Are you tapping into your catalog requesters as efficiently and effectively as possible? Many mailers simply look at their requesters as one large group, regardless of originating channel or source. Maybe they mail selectively based on recency only. If you have the volume and the ability to flag requesters by original source, I suggest that you break these prospects out in groups on your circulation plan.
An example of the groups would be: phone/mail, store requesters, Internet requests, and perhaps DRTV or space advertising. Depending on your ability, you could get even more detailed, such as breaking down internet requesters by search terms they originated from: the more specific search vs. a generic search. The requester who actually types in your company name, as opposed to coming to you through search results for a specific item you offer, is most likely a better prospect.
Based on the results of each group, you can then fine-tune your contact strategy. For example, we have found that for one mailer we work with, only the most recent 0-6 month Internet requesters perform above breakeven. On the other hand, space ad requesters can be leveraged back to 24 months. For e-mail campaigns, you may find that the Internet requesters can be contacted more often than the phone/mail group. As usual, testing is key.
Your requesters are a vital part of your house file, and you should treat them as such. These potential buyers have shown a specific interest in your offer. The more you can find out about how they perform by originating source, the better you can appropriately target your marketing to these groups. Requesters, when cultivated properly, can grow into profit-rich buyers.
Matt Morton is senior circulation and marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based consultancy Lenser.