In the age of the latest, and future, postal increases, zip modeling can serve two purposes.
It can be used as a prospecting technique – you order lists or models with your highest penetrated zip tiers as a select. Zip modeling can also be used as a suppression method on your house file by purposefully not mailing your lowest penetrated zip tiers on older, low-frequency, low-dollar buyer segments.
If you have stores, however, you might want to reconsider your use of a zip model. Your catalog will act as a retail driver if you make sure you are not suppressing your house file from zips within a 25-50 mile radius of your store. The mileage radius can vary depending on your market and the geography of your store location.
You can also boost prospecting efforts to your stores by ordering specific lists with a zip model unique to each retail location, again using zips within a 25-50 mile radius. This is a great way to use up exchange balances from marginal lists, too.
If using zip modeling as a prospecting boost, be prepared for small gross universes, since you’re only targeting very specific geographic areas. Also, be sure to leave your broker plenty of time to get counts from list managers using your zip models.
Anna-Lisa Ulbrich is senior circulation and marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.