Why Not a Catalogers’ Black Friday? (Or, How I Developed a Major Inferiority Complex on Your Behalf)
A Challenge for 2008
To all this, I challenge catalog/multichannel marketers to step up next year and claim either of these “shopping holidays” as their own.
Naturally, it’s easy to send out time-sensitive e-mails to cash in on Cyber Monday. But think bigger than that. If Target, OfficeMax and Kmart could pack ’em in at 5 a.m. on Friday, why can’t you mail out special sale catalogs with similarly attractive killer deals that arrive in homes a week before Thanksgiving and slap a dot whack on the cover that promotes the following:
BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL!
Why crash the mall? Apply the great discounts in this catalog to orders placed either online or via our toll-free number between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. (in your time zone), Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Supplies limited.
Why not beat retailers at their own game? But then again, who says you have to confine your efforts to just Black Friday and Cyber Monday? How about a Catalog Wednesday?
“The event is the key,” says Phil Minix, president of the MCM Electronics catalog. “Try the same merchandising concepts, such as door-busting deals, special GWP [gift with purchase] or PWP [purchase with purchase] items, shipping deals, etc. Then, advertise the upcoming event with e-mails and on your homepage.”
Phil, who says he will look to try this possibly later this year or early next, also recommends mailing a postcard or doing a blow-in into a catalog that hits in-home within a couple weeks of the event. “I’d tease people with some specifics of the event,” he says, “but would keep some a secret to encourage the visit to the site.”
Then, it’s merely a matter of making sure you have plenty of bandwidth and assigning someone to monitor everything, “to make sure you stay up and running during the event,” he adds. “It might even be cool to have some kind of ‘personal’ deal with a code that you enter from your e-mail or mailed piece. Then you find out what you get from it.”