Beat or Meet Your Sales Forecasts by Year’s End, Part 3
One thing you can do to generate additional revenue between now and the end of the year is to make use of a postcard. We talked previously in this series about using postcards before and after a catalog drop to enhance your catalog’s offerings and increase revenue. We also talked about finding room in your mail schedule to drop an additional catalog.
Now, here’s another way to use a postcard.
Instead of an extra catalog, do a postcard mailing to select groups of customers. Determine what part of your customers and/or prospects would respond to a postcard. Consider mailing to older customers who haven’t ordered in a while. Or you could mail to prospects who came via your Web channel and haven’t ordered from your traditional catalog. Yet another idea to consider is mailing a postcard to recently acquired single buyers with an offer on their next order, with the goal being single to multibuyer conversion.
Postcards usually cost less than your catalog. And if its size is 4 inches by 6 inches or smaller, you can mail First Class for postage of around 25 cents per name. (Hint: You’re targeting a very specific in-home window.) I just did a postcard mailing this week, about 20,000 names, and it’s costing my client approximately 37 cents per unit in the mail.
Of course, don’t expect as high a response rate and/or average order size with a postcard as your regular catalog.
Another strategic approach: Target a specific product (like a new item, clearance item, etc.) to a certain segment of your customers. Or query your customer file, find groups of customers who bought a particular item and offer them a related cross-sell item.
That all said, be very careful to test these ideas properly and keep a close eye on your results. While these ideas have been used before, they may wind up cannibalizing results from other catalogs mailed around the time of your postcard mailings (either before or after). Test in small increments, and be careful to stay away from your core multibuyers until you know the effect such mailings will have on your P&Ls.
Also, I wouldn’t substitute a postcard for a regular catalog drop. I’ve seen a client do this with devastating results; that is, it completely killed off the client’s entire summer season.
In the coming weeks, I’ll talk about social networking, effective use of your call center to increase sales conversion, average order value and more.
Speak to you next week.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 302-1719.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.