Reactivation Strategies

There’s no time like the new year to begin a reactivation campaign among the older, less responsive parts of your house file. Even a slight increase in response from this group can mean a dramatic increase in sales and profits, according to Mary Anne Kleinfelter, owner of Milford, NH-based direct marketing consultancy Marketing Solutions Today. Among her tips:

* Resell old customers as if they are prospects. Use co-op databases to help you select which customers are the best prospects for reactivation. Co-op databases contain many more transactions than you have on your database. These additional transactions will give you a more accurate and updated picture of customer buying behavior. Chances are your old customer is still buying—but from one of your competitors.

* Use models to select the portions of your house file with the greatest likelihood of buying–but be careful. If you use multiple models from different sources, make sure they don’t conflict with each other. How? Check with your associates doing the modeling during the planning phase of the campaign. Ask their advice. They know how these models are being used and what is working. Discuss what the model will be based on and how it will be tested. Test specially developed models to determine how much you can afford to spend on each segment to retain it profitably.

* Implement a marketing program to convert new trial buyers to repeat buyers. The faster you can get new customers to buy again, the better your profits (and retention) will be. Use economical upsell and cross-sell techniques. And keep an eye out for—and subsequently try to avoid–lists that generate lots of trial buyers who do not turn into repeat buyers.

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