Danny’s Organic Marketplace
To make it easier for consumers to find organic products, Daniel Judy launched Danny’s Organic Marketplace last year. The catalog mailed to 80,000 prospects based in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The Willoughby, OH-based catalog’s organic products, which range from vegetables to chocolates to coffee, are made from ingredients grown without the use of herbicides and insecticides and produced without artificial flavors and other additives. Prices range from $1.55 for a can of beans to $1,600 for a king-size mattress made of organic fibers. Judy, a former sales executive for a metal fittings manufacturer, says the organic-foods industry intrigued him “because it’s still small enough for growth potential.” He has a personal interest in the niche as well: “My wife and I have four children, and we were using organic products more and more.”
The company mailed its first edition only to prospects in three states because it wanted to keep shipping costs low during its first year. Prospects were culled from subscriber lists of organic-lifestyle magazines such as Organic Style as well as from compiled lists of individuals with a history of purchasing organic items by mail.
The 72-page catalog, which has since mailed every month to 500-1,000 of the initial 80,000 prospects, has a response rate of 1.5%, says Judy. He aims to produce four editions a year.
The company is considering creating a six- to eight-page supplement of its best-sellers to be inserted into the middle of the catalogs. What’s more, Danny’s Organic Marketplace might launch a line of branded products in the future.
Product category: organic products First mailing: November 2003 Size of distribution: 80,000 Target audience: women ages 28-54 with an interest in healthy living Frequency: monthly Competitors: Diamond Organics, The Mail Order Catalog for Healthy Eating Average price point: $50 Number of pages: 72 Size: 8-1/2″ × 11″ Telephone: 440-951-4846
MacKenzie-Childs, a manufacturer/retailer of whimsical ceramics, is now a cataloger as well. The Aurora, NY-based company dropped its first catalog in May to an undisclosed number of customers and rented names.
The 36-page catalog sells the company’s signature majolica tabletop ceramics, such as salad servers, platters, and large serving bowls. Prices range from $25 to $450. Vice president of marketing and product development Jennifer Ellsworth says the company in February launched a line of garden ceramics such as garden pots, urns, and tables, which will be available in future editions.
Founded in 1983 by Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, the company had filed for bankruptcy in November 2000. It came out of bankruptcy in June 2001, when Pleasant Rowland — founder of Middleton, WI-based dolls cataloger Pleasant Co. (now known as American Girl) — bought it. Rowland, who had sold Pleasant Co. to Mattel in 1998 and retired in 2000, paid about $5 million for MacKenzie-Childs.
The company mailed 750,000 copies of the second drop to customers and prospects in October. MacKenzie-Childs tentatively expects to mail the catalog four times in 2005.
Product category: ceramics First mailing: May 2004 Target audience: upscale consumers Frequency: at least twice a year Competitors: Design Toscano, Artistica, Duquella Tile & Clayworks Average order size: $250 Number of pages: 36 Size: 8-1/2″ × 11″ Telephone: 888-665-1999
Two years after launching pet gifts and accessories Website CanineLoft.com, Pet Doors USA last November mailed the first Canine Loft print catalog.
A Bradenton, FL-based marketer of dog doors and cat flaps founded by brothers Joe and Richard Ambrose, Pet Doors USA had received numerous inquiries from customers about dog-related items, which inspired them to start CanineLoft.com in December 2001. “The catalog was launched to better serve the customer and inquiry list we had built up since launching the Website,” says Richard Ambrose. “We saw that there had been an increasing demand for dog-related gift merchandise.”
The 32-page debut issue mailed to 30,000 people who had requested the catalog from the CanineLoft Website. The slim-jim catalog sells clothing and gifts specific to more than 150 dog breeds. Items range in price from $20 to $350; the average order size is $85.
The company would not reveal specific response rates, but the initial mailing was successful enough to lead to a second catalog edition, which mailed in May, also to 30,000 customers and requesters. The next edition is scheduled to drop in February; the company will mail four editions in 2005.
Product category: gifts for dog lovers First mailing: November 2003 Size of distribution: 30,000 Target audience: dog owners Frequency: quarterly Competitors: Planet Dog, Orvis Dog Book, PetsMart Direct Average order size: $85 Number of pages: 32 Size: 6″ × 11″ Telephone: 800-749-9609
Elderhostel is looking for younger travelers. The Boston-based organization, which offers educational travel programs for adults ages 55 and over, is targeting consumers in their 40s and 50s with its Road Scholar catalog.
Road Scholar, which mailed in February to 130,000 house file names, offers trips similar to Elderhostel outings but less formal in structure, says spokesperson Cady Goldfield. The typical Road Scholar program, such as the $2,200 Footloose in Switzerland, a tour of the Swiss countryside via foot, bike, train, and cable car, allows more free time for personal exploration than an Elderhostel program would, says Goldfield. The 36-page catalog offers customers, organized in groups of a maximum of 24, both domestic and international travel programs, with eclectic accommodations ranging from upscale resorts to college guesthouses.
Programs range from the $1,290 New York: Behind the Velvet Curtain, which includes backstage visits with Broadway professionals, to the $3,500 A Spiritual Journey Through India, which focuses on the history and current practice of Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, among India’s other faiths and philosophies. The average price point is $2,100.
“Response to the first catalog has been very good,” Goldfield says. “After mailing in late February, four programs of the 22 featured filled right away, and many other programs had healthy enrollments well in advance of their start dates.” Road Scholar mailed its 2005 catalog in late August to more than 141,000 customers and prospects. New programs include cultural immersion in Morocco and dog-sledding in Minnesota. The catalog will mail three times next year.
Product category: travel First mailing: February 2004 Size of distribution: 130,000 Target audience: adults in their 40s and 50s Frequency: three times a year Competitors: Wilderness Travel, Backroads, Mountain Travel Sobek Average price point: $2,100 Number of pages: 36 Size: 11″ × 8-1/2″ Telephone: 800-466-7762