November 27, 2016

Triggers in Modern Cataloging

Here's something that could help you.

Outside of your twelve-month buyer file, you have a huge glut of lapsed buyers. And you tend to mail them on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Sometimes, you'll overlay co-op data, but that doesn't really push the peanut, does it? Some vendors will recommend that you send postcards or other small formats instead of catalogs - that can be a reasonable solution too. If you live in Silicon Valley, your response is "you still mail catalogs, what is this, 1995?"

Let's pretend that you only mail lapsed buyers that achieve 10% variable profit. Or you lose money on reactivated buyers because you think you'll make it up with lifetime value.

Now, you've got everybody else left - and you cannot afford to mail them.

There are two sets of triggers you can employ ... in-house and overlay.

In-house triggers relate to activity on your website. If the customer visits your website and meets modeled criteria (i.e. some visits indicate catalog responsiveness, some don't, email clicks usually recommend a suppression and not a hotline catalog), send the customer a hotline catalog right now.

Overlay triggers relate to your co-ops. Ask your favorite co-op to open the pipes and send you a score that updates every day. As activity within the co-op changes (some positive, some negative), you'll eventually find a circumstance where your customer score (executed in-house) combines favorably with co-op score changes ... and guess what? You kick out a hotline catalog!

By moving your cutoffs up to 10% variable profit and by leveraging in-house and overlay triggers, you only mail catalogs to lapsed buyers that "qualify" based on reasonable and profitable behavior. Your favorite co-op makes more cheddar as well, because they are now embedded within your housefile modeling process, fulfilling a goal the co-op sales rep has had for years.

Catalog marketing is moving to a trigger-centric discipline. It has to - there's too much waste involved. If you love mailing catalogs, why not generate more profit in the process?