This Holiday Season, it’s Mobile Commerce or Bust!

by Teresa Zobrist on Dec 11, 2017 11:31:13 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

According to the CMO Council, mobile e-commerce will contribute 24.4% to the total revenue of the e-commerce sector by the end of 2017. Mobile-first design is imperative in the website development to position retailers to capture this market share.

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Friday Forecast: One of Our Own Captures the Spirit of the Holidays

by Rick Petry on Dec 8, 2017 1:48:07 PM Marketing

This week your Friday Forecaster takes a slight departure from his regular blog to share a video featuring one of ERA’s own. Pitchman extraordinaire Anthony “Sully” Sullivan is part of an initiative called “Layaway Angels.”

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A Busy Fall for Direct Response & Government Affairs

by Bill McClellan on Dec 6, 2017 12:11:14 PM Government Relations

It has been a busy fall for ERA’s government affairs efforts! It seems like just yesterday that we were all gathered together as an industry at the D2C show in Las Vegas.

Last week, I was in NYC with the board of directors for a town hall meeting to get industry feedback on our members’ concerns followed by our annual NYC reception. It was a great event and I enjoyed catching up with everyone who was able to make it.

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Should You Use Your Debit or Credit Card for Your Holiday Shopping?

by Suresh Dakshina on Dec 5, 2017 10:18:07 AM e-Commerce, Retail

It's been a year of data theft. In the wake of Equifax, Deloitte, SEC and other major security breaches, the personally identifiable information of millions of people has been put in jeopardy. Against this backdrop, the imminent holiday shopping season – from Black Friday to Boxing Day – may look positively menacing to consumers and businesses alike.

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One is No Longer the Loneliest Number

by Robin Stone on Dec 4, 2017 10:26:57 AM Customer Service

With the revolution in social media and online communication, one is no longer the loneliest number. One customer is no longer just one customer. 

Any one customer can influence great numbers of others through their use of social media platforms as well as a wide and growing range of review options, comment boards, hash tags, and discussion forums.

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Friday Forecast: Pitch Perfect: 5 Key Takeaways from Boardwalk Brand's Lindsey Brooks

by Rick Petry on Dec 1, 2017 3:08:42 PM Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

This week your Friday Forecaster engaged Lindsey Brooks, product sourcing guru and CEO of Boardwalk Brand in a discussion about marketing products amid an era dominated by social media and persistent change. Lindsey’s wide-ranging career began pitching products at fairs, trade shows, and on TV. 

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Net Neutrality is Back

by Bill McClellan on Nov 29, 2017 11:20:43 AM Government Relations

Many of you might remember ERA’s Net Neutrality 'Ninja.' For those who do not, Net Neutrality has been an ongoing battle between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the folks like us - ERA members who use the ISPs’ “pipes” to connect with each other and customers alike. This policy battle has been going on for years. There was a lull in the action during the Obama administration when the FCC codified Net Neutrality principals into FCC regulation. But now it’s back....

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Equifax – The Continued Fallout

by Srii Srinivasan on Nov 27, 2017 12:40:02 PM data breach

There is no way to overstate how bad the Equifax breach was. Even though it was announced during the same month as mega-breaches from SEC and Deloitte, this one stands out. The consumer records of over 145 million people were stolen and, as Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse puts it, we'll be feeling the effects for "essentially a hundred years, until everybody is dead that was exposed by this breach."

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How MuteSix is Making Direct Response Ads Work at Scale on Facebook

by Greg Gillman on Nov 20, 2017 12:13:26 PM Social Media

Making direct response ads work on Facebook is hard. Making them work at scale is even harder.

But like anything worth having, nothing comes easy.

Today I'm going to reveal how the team at MuteSix are scaling direct response campaigns on Facebook.

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Friday Forecast: Which is More Effective at Pumping Up Marketplace Sales: Amazon Advertising or TV?

by Rick Petry on Nov 17, 2017 9:47:52 AM Advertisements, Marketing

The power and dominance of the Amazon marketplace continues to build unabated. According to a survey of 2,000 consumers by BloomReach conducted last year, 55 percent of users begin their product search on the e-commerce website, up 11 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers that use a search engine such as Google to begin such a journey has dropped from 34 to 28 percent according to the same study. Furthermore, according to Business Insider, Morgan Stanley forecasts that Amazon single-handedly will account for over half of all U.S. retail growth between 2016 and 2018. With that many eyeballs hitting the e-tailing giant’s site then, it begs the question: would you be better off taking ad dollars from another medium such as television and spending heavily to advertise on Amazon if that is where the audience is? I recently sat down with Andy Latimer, CEO of Bluewater Media, a converged marketing agency focused on selling, who shared a case study examining this very question. The results may surprise you.

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Direct Response Congressional Champion Retiring – What’s Next For Online Sales Tax?

by Bill McClellan on Nov 15, 2017 3:03:15 PM Government Relations


Photo taken from Congressman Bob Goodlatte's Facebook page.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has been a longtime industry friend on a number of issues important to direct response companies. Since 2013, he has served as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. In this position, he was a key player in the online sales tax debate where he actively championed legislation that would limit the states’ capacity to tax sales of remote retailers.

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Friday Forecast: Newman's Own: 5 Fast Takeaways from NEWTHYNK's Geraldine Newman

by Rick Petry on Nov 10, 2017 10:39:12 AM Advertisements, Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

This week your Friday Forecaster spoke with Geraldine Newman, CEO & Creative Director of NEWTHYNK/Geraldine Newman Communications, a New York based creative agency that blends branding and selling for Fortune 1000 companies as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups.

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Why Should Direct Response Marketers Care About the CBBB?

by Bill McClellan on Nov 8, 2017 1:39:17 PM Government Relations

For over a century, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) has helped people find businesses, brands, and charities that they can trust. That’s a big idea with a lot of moving parts. To be effective, the CBBB has become an umbrella organization that includes local independent Better Business Bureaus (BBB) and national partner programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

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Friday Forecast: Principles of Influence Part 6: Social Proof is Positive Proof

by Rick Petry on Nov 3, 2017 1:28:30 PM Consumer Behavior

Note: This is the sixth and final in a series of blog posts devoted to principles of influence found in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s seminal psychology book entitled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It is essential reading for any marketer.

For our last principle of influence, we have left perhaps the most important and potent one: social proof.

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Heads Up DRTV: Data Breach Activity Galore

by Bill McClellan on Nov 1, 2017 4:53:02 PM Government Relations

One of the big topics of discussion at ERA’s 2017 D2C Convention in Las Vegas was the growing concern around the recently announced Equifax Data Breach. Both the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate agreed with this consensus and have recently held four hearings on the hack featuring Richard Smith, the former Equifax CEO.

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Friday Forecast: Media Matters: 5 Key Takeaways From Bluewater Media's Gina Pomponi

by Rick Petry on Oct 27, 2017 10:19:26 AM Digital Marketing, Direct Response

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

This week your Friday Forecaster visited Gina Pomponi, President of Bluewater Media’s Media Division. Bluewater Media is a fully integrated results-oriented marketing agency that manages Omni-Channel campaigns for a wide variety of product categories and brands. Gina, who started her career in 1990 at Direct Response Media under the tutelage of Maria Eden, created her media department at Bluewater from the ground up, allowing the agency to round out its full suite of services.

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Trump Nominates a New Federal Trade Commission Chairman

by Bill McClellan on Oct 24, 2017 12:09:36 PM Government Relations

Ten months after the Trump Administration took over from President Obama’s team, we finally have a selection for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman seat. Joseph Simons is currently an attorney at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP. He is no stranger to the agency as he has previously lead the Bureau of Competition.

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Friday Forecast: Principles of Influence Part 5: Consistency: Our Tendency to Double Down on Decisions

by Rick Petry on Oct 20, 2017 10:14:10 AM Consumer Behavior

Note: This is the fifth in a series of six blog posts being featured based on principles found in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s seminal psychology book entitled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It is essential reading for any marketer. Previous blog posts in this series can be located by clicking on the author’s name.

The principle of consistency suggests that once someone makes a decision, they will tend to make similar, complimentary choices that reinforce their original decision. To prove the point, Dr. Cialdini sites a study where homeowners were asked if they would be willing to put a sign in their front lawn asking drivers passing by to “Drive Safely.”

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The FTC's $9.8 Million "Free Trials" Refund

by Bill McClellan on Oct 19, 2017 11:15:46 AM Government Relations

I have just returned from the hugely successful 2017 ERA D2C Convention held at the Wynn Las Vegas. While in our meetings at D2C, there was a lot of conversation about self-regulation and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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Friday Forecast: But Wait...There Really is More...5 Fast Takeaways From Lipstick's Francine Bergman

by Rick Petry on Oct 13, 2017 10:14:22 AM Digital Marketing, Advertisements

This is the third in an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

Recently your Friday Forecaster sat down with Francine Bergman, the president and producer extraordinaire behind Lipstick, Inc., a premier Los Angeles-based production and marketing company that specializes in direct response television (DRTV).

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Marketplace Vendors Offered Voluntary Closing Agreement Program for State Tax Exposure

by Tammara F. Langlieb and Walter R. Calvert on Oct 10, 2017 12:10:56 PM Government Relations

As states continue their quest to compel online vendors to collect sales and use tax on sales to customers located in the state and to subject such vendors to state income tax, a current trend has been targeting vendors selling via online marketplaces. Some states assert that the presence of inventory held for a vendor or the presence of the marketplace provider/facilitator in a state acting on behalf of a vendor is sufficient nexus or connection of the vendor with the state to subject the vendor to the state’s taxing jurisdiction.

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Friday Forecast: Principles of Influence Part 4: Authority As a Trust Builder

by Rick Petry on Oct 6, 2017 5:53:44 PM Consumer Behavior

Note: This is the fourth in a series of six blog posts being featured in the coming weeks and months based on principles found in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s seminal psychology book entitled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It is essential reading for any marketer.

According to Dr. Cialdini, the principle of authority reveals that “people will follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.” In direct marketing this authority can take the form of a professional endorser, a celebrity spokesperson, or even a credible testimonial.

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Friday Forecast: Manhattan Media's CEO Marianna Morello Shares 5 Fast Takeaways from Three Decades in Marketing

by Rick Petry on Sep 29, 2017 10:32:18 AM Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

Recently your Friday Forecaster chatted with Marianna Morello, the trailblazing entrepreneur who founded Manhattan Media Services some 22 years ago. Here are five key insights she shared with us that have helped provide the foundation of her success.

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Managing the Risk of Negative Option Offers and Other Marketing Strategies

by Bill McClellan on Sep 27, 2017 9:01:00 AM Government Relations

At the end of August, I wrote a blog entitled “Advisory: Free Trials, Automatic Renewals & the Road Ahead.” The blog covered how regulators, both state and federal, as well as state legislatures have keyed in on negative option offers and automatic renewals. 

It’s a big deal that isn’t going away anytime soon.

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Running Down Amazon’s New Return Policy & Why It’s Not the Disaster Retailers Expect

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Sep 25, 2017 11:27:47 AM e-Commerce, Retail

Amazon Marketplace sellers are in an uproar over the retail giant’s return policy. Some are going as far as to claim that new rules, which take effect October 2, will “crush” small businesses and force them out of the market.

With all the confusion and anger about these policy changes, I wanted to take this opportunity to look at them more closely. What are these new rules all about, and are they really the doomsday prophecy so many retailers are predicting?

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The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.