Strategy: Logical Maneuvers for Hard Times
Obviously, not all segments should be mailed. Your RFM results will tell you how deep to mail. Forty percent to 45 percent of your 12-month buyers will make a repeat purchase within the year, so mail them
6. E-Mail Campaigns, Appending
E-mail your customers on a regular basis — every week or more during your busy season. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to keep in touch. Coordinate your e-mail campaigns with your catalog mailings. Let e-mail blasts work between catalog drops.
By all means, start an e-mail append program, and run it at least twice a year. Approximately 25 percent of consumers change their e-mail addresses every year. Update these “bad” addresses, and add e-mail addresses where they’re missing to your zero- to 24-month buyers and catalog requestors with a regular, ongoing e-mail append program. I’m seeing match rates of 20 percent or higher.
Finally, stay the course. Companies that cut circulation, reduce page counts or make other radical changes without prior testing wind up paying the price. These slash-and-burn tactics never pay. Absolutely, you should cut your marginal circulation. But maintain your 12-month buyer count; don’t drop it below the previous year. Your 12-month buyer count is a key performance indicator to watch on a monthly basis. What’s more, don’t adjust mail dates to try to save money.
Weather the storm. Stay on course. This too shall pass.
Stephen R. Lett is president of Lett Direct, a catalog consulting firm specializing in circ planning, forecasting and analysis since 1995. He’s the author of “Strategic Catalog Marketing.” You can reach him at (302) 539-7257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.