5 Top Catalog FAQs
FAQ No. 4: "How can we accurately track which orders come from the catalog without getting orders from other channels mixed in?"
Not-So-Quick Answer: Set up tracking mechanisms for each channel. That may require custom programming. Be sure your order management system (OMS) has fields to accept the data telling which channel the order came from. This may also require custom programming. Be sure the properly labeled order data from each channel is actually flowing into your order management system. That too may require custom programming. Do you see a pattern here?
Require that email orders have promo codes be entered whenever possible to help in tracking. Conduct hold-back tests where possible (catalog, email, outbound telemarketing) to help verify if your OMS custom programs are reporting sales consistent with your hold-back test results (if not, trust the test results and adjust the OMS programming assumptions). Keep doing matchbacks, and adjust their allocations as you learn to better track results from each channel. Live with the fact that long-term customer performance is based on multichannel interactions with your company and you'll never again be able to positively assign each order to just one channel.
FAQ No. 5: "I want to launch a new catalog and I want it to be profitable from the very first mailing. How do I do that?"
Quick Answer: Follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, then talk to the voice of the Wizard behind the curtain.
Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan's broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or email@example.com.