Still Fit to Print?
A Real-world Example
Over the past six months, Duluth, Ga-based National Allergy Supply has been honing its data collection processes to do just that. The allergy relief products marketer, which plans to continue mailing its print catalog, is exploring the feasibility of mailing full catalogs to some customers, while sending smaller, less expensive mail pieces — such as postcards directing clients to the firm's Web site — to others.
In order to determine who should be receiving what, National Allergy Supply integrated a matchback system into its Web site. In this system, data on the customers who receive National Allergy Supply's print catalog are input into the Web site. When they visit the site and enter their information, the key code of the catalog they received automatically appears, alerting the company on how the client came to it.
This has enabled the company to separate general "Google customers" from established catalog clients, explains John Fry, National Allergy Supply's vice president of marketing and sales. "When you go online, instead of typing in our URL, you may go to Google and type in 'National Allergy Supply' and then you click on the link. To us, you're a Google customer, but you're really a catalog customer who just happened to enter our site via Google. This has confused the information that we've been trying to get about how catalog customers respond," he explains.
With this new system, Fry and his colleagues are better equipped to decide what print pieces to send where, and how effective their print catalog mailing efforts actually can be. "We've been trying to get clean information over the past six months or more that will guide us in the future," he says. "We may find that our response is even better than we think. Or, we can test those people, carve out half of the names and try a postcard instead of a catalog. We didn't feel it was time to do further testing until we hadaccurate information."