Using Catalogs to Drive Retail Traffic

For multichannel merchants with stores, one of the goals should be to drive additional traffic to the stores using the catalog.

In addition to the typical modus operandi of ordering retail trade area prospecting models from the co-ops, there is a good source of names hidden in the housefile segments, and in prospect lists normally overlooked for traditional catalog mailings, due to marginal performance. There is still some retail gold left in those marginal names you may be thinking of discarding.

Once you have made “mail” and “no-mail” decisions, take the no-mail records and run those names through a zip code select based on the store trade area. While these names tend to yield lower ROI for the catalog, results with retail point-of-sale (POS) transactions indicate a higher ROI when the retail POS are accounted for in the matchback logic.

Additionally, if geographic penetration is an important factor, use the same logic to mail more catalogs to an important geographic location, even if the record may be a marginal performer. As an example, one client, King Ranch Saddle Shop, appeals to more buyers and prospects who live in Texas. Instead of eliminating the marginal prospects from a mailing, we will run those names through a geographic select and mail only those marginal names who have a Texas SCF.

The logic here is simple—geography is the overriding factor, and you can sustain additional mailings to marginal names for this reason alone.

Michelle Houston is vice president of circulation and client services for San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.