Strategy: Circulation Planning
The same people who didn’t purchase before still aren’t purchasing today. And, those who did purchase are now on your housefile and duped out of the prospect lists you’re mailing, which lowers the response.
List Fatigue’s Impact
This is a simple case of list fatigue, which is most certainly impacting the response rates to outside lists. The cream is being scraped off the top, and many of those people who remain on the lists you’re using continue not to convert at the same response rate. To grow a file means the list owner has to prospect to marginal or less-productive outside lists. More modeling and outside list optimization is being done today as a way to expand the prospect universe and enhance results.
In the past, consumer mailers shied away from compiled lists — and to a lesser degree, subscriber lists. Today, these types of lists can be used more effectively, since the mail order buyers on these files can be identified by modeling through one of the co-ops.
On average, 40 percent of all sales are through (not from) the Internet. This has made source code tracking more difficult. It’s also increased the need for a customer contact strategy. RFM still is the backbone of all circ planning, but there are many other factors that must be considered today.
Stephen R. Lett is president of Lett Direct Inc., a catalog consulting firm specializing in circulation planning, forecasting and analysis. He is the author of “Strategic Catalog Marketing,” a Catalog Success book published by Target Marketing Group Publications. You can reach him at (302) 537-0375 or via his Web site www.lettdirect.com.