How Catalogers are Using Postcards

How Catalogers are Using Postcards

I just read a great article in Total Retail that highlighted sending postcards to website abandons. You all know I’m seriously into postcard marketing right now.

In terms of sending postcards to website abandons, let me explain what that it is. If you go to a website and tool around, maybe put something in your shopping cart and then drop out, a smart website catalog owner will mail you a reminder postcard.

Statistics are showing that this is very responsive and highly profitable. Many of the larger brands have already jumped on the bandwagon. According to the article, the only drawback is that the digital cataloger needs to have at least 100,000 unique visitors a month to work with a bounce back vendor who will print and mail those postcards. (BTW – we will totally do it for way smaller quantities).

Moving Between Marketing Channels Improves Response

This all comes down to moving people from marketing channel to channel. The more channels people see your message in, the better. That’s because they start to remember you in different ways.

I got a McKenzie Childs catalog in the mail. They’re the company with the black and white checks on ceramic home décor. I was looking at something in the catalog and wanted to get a better look online. So, I logged in to check it out. The catalog did its’ job – it drove me online to their website. I started browsing and put a platter I liked in my cart. I got preoccupied with other pressing emergencies and abandoned my cart.

A few days later, I got a postcard from McKenzie Childs reminding me that I left something in my cart. I was like – “oh, that’s pretty neat”. I went back on line and made my purchase. That’s the cycle that direct marketers are aiming for.

Direct mail catalog – drives to website – physical postcard reminder – drives to the digital purchase. This way consumers get to shop and buy the way they want to.

Catalogers are Expanding Their Use of Postcards

The author of this article, Jim Coogan said that smart catalogers are also expanding their use of postcard marketing. He explained that best practices can include:

  • Mailing to lapsed customers.
  • Sending a postcard to email opt-outs.
  • Sending postcards to the very best customers between catalog drops.
  • Hitting prospects from a cooperative database model that may float to the top of a mailing list model but the cataloger would need to wait for the next catalog drop, which may be months away.
  • Hitting website abandons from those catalog mailing prospects who didn’t purchase right away from the first catalog drop but may engage and purchase from a postage retargeting mailing well before the next catalog mailing to prospects.

Again, all great opportunities for using postcards.

Not only that, let’s talk about cost. Postcards are WAY less expensive than catalogs. They are easy to create, print and mail and can become a great source of profit and new customers.

And, for those catalogers who want to increase their reach, postcards are a very cost-effective way to test out new prospect files from co-op databases.

BTW – I loved Jim’s definition of co-op mailing databases (especially since we provide those here at Dataman Group)

Co-op Databases Offer Catalogers New Prospects

“The co-op databases are very good at finding profitable prospects for catalogs. Typically, they start with a table of similar catalogs and start with mail order customers who have bought within the specific merchandise category. To be a prospective buyer you need to have purchased before by mail inside the merchandise category. Therefore, the universe of woodworkers starts with all those who have previously bought from a woodworking catalog. Same for plus-size women’s apparel, gardening, men’s high-ticket apparel, food as gift, power tools, vitamins for your horse, etc.”.

FYI – We have lots of lists, but we don’t have a list of people who buy vitamins for their horse.