A Synergistic Approach
Another strategy Country Store uses effectively with its best outside lists is cross-member optimization with the co-ops. Says Stanislawski, “This process occurs post-merge. We work with [other catalog] mailers to have their files at the co-op modeled. We provide the co-op our post-merge file. The co-op then adds unique names from the mailer’s file to our post-merge mailing file. This allows us to add prospecting names from our best-performing outside lists.”
One unusual list strategy working at Country Store is a housefile reactivation program that selectively mails housefile names that are as old as 92 months. By looking at recency, frequency and monetary data that typically pull from the old file a higher dollar level buyer and mostly multibuyers, Stanislawski says the catalog makes some pretty old names work. “This allows us to increase our mail quantities at times when we’d like to at very low additional cost,” he says.
Another strategy for outside list acquisition is the free gift offer. Minix says, “We’ll entice with a free subscription to Taste of Home magazine, a $19 value, as a catalog order free gift. No qualifier is needed for minimum order. Our catalog buyers love promotions like this, plus it gives us a new subscriber.”
Minix says they have to be careful not to extend this offer to anyone who already is a subscriber. “It’s really a great thing for both the catalog and for the magazines when we can profitably bring a new customer into the file from an outside source. Those new customers end up working very well for other channels here at Reiman.”
Country Store buyers tend to like special offers. Hence, both customers and prospects are sent special deals at different times in the buying cycle. “Free gifts, discounts, sales, shipping offers and percent-off offers work well for us,” Stanislawski says. “We have a stable of these offers that we rotate in and out.”