December: Not Too Late To Contact Buyer File

When is it too late to contact your buyer and prospect files to maximize holiday sales? Thanks to the increased confidence consumers have in last-minute online shopping, you can go as close to Dec. 25 as you feel comfortable.

Here are a few things you should do after Thanksgiving weekend, even if you get off to a great start to the holiday season.

Send your most active buyers a final holiday remail. Pick your best buyers, as well as the customers who ordered last December.

Send relevant-content e-mails, and include a shipping offer. Free shipping is the strongest offer, and expedited shipping with two-day FedEx service also works well. Some mailers use the e-mail blast to tell their buyers the last day to order for ground shipping, for two-day, and for overnight delivery.

If you’ve got a strong product offering, send a postcard or mailer. The cost is less than the catalog, production time is short, and if the offer is driving response, you’ll be surprised at the effectiveness of a postcard.

And here are some other things to keep in mind as you hit December:

Every package needs to have a strong bounceback offer to pick up extra sales that come when your first package arrives. Bouncebacks can be simple in terms of creative design. Consider a second or third bounceback in your packages with an offer for overstock or sale merchandise.

A lot of customers buy right after Christmas to fill the gap with the presents they didn’t get, or because they received gift cards. So don’t ignore the week after Christmas – shoot your buyers an e-mail offer with sale offers then.

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