Begin with what you know. Review transactions of customers who have made a second purchase. Look at the products purchased, the merchandise category, the price point, the time of year, responsiveness to promotions, the types of mailings and e-mails—everything. Find which contacts and offers work best and begin developing the 2005 contact strategy around the successful elements.
How many of these second-purchase techniques have worked for you? One technique used to incentivize repeat purchases is to include a special bounce-back in the outbound package for first-time buyers. Use your order entry system to identify first-time buyers (usually a “new record” indicator is evident) and include a welcome letter, a first-time buyer survey, a sale catalog, another catalog with a thank you outer cover wrap or other motivators, to immediately influence a second purchase. If your order entry system is able to identify an order placed from your Web site, you can tailor the package inserts to specifically address channel shoppers.
With the goal of converting a second purchase, include an incentive with a sense of urgency—use statements such as, “Take advantage of this offer before [a specific date]” or, “Buy from this catalog and receive a $20 gift certificate.”
Immediately communicating with first-time buyers is a strategy that often yields strong results. If a new customer does not convert to a second-time buyer with the in-the-box effort, there are plenty of other strategies. The following is a sampling of ideas and proven techniques that work for new-to-file buyers as well as inactive buyers who purchased only once in their lifetime (such as the RFM example with 337,024 one-time buyers whose last purchase was in 2003.)
The creative team has to design a catalog cover, so why not lay out the cover to accommodate a black plate change? When the marketing team and the creative team work together to influence sales, the options seem endless. For example, if the cover design includes a preprinted dot whack (the attention-getting, bright-colored circle on the cover with text) the marketing team can identify first-time buyer segments and use different promotions for different segment attributes. Maybe this is a discount, a gift with purchase or a welcome back message.