Onlineshoes.com Steps Into Print Catalog Channel

Onlineshoes.com president/CEO Dan Gerler is no stranger to using direct mail pieces to help stimulate business. He’s mailed flyers and postcards to customers throughout his company’s 13 years.

But the 6” x 9” catalog Onlineshoes.com sent to 350,000 house file names in November is the first for the shoes Website. And based on early success, Gerler says he plans on moving forward with a quarterly frequency for the 16-page book.

The Onlineshoes.com catalog generated a 1% response rate in the first few weeks since the launch. And Gerler anticipates the response rate surpassing 2% by mid-December. So far the catalog’s top-selling shoe brands include Uggs, New Balance, and Merrill.

“The catalog gives us the opportunity to showcase more of our product than our other mailings do,” Gerler says. And especially during this time of year, he notes, “we know people love to browse through catalogs.”

The e-tailer is sending the Onlineshoes.com catalog specifically to customers who have made a purchase, but have opted out of receiving e-mail promotions. So in a sense, it’s using the catalog to prospect within its own house file of more than 2-million names.

And the initiative is working from an e-mail reactivation standpoint. “I don’t have exact numbers yet, but we’ve seen a significant amount of customers who initially have opted out of receiving e-mails from us opt back in,” Gerler says.

While this is the first catalog for Onlineshoes.com, the company has done catalogs previously for its two bricks-and-mortar shoe stores in the Seattle area. It’s also done cobranded catalogs as a Red Wing Shoes franchisee.

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