Strategy: Prospecting to Selected ‘Pockets’
A headline of the July 5, 2006, edition of USA Today reported that we are now a nation of 300 million people. By 2025 the U.S. population is projected to reach 350 million; 400 million by 2040. With the population growing, why is it more difficult to prospect cost-effectively, and why aren’t universe counts increasing?
This month, I’ll discuss ways to expand your prospecting universe, even when the print catalog market size doesn’t seem to be growing.
According to Abacus, catalog households are declining as overall households are increasing. With more buyers ordering via the Internet (not necessarily the driving media), the count of catalog households has declined. This means that 12-month buyer counts, the heart and soul of all prospecting selects, aren’t increasing.
In fact, many 12-month buyer counts have been decreasing. This means catalogers are exhausting the files and re-mailing the same names again and again. Fatigue sets in and response rates decline. This is causing a shift toward the use of more prospect names selected from cooperative databases.
The quantity of names available from the co-ops isn’t increasing, either. But co-ops can help expand the prospecting universe though statistical modeling, which identifies more targeted models worth testing. Cooperative databases account for at least 60 percent of all consumer prospecting, which is up from my estimate just two years ago.
Names selected from a co-op are super multibuyers who respond well to any number of different offers. These catalog buyers have been modeled from a cataloger’s actual buyer file; therefore, they’re highly qualified names. Again, the co-ops are able to identify pockets that help expand the prospecting universe. What’s more, they represent a good value for the money — renting for $70/M or less.
The steady increase in online shopping today obviously is affecting 12-month buyer universe counts. So how do catalogers continue to grow their businesses? Here are 10 proven ways to expand your prospecting universe at a time when prospecting universes are declining.