MeritDirect Event Panel Heading Back to the Future, Part 2
The issue of how we analyze our online traffic and paper-based or telephone-driven traffic is something we need to get an answer on. Sixty-five percent to 75 percent of all online transactions we close have the catalog involved somewhere.
We do have customers who only buy through our catalog. They only want the catalog; they pick up the phone, like to talk to customer service people, and never go on the web. But not many of our customers are pure web buyers — only 5 percent to 8 percent. Then there’s the mix in the middle where you have the transaction finished on the web and started in the catalog, or started on the web and finished on the phone.
The LTV of web customers is about one-third that of catalog customers. I don’t think that changes much. You can waste a lot of catalog sources with one-time buyers from the web.
Sexton: Mail will still drive the bus for us. It’s a mailers’ market now. You have hungry printers, hungry paper sellers, motivated list owners who are willing to negotiate reciprocal discounts — and a postage sale. We have to put pieces in the mail at a cost we couldn’t get 20 to 25 years ago. The question is: Can we find some people to mail to? We’re going deeper into reactivation efforts. We were kind of late with PPC, but then we went crazy with it. Then we invested in Omniture and in capturing more data.
Faith: We reduced our PPC budget more than we did for mail. If you analyze online vs. catalog buyers, the lifetime of catalog buyers is a lot stronger. We’re one-third online, and that third is less profitable. We’re moving more [money] off of our PPC budget to our catalog budget.
Check back next week for the final part of this three-part series.