated with a preference profile can be tracked to best serve the customer.
    4. Engage With the Customer. The term “engagement” is often overused today, but it is one of the best reasons to consider an online preference center as the basis of many programs that produce dialogue and create value.

      Customers can create their profile to opt in or out of programs, but they might also register products, obtain warrantee information, store gift information for friends and family or participate in an online community at the center. Provide reasons for customers to come to the preference center – and to return repeatedly.
    5. Improve Loyalty and Retention. Creating a place where customers can directly communicate with a brand is a key aspect of customer retention and loyalty. Even if the marketer is not ready to implement a loyalty program, he or she can leverage a preference center to encourage customers’ continued interaction with the brand. Consider offering highly targeted coupons (customers’ IDs and data allow a marketer to be smart about coupons) or bringing in a local element by providing details about the nearest retail location. This private, customized brand gateway offers a great opportunity for customer retention and repeat purchases.

      Brands that offer loyalty programs can refine the preference center as customers access loyalty program benefits. Consider temporary card printing, viewing reward information or point balances, checking progress toward rewards or viewing previous purchases. These functions work within the preference center context to increase customer visits and interaction.
    6. Keep It Simple for the Customer.The preference center can provide corporate-level communications or give single brands the ability to communicate with customers within a corporate framework. A preference center provides value regardless of brand situation and increases value as customer preferences and data are applied more frequently. But, it is important to remember the customer experience across brands in order to ease any potential frustrations because of internal roadblocks. If a marketer has multiple brands, it should consider brand-specific preference centers that are integrated with other company brands.

    A Valuable Resource – in Both Directions

    Online preference centers provide customers the ability to tell marketers what they want – and allow marketers to save money by only providing communications in the chosen channels, and determine the

    best return on channel combinations. Ultimately, greater message relevance means better results.


    Jeanette Kocsis
    Jeanette Kocsis's picture

    Jeannette Kocsis, senior vice president, digital marketing, oversees client digital strategy and media programs at The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks.  Jeannette is responsible for integration of new media, including social and mobile, into client offerings.  Reach her at

  • Chet Dalzell talks with Roberta Elins, FIT Advertising & Marketing Communications


    September, 2012

    New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) offered the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in direct/interactive marketing in 1997. Roberta Elins served as the program’s most recent chair until January 2012. Posting’s Chet Dalzell spoke with Roberta, currently Professor of Advertising & Marketing Communications at FIT.

    Q. FIT was the first US university to offer a bachelor’s degree program specifically in direct/interactive marketing. How many students have graduated from the program since its inception?

    We have graduated between 300 and 350 students, the majority of whom are active in the direct/interactive marketing field. The degree program is a two-year program.We have 50 students enrolled at any given time.

    Q. Do students show a keen interest in the direct/digital discipline? How do they come to choose this specific degree?

    A. Today, the students are digital natives. (I like to describe myself and others like me as digital immigrants.) They instinctually understand the process of digital media and are fluent in digital channels. They may be familiar with traditional direct as well, but to make traditional as attractive to them,it’s all in the presentation: “What is the challenge we’re trying to overcome?” With the curriculum – which includes an introductory course, direct response copywriting, Internet marketing, database marketing, media, market research, ROI, Excel for Business, and finance and operations – students

    are exposed to direct marketing concepts that are applied in any channel, and, best of all, all of our fabulous faculty are practitioners. One adjunct, in fact, Christine Slusarek, is a recent DMCNY Silver Apple award recipient; she created FIT’s Internet Marketing course and our first online course. Each FIT student also enrolls in an internship to receive direct experience in a business in the field, on the brand side or with an agency or service provider.

    Q. Do these graduates then enjoy 100-percent placement? What types of functions within the field do they continue to master?

    A. Driven I would say 95 percent are placed in the field. All of them apply what they learn in the careers they go to – but most of our graduates today are in creative, account management, CRM, brand-side and agency-side, at such names as FILA, Estee Lauder, Digitas, Logo/MTV, Zenith Media, Omnicom,

    Saks Fifth Avenue, L’Oreal and American Express, among others. And many of them stay in touch. We have a very active LinkedIn group that helps our alums stay in touch with our faculty and one another.

    Q. How does FIT interact with the business community, specifically in the direct/interactive areas?

    A. First, we treat all our students as marketing professionals, or “pre-professionals.” Our internship program ensures each of our graduates has had in-the-field experience, and all our internship partners are vetted in advance. At least two of our students each year also participate in our program abroad in London (affiliated with the London College of Fashion) where they also work in an internship while they are there. We encourage all students to network locally, hence our active involvement with DMCNY.

    Q. Thank you for bringing that up! FIT, thanks to your involvement, is a supporter of DMCNY, offering its students memberships in the organization. How did this partnership evolve?

    A. A colleague of mine in direct/interactive marketing, Hayward Henderson, who was then working at The New York Times Digital, provided us a grant that was matched by the Times. Today, we use these

    funds to pay for student membership fees at DMCNY, and to provide scholarship monies to attend our London program, DMCNY lunches and DMEF [Direct Marketing Educational Foundation] conferences.

    We see student memberships as a great recruitment tool – a way to interact with field professionals. We also choose students to represent FIT as greeters and registrars at the Silver Apple galA.

    Q. Are you optimistic that the program will continue to thrive at FIT?

    A. Definitely! These digital natives can help companies. They can learn to master on-the-job more traditional aspects of our business while helping brands navigate across channels and connect socially. Their skill sets are in demand.

    Corporations, agencies and organizations seeking the services of an FIT direct/interactive marketing intern may contact Andrew Cronan, director of the FIT Career & Internship Center, at


    Roberta Elin
    Roberta Elin's picture

    Contact Roberta at