More Growth Strategies for the Multichannel Merchant

As discussed a few weeks ago in Determining Your Areas of Growth, every cataloger should constantly look for the golden bullet to identify the best way to grow its revenues. We previously outlined one method to grow a company’s revenues. The first area of opportunity is to find more universes to expand one’s target audiences for acquisitions. New universes offer fertile ground for testing and expansion. Building on our target audiences as a method to grow, another area for growth is alternative media.

The catalog is not the only print channel that mailers have found to be an effective tool for acquisition. Alternative media has made a come back recently, attracting much attention for many mailers. These media, which include bind-ins, FSIs, blow-ins, among others, have all seen resurgence in usage. This results from consumers being more comfortable with the Internet. High-speed access makes it easier for consumers to search and transact on the web after receiving an alternate media advertisement. This consumer comfort level also makes it easier for marketers to convert a prospect than in the past, when a cumbersome two-step process requiring a catalog request was necessary.

And there are many different lists available, both in the catalog arena and many other vertical markets. A few examples of other universes to target are financial, fundraising, and publishing. There are a number of ways to identify which lists to use. Look at usage and find where your competitors are, or where companies whose customers have similar demographics to your customers are. Mimic their acquisition tactics. Shakespeare is famous for his playwriting but it is alleged that he did not write every word that came out under his name. Similarly, you may not be the first to use alternative media, but you can generate revenue for your company and also get recognition for it!

Make sure you measure the effectiveness. Compare the cost per acquisition for each source or calculate a sales-to-advertising ratio as a basis for comparison.

Mike Grant is a catalog consultant and president and owner of Michael Grant Direct. He can be reached at or (914) 722 – 4177.

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