I’m staggered by the number of catalogs I’m receiving this week: more than a dozen every single day. Where were they when I was planning my Christmas shopping between Labor Day and Thanksgiving? Yes, I’m still placing orders now, but my decisions have long since been made.
All too often, marketers forget that planning and buying don’t always take place simultaneously. This is especially true when it comes to gardening, which often requires a series of interrelated decisions.
When it comes to creating a marketing schedule, many companies focus only on peak sales times, and forget the rest. Since most companies can mail their house list far more often than they do, it makes sense to embrace the planning season by mailing stronger names earlier and more frequently. In addition, use catalog requests, not just sales, as a guideline for when to advertise.
An attractive early-bird offer can both speed up your cash flow and garner you extra sales. For instance, the Bluestone Perennials catalog arrives every year at Christmas time, offering significant savings for orders placed by the first week in February. Because of the offer, I give that catalog priority, and usually place an order before I’ve even opened many of the others – indeed, before many of them have arrived. It’s a strategy that I’d think more catalogers would follow.