New prospecting tool for catalogers launches

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While many catalogers are looking at cutting circulation because of the economic downturn, postage increases and potential paper increases, some are still looking to prospect for new buyers.

“Those companies that rely only on marketing to their best buyers or their own customers during the recession are going to be much smaller in a few years due to natural customer attrition,” said John Neswadi, director of Transactional Data Products in the marketing information services division of Experian.

This week, Experian launched Next Product Purchase, something it hopes will be a way for retailers to prospect in a cost-effective way. It combines the company's Z-24 Catalog co-op database with opt-in prospecting e-mail lists from AcquireWeb in order to predict a customer's next product searches and buying channel to help catalogers choose whether to send a print piece or an e-mail to potential new customers.

“There has traditionally been a lot of nervousness around prospecting through e-mail,” Neswadi admitted. He added that the names from AcquireWeb have opted in to receive third-party offers, and each e-mail sent still needs to be CAN-SPAM compliant.

Currently, Experian has four clients using the service and another two beginning to test the product. Neswadi said that so far results are good, however he was hoping to have more people using the service and had spoken to many people who are still hesitant to invest around anything that needs testing in this economy.

When asked if there were less new buyers for retailers to target, Neswadi referred to the size of the company's prospecting file.

“Our prospecting universe is the 0-24 month file, that file has not shrunk,” Neswadi said. “That has stayed around 35 million names.”

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