Why Co-op Names Need Purchase Data

Co-op names may be valuable, but only up to a point. The wise mailer stays away from those without transactional data.

“We do find a better response rate when we have the transaction detail,” said Joe Mediate, CEO of children’s title KooKoo Bear Kids, speaking at last month’s ACCM conference. “Of course, you suddenly get some of the co-ops where it’s not true, but in general, it would be our preference.”

Mediate conceded that co-op names helped KooKoo Bear Kids build its business. Its third-quarter sales were up 35%, and its fourth-quarter sales were 65% better than the same period in 2006. And that was with a circulation lift of just 20%.

Michael I. Grant, a senior consultant with Experian Marketing Services, said that the more transactional detail the better. One of his former clients was Bloomigdale’s, which had separate catalogs for apparel and home goods. That’s a classic case for the need of transactional data from the co-ops, he added.

“Unless you have transactional detail, you cannot have a chance to accurately profile that person and only give their names to the appropriate people,” Grant said.

Pamela Hodgkinson, a director of circulation and marketing for National Geographic, said that co-op names without transactional data are useless when you are trying to find prospects who have purchasing patterns like your own customers.

“We do a lot of models based on the products we sell, so we may want to do affinity models on people who only buy outdoor gear,” Hodgkinson said. “It cuts down the number of names we can get, but it works real well.”

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