Talking to Catalogers When Their Business is "Not So Hot" This Summer

Lois Geller

I did a speech a few weeks ago at a catalog conference, and I spoke about social media and how it might help build prospect (and customer) files. Mostly, it is about building relationships with people online, great communities that you can generate ideas and I believe improve good luck during this rocky period.
So, the first night, at the cocktail party, I met a marketing director from a well-known company. In fact, I've been receiving their catalogs quarterly for about 7 or 8 years. I opened the conversation with that bit of information. She asked me what I buy from them, and I had to respond "nothing" ever. She asked me about my agency and said that they sell cd's. I mentioned we buy those, but not in huge quantities.
I also said that it is a shame that she mails that huge catalog to us (maybe $5.00 in the mail cost), when we aren't a prospect or a customer. She said "I might". But, I won't, ever.
So, she got me thinking about how we can mail smarter, all of us:
1. Look at your database. Are there people on it that have never bought from you? Delete them.
2. Are there people on the list who haven't bought from you in 6 months, a year? Write them a letter and ask them if they want to continue to receive your mailings, and tell them you'll give them 20% discount (or a gift), if they buy now.
3. Are there great buyers on your file? Send them an unexpected "thank you" gift. They'll remember you, and tell their friends that you're a great company.

In this economy, you want to take great care of your best customers, and not waste money on non-buyers. Okay?

All the best,

Lois Geller is founder and president of Lois Geller Marketing and author of Sold! Direct Marketing for the Real Estate.
Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.


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