Quick Tip: Use E-mail Subscriber Status to Improve Catalog Response

When it comes to e-mail as a marketing channel, determining the relative value of a contact to whom you can promote via e-mail vs. one to whom you cannot is pretty simple; it’s essentially an all or nothing game.

You can’t market via e-mail if you don’t have an address or permission. But what about using the opt-in/opt-out status of a contact as a predictor of catalog response? As it turns out, the difference can be significant.

Incremental response gives you an idea of the true value of your catalog as a marketing vehicle in today’s increasingly multichannel marketing world. The chart below shows the incremental response by e-mail status, indexed against all buyers who received a catalog.

(click here to view chart)

This data confirms what we might have guessed: If you can’t promote to the customer via e-mail, then your catalog becomes a more valuable marketing channel. If you have a mature, well-managed e-mail marketing program, you probably have the capacity to segment your contacts by e-mail status.

You’re already doing it to honor subscribe/unsubscribe requests; why not leverage it to help you make smart mailing decisions when it comes to your catalog? Don’t forget to look at the effect of recency on these segments, and always be testing.

Jude Hoffner is senior circulation and marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.