Shortly after Marsha and John Zimmerman became the happy parents of twins in 1998, they realized they had few options for products and services geared to multiple-birth parents. To take some of the struggle out of being parents of twins, the couple launched a Twins Help Website (www.twinshelp.com) in October 1999, followed by a 24-page print catalog in June 2000.
The catalog sells products such as coordinated clothing for children and diaper bags that hold enough gear for two tykes. It also features hints and tips on parenting multiples.
“Probably our biggest challenge has been finding suitable mailing lists,” John Zimmerman says. The cataloger depends heavily on the Twins magazine subscriber file and the lists of regional organizations devoted to multiple births. But finding a list company to help target this niche has been difficult, he says – despite the fact that 2.6% of all U.S. births are twins.
The Zimmermans, who run operations under their firm, Miller Zimmerman Ltd., were impressed with the catalog’s response rate of more than 3%. Orders averaged $50-$100, with silk-screened T-shirts being the most popular items. The company plans four mailings in 2001, of at least 30,000 books each, and more if they can find additional sources of names.