Buckhead Beats the Summer Slowdown
There’s also the challenge of identifying the right names to include in each drop. The overall list was comprised of Buckhead’s housefile and prospects from a number of sources, including magazines, membership directories and charities. The housefile was weighted using an RFM analysis to identify the customers with the deepest relationships with the organization; best customers were placed into the file for the first mail drop, so they would have the opportunity to enjoy all four gift certificates, explains Hanna.
Each list also was balanced with a selection of prospects; those with the best possibility for conversion were loaded into the front end of the campaign, says Lewin.
Special care also was taken with the hygiene and deduping of each list. “We used Postalsoft for most of the merge/purge,” states Lewin, who adds that custom address-level match functions were used to ensure no household received more than one card.
So that Buckhead could track response, the cards include a personal ID number that corresponds to the recipient. That number also appears as a key code on the outer envelope. Match at this level, with 100 percent accuracy, meant the work had to be done by hand, contends Lewin. “We would never [do] anything like this through a machine or even a camera system. These were all done by hand. The card was inserted by hand and then matched to the envelope by hand,” he says.
Overall, asserts Hanna, the challenges were well worth the reward. She reports that response to the 2006 campaign has been between 20 percent and 30 percent, and there’s been a significant increase in continuance over past years as well.
And it’s not just the high response rates that have Buckhead pleased. “The buzz around the program is a hoot,” says Hanna. “The calls that we get every day, from people wanting to get on the program or thanking us for the program—that level of engagement is great.”