Yankee Candle Learns From Matchback Analysis

The first question Yankee Candle asks when it’s looking at its buyer file is how much it can spend to market to a customer and still break even.

That’s why matchbacks are so important to the firm. If it understands a consumer’s path to purchase, it can appropriate marketing funds more accurately.

Yankee Candle discovered that the catalog is still its biggest sales driver. But that’s not all, says Dana Springfield, general manager of consumer direct for the company.

It also found that sending every buyer a catalog may not be the best idea.

“The catalog is still the greatest driver, but they are becoming a more expensive marketing vehicle each year,” Springfield said during a session last week at the NEMOA spring conference.

For example, the firm found just how tough it is to convert a store-only buyer into an Internet buyer. And that it’s easier to drive these Web-only buyers to its stores. The result? Its store-only buyers are less-likely to receive a catalog, unless, of course, it makes a request.

“Multichannel customers are the most profitable, but it’s been difficult to turn store-only customers into Internet buyers,” Springfield said. “We spent a lot of money trying to get store-only buyers to shift to catalogs, but we decided instead to let them keep shopping in the stores.”

But Yankee Candle has also figured out it can still base a mailing strategy on what it sees in the matchback analysis. So those store-only buyers are receiving coupons in the mail so it can try and stay competitive in a tough mall environment. The Web-only buyers are receiving a bigger dosage of e-mail marketing, and those who are responding to their catalogs are still getting books in the mail.

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