Catalog and Direct Selling: The Selling Season Is Upon Us
Consider the inclusion of a specially designed insert piece featuring “exclusive” products not available in the catalog. An assortment of unique gift packages or a sneak preview to a smaller assortment of next season’s line serves several purposes:
- It gives recipients a sense of what else you sell besides the gift they just opened.
- It gives them a chance to buy from you again immediately.
- And, it protects your existing customers’ desires to keep private the price of the gifts they send.
New-to-file buyers are equally as important. New buyers often are referred to as “tryers”—not ongoing customers yet, but really super-qualified prospects. If the product meets their expectations, customer service is good, etc., there’s a likelihood they will shop from you again.
It behooves the catalog marketer to get the second order as quickly as possible and get the customer in the habit of buying from your company. It also is a psychological fact that you can improve a person’s perceptions of you (or your catalog) by asking him or her to do you a favor. In this respect, customer surveys can play a significant role. Ask the customer or recipient to “do you a favor” and take a few moments to fill out a short survey. You benefit by learning more about the customer experience, and you may earn some favoritism.
Are you taking advantage of multibuyer prospect names?
Multibuyer prospects, or outside prospects that show up on more than one acquired list, commonly are among the strongest performers in new customer acquisition efforts, but many catalogers never tap the resource. If you have paid to mail a name and don’t mail it, you lose the money and a marketing opportunity.
Make sure your service bureau is warehousing these “multis,” and don’t forget to include them in future mailings. Do you have a few thousand (or a few hundred thousand) multis? Use some of the catalogs slotted for a late-season mailing to reach this group. Response rates in recent seasons continue to support the notion that Americans are waiting later and later to make their holiday purchases, and prospects are just as guilty of this as is your housefile. Touching these highly qualified prospects one more time is an easy way to boost customer acquisition late in the season.