Are you automatically dropping off your older buyers, suppressing them from your mailings perhaps after 24 months of inactivity, perhaps after 36 months or longer? We at Lenser suggest keeping all your buyers, no matter how old or seemingly valueless, in the merge, but micro-segmenting them for greater visibility. You’ll then know which to mail and which to pitch when making your final selects for mailing.
For mailers with three or more channels, it can be instructive and beneficial to add crossover or multichannel buyer status to house file segmentation. Since we know from industry research that multichannel buyers — i.e., those who use multiple channels such as phone, Web, and retail when purchasing—are more valuable than single-channel buyers, it’s worth segmenting out those who have ordered from two or three channels (or more, if your buyers have other ways of ordering from you). Definitely test it first, but normally you should be able to mail deeper into your crossover buyers than single-channel buyers.
This is yet another great way you can use refined segmentation to identify and successfully reactivate older buyers, in addition to RFM and such already-discussed techniques as pander hits, NCOA hits, and multi status.
Alexandra Singer is circulation and marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.