Multichannel Marketing: Integrate E-mails With Catalog Mailings to Improve Results and Cut Circulation
When developing an e-mail contact strategy, define the purpose of e-mailing your customers, advises Chris Topping, chief executive officer for silk flower and accessories catalog Petals, in a recent whitepaper. While catalogs continue to be the primary driver of online sales for Petals, e-mails provide a more narrowly defined target strategy for the promotion of online sales
While Petals mails print catalogs every three to four weeks, it sends e-mails slightly more often, about every two to three weeks depending on seasonality, Topping says. While the e-mails are sent in support of the catalog mailing, they usually incentivize customers in a way that the catalogs don’t, using offers such as free shipping or discounts. “Our goal is always to maximize opportunities for the customer to purchase from Petals by providing multiple channels,” he writes.
Like most other catalogers, Topping prefers that Petals customers shop on the Web site because online orders cost significantly less per transaction. Ideally, he’d like to use e-mail to shift more phone orders to online orders, which could result in a lower number of catalogs in the mail. Realistically, however, Topping knows that both channels need to work together to build new business.
So Petals tries to reduce catalog circulation in a way that makes sense. For instance, he knows that some of his customers prefer to buy online and will do so without receiving print catalogs in the mail. For these customers, he plans to establish an e-mail contact strategy that replaces regular catalog mailings. In that way, circulation is reduced without detriment to potential sales. Regardless of the contact method, Topping notes that Petals strategies “are always results-oriented, measuring variable cost/profit per new customer acquired and ROI through the use of lifetime value analysis.”
To read Topping’s whitepaper in its entirety, go to http://www.eventuring.org/eShip/appmanager/eVenturing/eVenturingDesktop?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=eShip_articleDetail&_nfls=false&id=Entrepreneurship/Resource/Resource_589.htm&_fromSearch=true&_nfls=false