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Return on Intelligence

By Jim Gilbert

About Jim

Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing.

Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.

 

Shipping Insights

Rob Martinez
FedEx SmartPost to Raise Rates Again?
Mar 30, 2015

While FedEx SmartPost hasn't made any public announcements as of this publication, select customers have received written notifications of a...



Designed to Convert

Tim Ash
If You Need More Darned Clutter on Your Site ...
Mar 27, 2015

You've probably heard this one before: When you're trying to get a visitor to your site, you should be screaming...



Catalog Doctor

Susan J. McIntyre
Where NOT to Cut Costs in Your Catalog Business
Mar 19, 2015

Cost cutting among catalog brands has been widespread for the past few years — and with good results. It's kept...



Return on Inventory

Joe Palzkill
Get Returns on Your Returns
Mar 5, 2015

With the advent of omnichannel retailing, the subject of customer returns has become a hot topic for retailers. The financial...



The Art of Delivering Style

Maria Haggerty
The Best Packages of 2014
Feb 17, 2015

As retailers make decisions for 2015, capitalizing on branded and personalized packaging strategies should be a priority. Retailers don't need...



Print-Plus

Stephen Lett
50 Best Tips for 2015
Feb 9, 2015

It's a new year and the Lett Direct team has put together "50 Best Tips for 2015" that will help you increase...



Retail Rants & Raves

Joe Keenan
Retail Jobs Not so Bad After All?
Oct 15, 2014

The National Retail Federation (NRF) today released a study authored by a University of Georgia economist who found that retail jobs...



Retail Revelations

Melissa Campanelli
When Email Snafus Happen to Good Companies
Nov 12, 2014

Say it ain't so! I was actually sad when I read in MarketWatch this week that Seattle-based online retailer Zulily’s...



Email Marketing Bites

Liz Ryan
The Email Hierarchy of Needs: Deliverability is the Foundation
Jun 18, 2014

If you're not getting the most of your email messaging, you might not be asking the right questions. How many...



Email Applied

Reggie  Brady
Subject Lines That Work
Jul 18, 2014

Standing out in the inbox isn't easy. A lot of promotional emails I receive have subject lines that aren't special....



ThinkAbout: Inspirational Verve for Your Product Line!

Andrea Syverson
Springboard From Your Brand Filter
Jun 26, 2014

One of the most important ways I strengthen my clients’ brands and product lines is by collaborating with their leaders...



B-to-B Insights

George Hague
2 Must-Have B-to-B Metrics
Apr 9, 2014

Smart CEOs know two essential B-to-B metrics to successfully grow their businesses: contribution per order (CPO) for new customers and...



8 ‘Modern Day’ Digital and Social Media Marketing Myths Debunked

Call me a heretic, but a lot of the "gospel of modern digital marketing" seems a bit too familiar to me. Digital marketers have done a great job of discrediting "traditional" direct marketing in an effort to make what they're selling (pure digital) more palatable. I get it. They need an edge, and bashing channels like DRTV and direct mail, while building up search engine optimization, inbound and social makes sense for them. But lets get real for a minute, shall we? Many digital marketers

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An Open Letter to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg After His Lame ‘Thank You for Being an Advertiser’ Pop-Up

As a marketer, I've put my best efforts into building not just likes, but deeply engaged communities on Facebook. And when you changed Facebook to a "pay for play" business, I had to pay to build my fan base, and then pay again to get my posts out (i.e., boosted) to the same fans, I accepted it for a while. But now I have to ask you this: Why the double whammy, Mark?

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LinkedIn Adds Tagging Feature to Pulse Blog Posts

Great news for LinkedIn long-form bloggers. Yesterday as I published a new post, I found an excellent new LinkedIn Pulse feature. All LinkedIn publishers have the ability to create tags to help amplify their readership. The tags are on the bottom of your post creation page.  Read More >>

Content Engagement Allows for Connection and ‘REALationships,’ Part 1, Linkedin

We are, in my opinion, starting to rely on social media automation tools too much — the consequence of which is losing our ability to build real connections and lasting, durable relationships. Here are some tips for engaging your audience. Once engaged, you have their attention for a short window. That's the time to reach out and personally make a connection. Connections and relationships, sorry, REALationships are the currency that drives return on investment and true success in social

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LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 3

This week in the third and final part of this series, I offer suggestions for how LinkedIn's publishing platform can be improved upon for its next iteration. While I really love the message amplification I'm getting using LinkedIn Publisher, I think it can get even better.  Here are some things I would love to see in the platform's next update:  Read More >>

LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 2

Without sounding too clumsy, being a thought leader in your industry is a good thing. In online retailing, it's about building a buzz around your brand, products or service. The easiest way to build thought leadership is to generate content for your target market that resonates. Here are some tips to help you get your message read by a wide audience on Linkedin:   Read More >>

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LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 1

LinkedIn's new publishing platform is in the roll-out stage. It gives LinkedIn members the ability to create long-form posts similar to blog posts. Users create posts like they would a status update on the top of their personal page. High-quality posts can receive thousands of views, plus likes, comments and shares on other social platforms, thus amplifying the message exponentially. I've been very pleased with the results I've seen in the two-and-a-half months I've been using the...  Read More >>

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How to Avoid Facebook’s New Feed Spam Trap

Changes have been rolling out on the top social media networks: Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. For Linkedin and Twitter, these changes are beneficial; for Facebook, they will help in the long run, but for many marketers it will be an adjustment. Here are three ways to get in trouble with your Facebook business posts. Make sure all admins in your organization are aware of these ASAP:

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2 Simple Ways to Become a Social Media Thought Leader and Build Your Following

Today I begin a new series about social media marketing. The goal is to help you become more adept at getting exposure for your business, or yourself for that matter. For this installment, I focus on general tips. As I get deeper into the series, I'll get specific to individual platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). These social media marketing tips can be used anywhere. Want to become a thought leader in your industry? Start (as I did) with these steps:  Read More >>

Branding and Management #Fail: What Does Ruth’s Chris Steak House Have to Do With Moe’s Southwest Grill?

There's an old marketing adage that goes like this: How many drops of pee does it take to ruin the punch? The answer naturally is just one. I recently visited Ruth's Chris Steak House in my hometown for a family dinner. The service was excellent, the food was just OK … but that's not the story!

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A Guide to Disaster Planning for Your Business

As I sit here stuck in a hotel room in North Carolina while it snows for the second day in a row, I realized it was time once again for my annual guide to disaster planning for your business. Is your business ready for a natural disaster or severe weather? Here are some tips that I've published over the years based on firsthand experience. (I live in Florida, so I've seen a few hurricanes, floods, tornados and other severe weather.)   Read More >>

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Facebook: Marketing's Greedy, Petulant Child

My congratulations to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his staff on its 10th birthday. As a consumer, I enjoy the social networking site as a connection portal to my friends and family. For that it is invaluable. However, as a marketer who has been there since Facebook business pages began, I really hope that the next 10 years of Facebook becomes more business-centric.  

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Much Ado About Marketing: Another Year, Another DMA Conference

Every year there's a different focus to the Direct Marketing Association's Annual Conference. This morning I'm heading out to Chicago to witness the spectacle once again. And once again (if you pardon the shameless self-promotion), I'll be presenting my session, The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing. My session is part of the DMA's "Back by Popular Demand" series. In truth, I haven't read much about DMA13. Frankly, I want to be surprised.  Read More >>

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Why I Love LinkedIn’s Skills Endorsement Feature

 

You may have noticed over the last few months that when you look at a person's LinkedIn profile, you're asked, "Does ‘Joe Blow’ have <insert these skills here> skills or expertise?" It's a blue box at the top of your screen, you can't miss it. Or you may have received an email telling you that you've "been endorsed for specific skills." This is a great feature on Linkedin, and here's why:

 

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Slinging Some Hash(tags) on Facebook

I'll keep this post short and sweet. Recently Facebook finally did something right for us marketers by opening its network for #hashtags. Frankly, it's about time it did something right. Facebook has been losing ground as a marketing platform — well, maybe it was never even meant to be a marketing platform — but be that as it may, it's done much to disconnect brands from their hard-won fans.  Read More >>

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