September 6, 2017 | Author: Branden Slattery
However, as with any rule, there are exceptions, especially regarding book size. Below is an example of a recent mailing test that yielded very different results in the Summer and Holiday mailings:
In the first table, you can see that across both the house file and prospects, the results between the big book and the small book were not significantly different, with 12-month buyers actually responding better to the smaller book. The small book clearly had the better ROI. In the second table, the larger book generated a higher response rate for all segments including prospects. So, why did the Summer and Holiday results differ so significantly? In this case, we believe that in the core season (Summer), perhaps the 0-12M buyers would have made a purchase anyway, so a smaller book was enough for them. But when it comes to a slower time of year, a bigger book with more product may be required across all segments (house and prospects) to generate a higher response rate.
Since both of the tests above were executed as one-off tests, we’d recommend stretching the test across an entire season, ensuring that we create proper test/control groups, and keep them static throughout the entire season. If you’re considering reducing or increasing the size of your catalog across all seasons, below is an example of a testing grid that you can set across the entire mailfile to measure the response differential for Buyers vs. Non-Buyers/Prospects.
If you intend to reduce catalog size as a long term strategy, there multiple things you can do to help keep performance up:
However, as in the example above, it may be more productive to consider using a mix of big books and smaller page counts or format. Think through the purpose of the catalog. The smaller book may be just as effective in presenting promotional offers. The larger catalog may be necessary to represent the brand and adequate product. We have several clients that have found a simple low-cost postcard is adequate to drive customers to their website and stores when presenting a major sale. By planning an annual contact strategy that contains a variety of presentations, you may be able to achieve the same savings that would be achieved by reducing the size of all of your catalogs throughout the year.
I know I covered a lot here, but changing the size of your catalogs is a complex issue and can have major impact on the performance of your business. Whatever you do, test any major changes you are considering. And consider any changes you make in the context of the purpose of each catalog.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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