I am an avid online shopper. I love to buy books, clothing and home decor online. I even bought my car on eBay! I like getting emails from retailers and I actually like getting catalogs as well. It's fun to flip through the catalogs and imagine what the products might look like in my home.
Generally I get catalogs from companies like Pottery Barn and J. Jill and Garnet Hill. But recently the catalogs landing in my mailbox have changed. Now I'm getting Growing Up With Garnet Hill and Hannah Andersson and other kid-product catalogs. And I have an idea of why. I think it can be traced back to my lunchbox. Several months ago, while making a purchase at Garnet Hill, I saw that kid's insulated lunchboxes were on clearance, and since I didn't have one to use for bringing my lunch to work, I bought one.
It seems pretty likely that Garnet Hill identified me as someone who purchased from their children's line, added me to their children's catalog list, and then sold that list to other retailers looking for customers for their kid's items. Unfortunately, those retailers won't really get their money's worth, since I'm not really a buyer of kid's things, this was just a one-time anomaly.
You see this in email marketing as well, especially around holidays. If I buy my brother a Red Sox cap for Christmas, suddenly I'm getting offers targeted to Red Sox fans. It's a good strategy, to look at purchase data and use that to increase the relevance of your marketing messages. However, it needs to be implemented correctly. Just as an abandoned shopping cart trigger should only deploy once every 30 days or so, one purchase does not make a pattern. On the other hand, if I buy Red Sox gear every Christmas, that would be an opportunity to target me for a gift-themed email featuring the latest Red Sox collectibles on Black Friday.
I'd love to hear how you handled the challenge of analyzing purchase data and implementing a targeted messaging plan for your email subscribers.
Liz Lynch, senior marketing communications specialist, e-Dialog