Connect the dots.
All good catalog marketers know their customers’ lifetime value. And those who are savvy have a handle on their customers’ spending patterns by channel. In today’s multichannel environment, the winners are those who synchronize their online and offline efforts.
There are many studies showing that customers who interact with a cataloger in more than one channel spend dramatically more than a single-channel customer. J.C. Penney was one of the first to come to this realization. A study the multichannel retail giant conducted with Abacus on annual spending showed:
• Internet-only shoppers spent —$151.
• Catalog-only shoppers spent —$201.
• Retail-only shoppers spent —$195.
• Two-channel shoppers spent —between $446 and $608.
• Three-channel shoppers spent —$887.
With results like these, it’s obvious that anything you can do to encourage your customers and prospects to interact with you in more than one channel will allow you to reap significant benefits.
Here are five ideas on how to be effective at cross-channel marketing.
1. Synchronize your catalog and e-mail communications. This is easiest to accomplish with your house list. One effective tactic is to use e-mail to pre-announce your catalog. Be sure to feature the cover of the catalog in your e-mail. This provides a visual cue to recipients and may help your mailing stand out in a cluttered mailbox.
The Sharper Image uses this technique. And, to make its e-mail recipients feel special, it tells readers that they’re getting a “sneak preview” and often includes a special time-sensitive offer.
Or, time your e-mail so it reaches the recipient after the catalog has been delivered. This helps extend the catalog’s life and should generate more sales.
Brooks Brothers does a good job at this. When the catalog is delivered early in the week, the regular e-mail for the week features the catalog cover. And, even better, the homepage also features the catalog cover. That’s smart! In its next weekly e-mail, it features items from either the first inside spread or the back cover.