After the Hike: Mailing Strategies
Q: What types of hygiene methods are you using for your list?
A: Simply don’t mail to bad names. Look at what every piece of the catalog and marketing is adding, and especially look at square-inch analysis.
We NCOA seven times a year—every mailing. And we merge/purge with CCOA [change of addresses from credit card data] through Experian. If you do the economics, it’s a no-brainer.
Q: Are you using more online marketing?
A: We use e-mail as vitamins: They don’t make the plant grow, but they help the plant grow stronger. We do e-mail creative and marketing in-house, so there are no costs. Given that we’re selling high-end luxury products, e-mail doesn’t do the heavy lifting that the catalog does.
Q: Have you considered using sale catalogs that use lesser-quality paper and are smaller in circulation?
A: We have a 150-plus-page flagship that we put out four times a year. And then in between we use sales flyers four times a year and one for the holidays. Those tend to go to our best buyers and our freshest requesters.
We put deals in them, a product no one else has, where we own the market and at a great price. We put it on the cover. It’s more about brand on the bigger book. The sales flyers are more promotional.
Bill Ness, chief operating officer, Road Runner Sports catalog
Q: How are you gearing up to save money on your mailings once postal rates rise?
A: A little change in timing, not in method. We’re mailing a major catalog the day before the postal rate goes into effect, a few days earlier than we had planned.
Q: Have you considered reducing the weight of your catalog, and if so, how will you do that?
A: Not at this time.