Offline Marketing: Mail Order Catalogues with David Lockwood from The Tapestry Agency (episode 085)

by April Buencamino-dy

David has been involved with the direct mailing and marketing of impressive UK retailers throughout his career. After 20 years driving growth for top UK online brands like Boden and Direct Wines he co-founded the Tapestry Agency to help multi-channel retailers grow faster and more profitably.

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About David

When David graduated from university, his first job was working in direct consumer marketing. There were no online marketing strategies to speak of at the time, so offline marketing – specifically catalogue marketing – was David’s focus.

David says it was important to understand how to create a catalogue that would work and drive responses.

Who Do Catalogues Work For?

If you have a range of products that you sell, catalogues should work for you.

Also, if you understand how your product proposition — so long as it’s not a single product — is going to fit with your target market, then catalogues are also for you.

Why Should We Get Into Catalogue Marketing?

David mentions that in general, catalogue response rates will be at least ten times more than email response rates. Second, it’s easier to send direct mail than to send an email to customers. 

If your catalogue has the right visual impact, it’s going to deliver engagement in a way other channels won’t.

Catalogues For Both New And Existing Customers

The products you feature in your catalogue will be different depending on the type of customer you’re targeting.

For catalogues aimed at new customers, show your best-selling products. For existing customers, your catalogues can have anything from new product ranges to new colorways of best-sellers.

Test and learn along the way and you’ll find your catalogues becoming more distinct between new and existing customers.

Going The Inserts Route

Inserts can be used when you don’t know your customer’s address. Here are ways you can work with inserts:

  • Through Sunday supplements which can target new customers
  • Through brands with like-minded customers, by including your catalogue when they send out their parcels

Using An Agency

Find an agency and work with people who understand the space and can advise you properly on how to use inserts as part of your marketing.

Those with the right experience can help you understand what you should be doing and how you should put your inserts together.

Acquiring Data

David gives us a few ways on how to get postal data:

  • Buy or swap with a like-minded company
  • Buy from data cooperatives. This will give you scalability of names. 

For more information, visit Direct Commerce Association, Nemoa, or eCommerce Europe.

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with offline marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

If you’re going to use a channel and marketing method you haven’t used before, don’t do it alone. Get input and help from someone who has done it.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve offline marketing performance?

David gives us two key tips:

  • Understand how and what you’re measuring before going on any channel. Know how you’re going to measure the responsiveness of that channel and how success will look like.
  • Everything is a huge test and learn environment, so always come up with new things to test and make sure you’re learning. Also, find out what’s working from your test and learn environments and move forward with that.

If someone listening wants to learn more about offline marketing is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

David gives us a couple of resources to check out:

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in offline marketing?

David mentions several things:

  • Those who are already in the offline space will continue to and accelerate the use of offline marketing.
  • People will be more thoughtful in how they tie-in their offline and online marketing.
  • People will work harder to understand the incremental impact of their offline marketing activities.

David on Social media:

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