Even if your Web efforts are booming, don’t give up on good old fashioned direct mail just yet. Catalogs and snail mail could well be generating your most valuable online customers.

All buyers are not created equal — even if they reside in the same recency-frequency-monetary value (RFM) cell. The Web has caused us to look at buyers and the way they shop differently. The LTV of a Web buyer is often not as great as that of a catalog buyer. That’s because buyers who came onto the file from organic or paid search are “item” buyers, not necessarily catalog shoppers. They were looking for a specific item and they found it.

Mailing these buyers catalogs because they are in a most recent recency-frequency-monetary value cell will not stimulate them to make a repeat purchase no matter how many catalogs they receive. Analyzing the channel of origin affords the cataloger an opportunity to maximize contribution to profit and overhead by learning to deviate from traditional RFM segmentation.

— STEPHEN LETT, president of catalog consultancy Lett Direct Inc.

For more, visit http://directmag.com/lists/0518-lists-comparing/.

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