10 Terrific Uses of E-mail
4. Use e-mail to support the catalog mailing. The most common use is to follow up a catalog mailing with an e-mail message within a couple of days. (This is used mostly with housefile mailings.) Mailers have seen a significant increase in response rates when both e-mail and printed catalogs are used, compared to mailing a print catalog by itself.
It’s also smart to test the strength of specific items before a catalog is mailed. By measuring customer response to a product from an
e-mail campaign, it’s possible to anticipate appropriate inventory levels for a mailing, or even to help discern which products should be featured on the catalog cover.
5. Stay in touch with customers between catalog mailings. One of the challenges all marketers face is maintaining brand awareness and customer loyalty. E-mail can help.
Using e-mail, you can communicate frequently with customers. Messages can be informative, as well as sales-oriented. For some product categories, an e-mail containing helpful hints could be used. For instance, a gardening catalog could send e-mails with tips on combating garden bugs. A kitchen products catalog could e-mail recipes.
At minimum, a thank-you note from the catalog president for an order is a valuable tool toward maintaining customer loyalty.
6. Conduct customer surveys. Send e-mails to recent customers to discover what they thought of their shopping experiences. Were phone operators courteous? Did the merchandise meet the customer’s expectations? Was the order delivered on time? Asking customers about their experiences helps them think of you as customer-oriented. It’s also a chance to identify issues with your merchandise or fulfillment that can be fixed before they become major challenges.
7. Reactivate previous customers. You probably won’t have e-mail addresses for many of your inactive customers. Several services can provide e-mail addresses based on your customers’ names and mailing addresses.