Dear Catalog CEOs:
Most of you tell me that you love Abacus because "it scales". Maybe a more appropriate term might be "you can spend an unlimited amount of money with no human intervention whatsoever".
This is why the co-ops beat out list organizations, right? Just spend $60,000 and you get access to a million names, with essentially zero effort.
Conversely, you tell me that online marketing "does not scale". You hate the concept of managing 50,000 keyword phrases, and display ads simply don't work well enough to generate even a handful of names. For customers age 51-67 (Judy), social media is meaningless, so you don't get the viral benefits that younger brands enjoy.
What to do?
MyHabit gives $20 credits if you invite friends.
DirecTV just gave me $100 for referring a new customer to them.
So there are other ways to manage new customer acquisition, aren't there? These methods, of course, require customers to do the work, and require customers to love our businesses so much that they want to spread the word. In other words, we have to do a lot of hard work (merchandising, customer service), ahead of time, in order to enjoy the downstream benefits of our work.