Print-Plus: Climbing Out of the Foxhole
Don’t Dedupe Duplicates
When prospecting in back-to-back mailings four weeks to six weeks apart, should previously used names from an outside list or co-op be eliminated? There will be duplicate names, but I don’t recommend omitting previous usage. Here’s why:
- In outside list rentals, any omits would mean a zero balance (unless older names are mailed that likely wouldn’t perform as well). You could replace some of the prospecting quantity with lists that aren’t already being used, but the prospecting universe is substantially reduced if previous names are eliminated from any given list.
- Cooperative database prospect models, what co-ops call “prior” names, do well. These records came to the top of the model twice, at least. The duplication rate between mailings depends on a number of factors — product category, which months the models are run, how different the customers are between the various mailings, number of names being taken, etc. Also, duplication is higher in top segments than lower segments.
A model is designed by building a profile of customers and selecting prospects from the database that look like those customers being modeled. If customers for one mailing and the next are basically the same, the profile will look the same. The model will pull many of the same names since the profile and databases don’t change. Names receiving both catalogs outperform those that receive only one catalog.
The printed catalog drives shoppers to the web. As the economy begins to improve, it just might be time to get back into prospecting mode.
Stephen R. Lett is president of the catalog consulting firm Lett Direct Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org).