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Catalog Circulation Planning
Catalog circulation planning involved determining how frequently do you mail your entire customer list or segments of your list? The only way to answer this question is to test and analyze. If you don't mail often enough you lose the opportunity to sell merchandise and build the relationship between you and the customer. If you mail too often, the newest catalog will steal sales from the current catalog. It pays to mail more catalogs, more often, to better customers...these customers tend to buy more often. But again, you need to test this.
Most catalogs underutilize their customer list...not mailing it frequently enough. This doesn't mean that you can take the same catalog and mail it over and over to your customer file. No, you can't do that because it will have a negative impact on long term results, reducing transactions and transaction values. Customers who have seen and/or purchased from the catalog will throw it in the trash and worst case scenario, if you mailed the same catalog with no changes over and over again, you could ultimately lose your customers.
But, you can increase the frequency of mailings to your customer list by doing one of the following:
- Mail a totally new catalog.
- Mail a catalog with new cover.
- Mail a catalog with new cover and outer signature.
- Mail a catalog with new format.
- Mail limited multi-product offers and promotions via mail and email.
This doesn't mean that you can't repeat your best products in a catalog over and over. Product life in a catalog should be determined based on whether or not it is making its revenue and profit projections.
The factors that you should take into consideration when developing your circulation plan and calendar for your catalog should include:
- Number of current customers.
- Current house file segments.
- Customer acquisition goals.
- Sales goals.
- In home date.
- Print quantity.
- Re-mail strategy.
- Merge purge strategy.
- Break even requirements.