Catalog and Direct Selling: The Selling Season Is Upon Us
Likewise, if a campaign is behind plan, what are you going to do? Can you quickly build e-mail campaigns that target top customer segments to drive additional sales for low cost? For those customers for whom you have no e-mail address, can dot whacks presenting special offers be affixed to future catalogs? Are you willing to discount product late in the season to bring the top line up? Can you build and execute more aggressive cross-sell and upsell programs and on-the-fly bundles or offer incentives to your call center reps to promote more add-on sales?
One of the beauties of cataloging is the ability to analyze, plan and execute. However, if sales lag, the long lead times associated with being in the catalog business can be crippling. Have a plan ready before you actually need it to deal with the good as well as the bad.
Here are some other checklist items to consider:
Should you NCOA your file again this season?
National Change of Address processing isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago a mailer needed several days added to any schedule to accommodate NCOA processing, but today the coding typically can be completed in 24 hours or less.
Additionally, NCOA processing generally is cost effective at less than 1-percent match rates; and depending on how frequently you’re processing your file today (it’s not uncommon for smaller catalogers to NCOA twice a year), you might well match at a much higher rate. More frequent NCOA processing, especially before another big mailing, will result in higher deliverability and, ideally, greater response—especially as names at the top of your file are corrected.
Do you have a bounce-back program in place?
Are you doing anything special for new-to-file buyers? Don’t underestimate the power of a bounce-back program. Dropping a new catalog (even the same catalog the customer just responded to), a smaller insert or even a blank order form into a box can have nice results. Gift mailers sometimes struggle with bounce-back programs because so many of the boxes they ship during the fourth quarter are to gift recipients, and no one wants Aunt Mable knowing how much was spent on the box of chocolates she just received. That said, there are options.