Harry & David Finds Gold In Its Own Mailing List

Looking for good prospects? You can find them in your house file, says Melissa Watson, director of catalog and e-mail marketing for gifts retailer Harry & David.

There’s gift recipients, catalog inquirers and cross-brand buyers, to name a few, Watson said last month during a session at ACCM. And these are names you can convert into customers.

True, the inquirers may not make a purchase after requesting information. But it’s just as likely that they’ll buy when they’re ready.

Gift recipients may be the toughest prospects to tackle. Why? Because you have no demographic or psychographic information on them, Watson said.

“We do not have all the same information on the gift recipients as we do the buyers,” she continued. “We know what they bought, when they bought it, and why. With recipients, you just know the name and address of the person who received the gift.”

But that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible task. Harry & David uses a regression model on its giftees, then applies outside models on top of that to find out more about the recipient and determine what would make them want to buy, Watson added.

And if you’re fortunate enough to be a multi-title merchant, you can find the right prospects through your other brands. For example, Harry & David hit house file gold in January when it bought breakfast foods cataloger Wolferman’s from Williams Foods

“Between Harry & David and Wolferman’s, there is a lot of synergy, so we can do some cross branding,” Watson said.