Live from ACCM: Tips for Building a Better File

May 23, 2007 7:11 AM  By

Boston–”How do we make sure we’re really tracking results?” “What can I afford to spend to get a new name?” “What is the cost to reactivate a customer?” “How many times do we mail before we figure out the customer is a real dud?” Those are among the questions that multichannel merchants should continually be asking themselves, according to Jack Schmid and Steve Trollinger, who led the Monday session “Building a Better Customer File in a Multichannel World.”

Package inserts, free-standing inserts, and special events are potentially profitable prospecting methods many marketers overlook, said Schmid, founder of catalog consultancy J. Schmid & Associates. And because “TV today can be far more targeted than it ever has,” it too can be an effective medium. For a golf merchant, for instance, promoting a catalog on The Golf Channel could be an ideal way of reaching the right audience.

Cooperative databases account for more than half of the prospecting done by small and midsize catalogers, noted Trollinger, J. Schmid’s executive vice president. But using only one co-op can limit your prospecting universe, he added.

And always remember, Schmid said, to “test a campaign, and test enough names.”

Adding buyers to your database is only one aspect of creating a better file, however. Improving the cleanliness of your list is another. In that sense, the merge/purge is an important marketing tool. “If you can knock some of those names off, that will help you,” Schmid said.