You sold to the customer once, twice, maybe even more. You thought you had a relationship. Then, several mailings later, you realized you lost him. He moved on without so much as a good-bye. In moments like this, when you are alone, analyzing your house file, you wonder aloud, How did something so right go so wrong?
All is not lost. You can rekindle the relationship. Michelle Volpe, vice president for Novato, CA-based list firm Media Source Solutions and Mark Traverso, vice president, list management, new business and e-commerce at Pompano Beach, FL-based Lighthouse List Co., offer three new methods for reactivating customers.
1) Use e-mail buyer files to attract former mail or phone customer who are now shopping elsewhere online. These customers might have stopped shopping from you because they did not perceive you as an online merchant. When considering results, marketers frequently view direct mail, online purchases, and retail results independently from one another. Consider these parts of your business as a whole to see the same picture your customer sees. One caveat: The marketing tools and mechanics must be in place first for this to work. There are far too many user-unfriendly Websites still out there. If yours is one of them, you won’t win back these online shoppers without improving your site first.
2) Don’t underestimate the importance of lifestyle data. Lifestyle change “triggers” such as a new address, a new name, and a new phone number signify a change has occurred in your former customer’s life. Credit-card mailers and other direct marketers already know that lifestyle data provide valuable prospecting and reactivation information.
3) Target customers who have been issued new credit cards. Catalogers have largely overlooked transactional data such as newly issued credit cards as an effective prospecting and reactivation tool. New credit equals buying power. New credit customers are typically more responsive because, once again, new credit is usually indicative of some sort of lifestyle change. Targeting a consumer who is issued a new credit card, helps marketers overcome the first hurdle of marketing: They can pay.