They May Come But Will They Come Back?

September 26, 2006

Last year you sold 200 calendars and 100 guides for Christian Prayer. Congratulations!

Are those people going to come back this year? Are you doing anything to get people to come back this year?

One of the most important laws in retail is that it is far easier to sell to a returning customer and your sales are likely to be far greater to returning customers than new ones.

It is only six weeks until Advent so it is time to plan NOW for those yearly products.  First, have your point of sale system print out a report of all the customers who bought yearly items (calendars, missal guides, Christmas cards, Advent candles, etc.) last year… You do have a computer system that allows you to do this, right? If not, you need to find a point-of-sale system now!

For those that do have a customer list, you need to create email messages for each segment in this report. Here at Aquinas and More, we created the following lists: Christmas Cards, Ordos, 2007 Guides for Christian Prayer, Missals and the yearly St. Joseph Missal, Oplatki, Magnificat Advent Companions and Advent candles.

Now you need to send reminders to your customers that these items are available. If you have email addresses, we recommend using Intellicontact for your  mailings. They are inexpensive and have a good set of features for email newsletters. If you just have mailing addresses, send a postcard with a coupon on it that the customer has to bring in.  The reason is that you need to track the success of your mailing. If you can’t track advertising, don’t pay for it. At our company, every ad we place in bulletins or mailings we send out have some way to track the campaign. That way, we can see if the money we put into the campaign was worth the cost.

Once you have sent your messages you are going to want to keep track of your marketing. I suggest a 3-ring binder with pockets that can hold samples of your campaigns along with a sheet that has the following information:

  • Name of campaign
  • Dates
  • Cost and contact information for suppliers involved in the campaign
  • Projected earnings and assumptions
  • Actual results
  • Lessons learned

This way, you can look back on your campaigns next year to see what can be done to improve. Never assume that the campaign you created is as successful as it can possibly be. Even if you got a 100% response, you can work on increasing order size and reducing costs next time.

Why is Baptism necessary? Learn more with Aquinas and More Catholic Goods

September 25, 2006

Weekly Newsletter

Why is Baptism necessary?

September 25, 2006


We have a great selection of Baptism greeting cards!

Have you seen these beautiful crib ornaments? The perfect Baptism gift!

We can also create customized Baptismal Holy Cards. Help your friends and family commemorate this special day!

Today I Was Baptized tells a heartwarming story of an infant baptism that includes short essays about the sacrament of baptism, its origin and traditions. There is also room for you to record the story of your baby’s baptism. The book is beautifully illustrated and one that you are sure to want as a keepsake of this special day.

The biggest online selection of Baptismal crosses!

Here is a new idea – how about a Baptismal Shell? Beautiful shells in several designs come gift boxed!

Here is a link to our entire selection of Baptism/RCIA products. You are sure to find what you are looking for, even for those hard to shop for friends!

Christians have always interpreted the Bible literally when it declares, “Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:21; cf. Acts 2:38, 22:16, Rom. 6:3–4, Col. 2:11–12).

Thus the early Church Fathers wrote in the Nicene Creed (A.D. 381), “We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Lord himself affirms that baptism is necessary for salvation [John 3:5]. . . . Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament [Mark 16:16]” (CCC 1257).

The Christian belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is so unshakable that even the Protestant Martin Luther affirmed the necessity of baptism. He wrote: “Baptism is no human plaything but is instituted by God himself. Moreover, it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we shall not be saved. We are not to regard it as an indifferent matter, then, like putting on a new red coat. It is of the greatest importance that we regard baptism as excellent, glorious, and exalted” (Large Catechism 4:6).

Yet Christians have also always realized that the necessity of water baptism is a normative rather than an absolute necessity. There are exceptions to water baptism: It is possible to be saved through “baptism of blood,” martyrdom for Christ, or through “baptism of desire”, that is, an explicit or even implicit desire for baptism.
Read More Here.

Homeschooling Bleg

September 17, 2006

One of the things that we have tried to do as a Catholic store is cater to the needs of homeschoolers. Apart from the Catholic on-line stores that focus almost exclusively on homeschooling material, we appear to be the only Catholic on-line store that puts a large amount of resources into finding and carrying Catholic homeschooling material.

I am interested in where throughout the United States there are strong Catholic homeschooling communities. Here in Colorado Springs our homeschool coop has over 100 kids involved, there is a pastor who has really been welcoming to the homeschooling community and our bishop celebrates an annual homeschool Mass. Where else are there large communities and are they supported by the diocese?

Just a Reminder…

September 17, 2006


The site we got this from has all kinds of neat banner countdowns.

You CAN Teach your kids Latin

September 17, 2006

This post was eaten by WordPress a couple of weeks ago so I am finally getting around to rewriting it.

The Latin Centered CurriculumAs I have gotten older, one of my biggest regrets about my education (both school and self taught) is a failure to learn some Latin. I have been in a polyphonic choir and attended Latin Masses for years but have never sat down to learn what I am saying.

I have resolved to fix this defect partly because of a new book called The Latin Centered Curriculum. This book is the ideal tool for parents who want their children to receive a “classical” education that actually involves reading the classics, learning Latin and Greek and graduating high school knowing how to think and learn instead of what passes for education in most places these days.

The book gives a brief history of education, a defense of a classical education and a suggested reading list from 1st – 12th grade. The center of the book is the largest and most important part. This section contains a curriculum overview for each year including scheduling and suggested reading.

Prima LatinaLingua AngelicaFor those who would like to teach themselves and/or their children Latin, we highly recommend the Memoria Press Curriculum. This series starts with very rudimental lessons for 1st and 2nd grade in Prima Latina and progresses through the Henle Latin series in high school. The series also teaches classic Latin hymns and chant in the Lingua Angelica program and also includes classes on logic, rhetoric, the Bible and historical biographies of ancient Greeks and Romans.

We are currently going through the Prima Latina book and by the end will hopefully know about 120 words, a few prayers and some basics of Latin grammar. Our 1st and 2nd grader are picking things up well and even our four-year-old and I have learned some of the words.

If you are planning on teaching your children some of the Greek and Roman classics, I strongly recommend the Questions for Thinkers series by Fran Rutherford (my Mom) and illustrated by James Rutherford (my brother). This series gives you study questions, maps, background, vocabulary lists and questions for further thought.

The Greek set consisting of a student workbook and teacher’s guide includes sections on the following works:

  • Iliad by Homer
  • Odyssey by Homer
  • Selections from The Histories by Herodotus
  • History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
  • The Persian Expedition by Xenophon
  • The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Choephori, The Eumenides) by Aeschylus
  • The Three Theban Plays (Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus) by Sophocles
  • The Clouds by Aristophanes
  • The Republic of Plato

The Roman set includes:

  • Early History of Rome by Live
  • War with Hannibal by Livy
  • Conspiracy of Catiline by Sallust
  • Attack on an Enemy of Freedom Cicero
  • Attack on Misgovernment by Cicero
  • The Annals of Imperial Rome by Tacitus
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • The Metamorphoses by Ovid
  • The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Early Christian Writings
  • The Confessions by St. Augustine
  • The City of God by St. Augustine
  • The Brothers Menaechmi by Plautus
  • The Brothers by Terence

For those who would like to have a ready-made resource for teaching the great works of Greece and Rome (and coming soon, Medieval times), there isn’t a better resource. Yes, this is family but after my Mom homeschooled three kids through high school and wrote these books because nothing else was out there, I think I’m pretty unbiased about the quality of the work.

Support a Very Worthwhile Cause…

September 17, 2006

Our Lady of Guadalupe ShrineDivine Mercy Lapel Pin RosaryAugustine Xavier Urban was born this week! His parents are importers of Catholic products from Central and South America. They import hand-painted oil paintings, hand-carved statues, bracelets, scapulars and other items proving that quality products can be found at reasonable prices without having to resort to China.

So help support a growing (three young boys so far!) Catholic family and their South American suppliers.

Is Church History Bound to Repeat Itself?

September 11, 2006

Weekly Newsletter

Is Church History bound to repeat itself?

September 11, 2006


A Knights of Columbus Council is selling car magnets that say “Keep Christ in Christmas”. These are available here on Ebay. If you are a member of the Knights and would like to use these as a fundraiser, please contact the seller.

The anniversary of the Vatican II council is on October 11. Until then we are offering 10% off of our Church History section!

Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today is a precious gift of Wisdom. It explains how providential are the trials through which the Catholic Church is now passing. The need of the Papal Primacy to ensure Christian unity; the true meaning of the Priesthood as a sacrament and not a mere ministry; the necessity of the Eucharist as the Sacrifice of the Savior now offering Himself on our altars; the role of the Bishops as successors of the Apostles, united with the successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome; the value of suffering in union with Christ crucified; the indispensable service of the laity in the apostolate – all these are becoming more clear and meaningful in the life of the Church.

Confusion in the Pews

When Catholics learned a pro-abortionist was speaking at their retreat center, they knew something was terribly wrong. Just what is going on in the Church? Why are the faithful betrayed by abortion scandals? Why is the Blessed Sacrament hidden in a coat-closet? Why is a woman concelebrating Mass with a priest? Why are special liturgies held for “gays”? Why does a Catholic high-school girl work at Planned Parenthood?

Irrespective of your knowledge of the post Vatican II era, you will be shocked to discover how the authentic teachings of the Council were misconstrued by dissidents and why they remain in control.

The Catholic Church in America is in a state of crisis. But what does the crisis really involve? Where did it come from? And how might the Church turn crisis into opportunity? Bestselling author and theologian George Weigel argues in The Courage To Be Catholic that the path to genuine Catholic reform does not lie in accommodating the truth to the spirit of the age, but in a renewed commitment to living the fullness of Catholic faith.

Crouan says in his book, The Liturgy After Vatican II, that the great majority of Catholics need and want, not celebrations that are “pastorally correct”, but a Eucharistic liturgy that offers all the guarantees of Catholicity and leads them to an authentic contemplation of the mysteries being celebrated. He expresses the urgency needed to examine what is going on in parish churches, and to clarify matters by acknowledging the liturgical errors in order to establish a greater fidelity to the real teaching of Vatican II and the Roman Missal.

There are the saints and sinners, popes and kings that God used to shape his Church and change the world. Youll meet Clovis and Charlemagne, Luther and Pope Leo, Suleiman and St. Francis, the Arians, the Franks, the Huguenots, and others whose sins or sacrifices altered the course of history.

Here, too, are the wars and plagues, the ideas and institutions — and, yes, the miracles — that gave birth to our Christian civilization and often threatened to doom it. Experience the battles of Tours and Lepanto, the Crusades, the Russian Revolution, and Fatima, the miracle that foretold (and offered a way to prevent) the conflicts that killed millions in the twentieth century. Wars and terrorism have rendered the first years of our new century no less bloody. Has God now abandoned us?

Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know finds the answer in history: from the first days of the Christian era, at key moments when civilization hung in the balance, God has intervened — sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically — but ever and always he has come forward himself or given strength to those who were faithful to him.

The Catholic Church The First 2000 Years is a popular overview and study guide to the history of the Catholic Church. Written for non-scholarly readers with little historical background, it includes descriptions of society in different historical eras in order to make the history of the Church more understandable. The book avoids unnecessary names, dates, and scholarly disputes, but it explains important doctrinal, spiritual, and historical questions and developments. It identifies many popular saints and includes interesting historical characters.

Every Catholic at some time in his life has undoubtedly felt a desire to know the history of the Catholic Church.  But where to begin the study of nearly 2000 years?  Probably no book was better conceived or better executed to fulfill this need than Church History by Fr. John Laux.  Written expressly both for students and adults; anyone who becomes familiar with this book will find that he has acquired an excellent background in Church history.  The author intersperses the history with many brief, interesting biographies of famous people, and at the end of each chapter, he quotes briefly from a famous writing of the era, blending a medley of elements into a comprehensive historical composition that is at once brilliant and fascinating.

How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization
Ask a college student today what he knows about the Catholic Church and his answer might come down to one word: “corruption.”

But that one word should be “civilization.”

Western civilization has given us the miracles of modern science, the wealth of free-market economics, the security of the rule of law, a unique sense of human rights and freedom, charity as a virtue, splendid art and music, a philosophy grounded in reason, and innumerable other gifts that we take for granted as the wealthiest and most powerful civilization in history. But what is the ultimate source of these gifts? Bestselling author and professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr. provides the long neglected answer:

the Catholic Church.

Great Moments in Catholic History

unique 8”x10” volume explains 100 memorable events in Catholic history. Each page includes the detailed text and a beautiful illustration of a particular event in Catholic history. The answers to thousands of questions will be found in these pages—invaluable to Catholics, and especially to the youth of our day. This book should find a place in every Catholic home, school or office in the English speaking world. The volume is beautiful, the illustrations a treasure and the information priceless. An added attraction is 500 questions (and what page to find the answers) in the back of this beautiful book.

The truth will set us free. So says Christ. If this is so, which of course it is, it follows that falsehood will enslave us. Falsehood in history prevents us from understanding our past and, in consequence, our present.

Properly understood, history is a chronological map that shows us not only where we have come from but also where we are and how we got here. It is also possible to project where we are likely to be going in the future by drawing the line of knowledge on the chronological map from where we have come from to where we are now and extending the line into the realm of future possibilities.
Read More Here.

Another Marketing Tip

September 1, 2006

There are three main venues to promote your site that use pay-per-click (ppc) marketing: Google, MSN, and Yahoo Marketing, which used to be called Overture.

We have by far had the best success with Google but I strongly recommend getting a Yahoo account simply for their marketing manual. It’s over 100 pages of great tips on how to market with keywords and includes formulas on calculating  return on investment, customer value, etc. It also has a section on creating a marketing plan. While the examples are written for Yahoo, the information will work just as well anywhere else.

Give it a try!

Google Advertising – Sometimes Good, Sometimes Not

September 1, 2006

Google keyword advertising can be a very cost-effective way to promote your business. I think that in the last year we have only had one week where we lost money ($15).

However, Google has two different types of advertising. First is the keyword advertising that everyone is familiar with – type in a keyword on Google and you get search results as well as ads.

Second is the content network where sites that use Google Adsense display ads related to their site content. We have found that the exposure on the content network is very high but click-through is almost zero. We have also found that there are plenty of Adsense scam sites that look like web site directories but are really just made up of Google ads. Today I asked Google how I could see a list of sites that our ads appear on . They said that to protect the privacy of those who display the ads, they can’t give out a list but that it is possible to exclude up to 500 sites from the places where my ads could appear.

Did you catch that? I can’t know where my ads appear but I can exclude 500 sites that may or may not be displaying my ads. Because of this bizzare logic and poor performance, we turned off our content ads this morning.