Add-a-Name Works for Brookstone

Quick question: If you could mail one more book into a postal zone, and you have a prospect who may be the right target, and the process is going to save you money at the post office, would you go for it?

Of course you would. But from the sounds of it at ACCM, the whole add-a-name idea is still not catching on.

But the add-a-name process is saving gifts and gadgets mailer Brookstone anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000 per mailing, said marketing manager Lisa Johnson during a session at ACCM.

What exactly is add-a-name? It’s when you take a pool of prospect names that may not be the most ideal target for your mailing – but should be decent enough – and use them to fill gaps in your carrier routes. So if you have eight or nine catalogs going to a particular carrier route, and you need 10 to qualify for the U.S. Postal Service’s discount, you would add one or two names to the mailing to qualify.

“Although there will be an additional cost for the name or in the merge/purge process, the savings outweighs the expense,” Johnson said. “Not only has it helped us with our postage costs, they can actually help you out in sales, especially during the Christmas season.”

But there are some challenges to add a name, Johnson said. One is you need a large pool of names, because not every one is going to help fill your carrier route. Brookstone’s 2007 circulation, according to Johnson, was 70 million.

What’s more, you may need some additional time in your merge, which may hurt your recency by a couple of days. And your circulation also needs to qualify, which Johnson says you would need to check with your merge house for.

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