Exploring and Exploiting the Value of a Catalog Re-mail

How do you decide whether or not to add a drop to your mailing schedule? Many mailers we begin working with had never considered re-mailing their best buyers and prospect multis in a second (or even third) drop of the season.

Even the smallest mailers should seriously reflect on the benefits of an additional drop. This can add revenue to the bottom line, extend the selling season for a seasonal mailer, and – perhaps less tangibly but just as important – reinforce your brand in the eyes of your customers.

The benefits of bringing hotlines into a second drop cannot be overstated. Though intuitively you might say that they’ve just ordered and therefore are not likely to order again so soon after, for the vast majority of direct businesses recency is a huge predictor of propensity to buy. Hit them with another catalog when they’re ecstatic over the quality of your product and the professionalism of your customer service and delivery!

Mailers should change covers for the re-mail since you will be contacting many of your customers a second time (and maybe a third time). You want them to pause when they get to your second catalog in the mailbox and not just assume they’ve seen it before.

Re-mails should generally be done in the same season as drop one, and you should test a re-mail in your core season. Your prospects were chosen specifically for that catalog and that time of year, so make sure you use up those prospect multis before another season comes along. Typically you would re-mail four to six weeks after your first in-home to ensure you don’t cannibalize sales from drop one.

Remember that some percentage of these sales may have come organically, without the catalog, but certainly it would have been a small percentage, especially for those companies not highly invested in Internet marketing.

Alexandra Singer is circulation and marketing manager for San Rafael, CA-based consultancy Lenser.

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