Alternatives To The Prospecting Death Spiral

It’s no secret that catalogers have cut back on prospecting as a short-term answer to the May postal increase. But in the long-term, cutting back on prospecting will cut these merchants’ flow of new buyers, and cause their business to shrink.

Take the time to review your costs and trim the excess from your mailings. If you can recapture enough costs, you can maintain your prospecting circulation and avoid the death spiral of cutting off your flow of new buyers to your business.

What can mailers do to recapture their profit margins and maintain their circulation? Here are some strategies to make your circulation work harder:

  • Use your cooperative database for to optimize your house buyers and prospects to suppress the households that aren’t robust mail order buyers.
  • Make sure your merge/purge service bureau is using every list hygiene tool (NCOA, LACS, AEC, etc.) to ensure the cleanest mailing possible.
  • Consider using postcards and lower cost formats in place of catalogs for buyer re-mails especially if you have a strong sale offer. Or for that matter, e-mail more to your buyers.

Jim Coogan is president of Santa Fe, NM-based consultancy Catalog Marketing Economics.

Related Articles:

Prospecting: To Mail or Not to Mail
10 Things You Need to Know Before the Merge/Purge Begins

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