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Cataloger Challenged by Lack of Lists Targeting Twins

Raising twins can be a challenge for some parents, but finding a list company offering the names of parents who have experienced multiple-child births is proving to be a tougher challenge for husband-and-wife catalogers Marsha and John Zimmerman.

The co-owners dropped 100,000 copies of their Twins Help catalog in November. This is the company's second mailing following the initial launch in June when 30,000 books were sent. But like the spring drop, the Zimmermans had to rely on their Web site as well as organizations that cater to “multiple birth” families to obtain prospects.

“There isn't much out there,” said Mr. Zimmerman. “We've gone to list companies, but none have been able to provide us with lists for parents of twins. We've contacted [all of the] major list companies that we know of and haven't had any luck.”

Meanwhile, the couple continues to build its house list and is hoping that, with the increase in multiple births and the growing demand for products and services for this niche group, list companies will take a harder look at acquiring names.

“Other catalogers can go to a list company and say, 'We want households with incomes of $75,000 or more and five kids,' but they can't tell us if they are parents of twins,” Mrs. Zimmerman said.

Inside the catalog and at the Web site, www.twinshelp.com, people are encouraged to tell other couples of multiple births about Twins Help.

“We've had so many requests from clubs,” Mrs. Zimmerman said. “Once the moms find us they want to share it with everyone they know, and that has enabled us to grow our database.”

The couple did not reveal the return on investment needed to make the current catalog drop successful, nor did they discuss the cost of producing and mailing the catalog.

The Zimmermans founded their company, Miller Zimmerman Ltd., Dublin, OH, at the start of the year, nearly two years after the birth of their twins.

The 24-page color catalog features clothing, books, toys, services and general information regarding twins. Each page has between four and six items. Weaved between items, such as strollers and jewelry, are short stories and advice to help new parents of twins. Mrs. Zimmerman said they wanted to keep the catalog personal and chatty.

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