Get a Little Bounce From Bouncebacks
When in doubt of what to include in a new customer bounceback, try a note of thanks, especially if it's hand-signed by the person who fulfilled the order.
To make this type of program work, you must identify new customers at the time of ordering or during order processing within your fulfillment system. From an operational standpoint, the new customer bounceback is often inventoried as an SKU and listed in some fashion on the pick-ticket as an item to include in the package. If you use this type of process, however, develop a system where out-of-stock bouncebacks will not create back-order situations.
3. Inventory liquidation. One challenge in liquidating inventory is that if you overpromote your available stock, you disappoint customers by running out of items. Consider the case of one smart merchandising manager who tracked her liquidation of inventory in terms of average number of each product sold per number of bouncebacks delivered in fulfillment packages. In time, she identified a predictable response and knew how many inserts any given product could sustain based on its current inventory level. Using an inexpensive on-demand printing solution, she continually liquidated inventory marked for discontinuation, avoiding the need for a sale catalog.
4. Marketing continuities. A continuity program allows customers to sign up to receive certain products or types of products on a regular basis. Often these programs market a consumable item, such as Harry & David’s Fruit of the Month Club or Gevalia’s coffee continuity program, or they may market niche products developed on an ongoing basis, such as specialty books.
The intricacies of continuity marketing go way beyond the scope of this article. But if your product line can fit a continuity program, consider developing one. In your projection scenario, include responses based on the number of catalog orders you receive per year. A typical bounceback’s response rate to a continuity offer averages about 0.1 percent. Despite low response and often low average order values, however, bouncebacks are a cost-effective way to market continuity programs, primarily due to the new members’ lifetime value.