BTB Cataloger's Test Drop Sees Unanticipated Results

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Business-to-business cataloger CorporateGreetings conducted a test drop of 40,000 catalogs last month that has produced an average sales order of more than $500.

The average is $200 greater than the amount that company officials had anticipated.

CorporateGreetings specializes in promotional business products such as greeting cards and gifts. CEO Neil Sexton characterized response rates as low because of the lateness of the mailing. He said that a drop prior to the holiday season would have produced a greater response rate.

But he was surprised at the high average order rate.

"We think there may have been a seasonal curve that resulted in the higher figure," Sexton said.

The cataloger will conduct 12 catalog drops this year totaling 350,000 catalogs. Different versions of the catalog will be used to target groups such as women and Hispanics. The company anticipates dropping a Spanish-language catalog later this year that will be distributed in Mexico. Sexton said there are plans to expand the mailings to other countries where Spanish is the primary language. He said the company is in the preliminary stages of seeking additional groups for targeted catalog drops.

Sexton, a former senior vice president of direct marketing at Successories, Chicago, said CorporateGreetings, Trinidad, CO, is building a house database. But the company rented 80,000 names from list company MeritDirect, Stamford, CT, to conduct the test drop. Half of the names were used for the test drop while the rest were used for drops on Dec. 29 and Jan. 2. The company is searching for names in order to target Hispanic businesses.

The CorporateGreetings catalog features 200 customized products that range in price from $1 to $500.

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