Top brokers describe today’s challenging catalog list market
Catalog Success: Are there any not-so-obvious list categories mailers should consider testing now?
Belardi: Certain publishing and compiled lists are being utilized more and more by catalogers. For instance, a file of new homeowners might be appropriate for home catalogers; it’s also a way to avoid those saturated mailboxes since many of the other catalog companies have not caught up yet in the NCOA [National Change of Address file]. Other areas, like the children’s market, are driven by need, and not always by catalog buyer behavior. They can get good response from pre-natal compiled lists, for example. The key to making these lists work is sorting out the good files and knowing what selects and enhancement tools are available.
Bogner: It’s not so much categories that have changed as the types of tools catalogers can use to approach older names on lists that are successful, such as going further back into publication files and compiled lists. Using screening methods like Z-24, each catalog can find unique new sources of names. A woodworking catalog, for example, won’t be overlaying the same publication file as a gentleman’s clothing catalog. So their results will be different.
Maylander: The New Movers/Chadds market still has been successful, especially on new publications, such as Real Simple and Lucky. And, the Internet Buyers at Postal Address has been a new category, but we can’t say it isn’t obvious.
Mickolajczyk: Product selections and lifestyle enhancements can be useful. If the mailer has additional response-driven tools to use in conjunction with these selects, such as ZIP tapes, they can open up new list areas that otherwise were unusable. Additionally, I’m a big advocate of going deeper into successful lists, and not just limiting usage to the most recent “hotline” segments. Older names still can be valid buyers, depending on the market, with the added bonus that they’re not being mailed to as heavily as the hotline names are.