Abacus Insider: Beyond Response Rates

Marketers get enamored with response rates. A good thing if you’re selling Ferraris but not so good if you’re selling, say panty hose.

According to the Abacus Indicator from Bloomfield, CO-based Abacus Direct, the average list rental/exchange response rates tumbled 21% to 1.19% in the fourth quarter of 2004 from 1.51% the year-ago period. Even more interesting, the average dollars per book dropped 11% from $1.60 to $1.42.

“These results show the importance of looking at success measures beyond response rate,” says Casey Carey, Abacus’s vice president of marketing, data solutions. “As many mailers increased prospect circulation during the 2004 holiday season, it is expected that overall performance would decline. By improving the offer, creative, and cross-sells, marketers were able to offset some of this decline through higher average order sizes. The end result allows marketers to aggressively prospect at level that makes sense for their business.”

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