Multichannel marketers have struggled for years with filling the revenue gaps that typically occur in the lull right before catalog mailings arrive in-home. Even in the age of digital proliferation, it’s still common to see the gaps form. While there are various methods that can (and should) be tested to help alleviate the gap, one easy fix that successful brands deploy routinely is to send targeted emails to customers on the mailfile alerting them their catalog is on its way. This very successful, yet very easy, email campaign tactic has proven to generate significant buzz and incremental sales to websites when timed just prior to the catalog in-home arrival.
During my time as a marketing manager at NapaStyle, we saw the same lull in sales just before a book arrived in-home. In order to help drive traffic and get a boost in sales, we sent a targeted email to customers as a supplemental marketing vehicle to the catalog. The email creative typically mirrored that of the catalog cover and contained messaging calling out new items. In addition to bridging the gap between in-home dates and sustaining cash flow, the email also created excitement as the customer anticipated a book arriving in their mailbox shortly. Of course, as good direct marketers, we also added a few strategic links to key products features and included a call to action for the customer to shop the entire selection of new items in the catalog. In many ways, this helped give the customer a sense of VIP status as they received the opportunity to shop the newest items before the general public.
Surprisingly, this email is incredibly easy to implement. Simply match the active email addresses in your database to the customers on the mailfile. Once you create the list of active email addresses that are set to receive a catalog, send them an email much like the one below. It is an easy way to create buzz and drive traffic to your website. To go one step further, supplement your catalog mailing with Facebook or display ads that mimic the catalog creative. In order to measure the lift of this email, create test groups that consist of customers with an active email address receiving an email plus catalog and test them against a group of customers with an active email address that will only receive a catalog. This should give you some hard numbers showing the incremental lift of the supplemental email campaign.