Rebate Mailings Diversify Customer Shopping

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Retailer Quality Stores' current direct mail system has produced four times as many responses as its previous programs, the company said this week. The Muskegon, MI-based company credits its ThankQ program's targeted rebate mailings, born from its database system, for driving customers to its 300 department stores.


The program examines customers' purchasing histories and groups them into look-alike groups. For instance, if a significant number of shoppers buy dog food, automotive supplies and sports gear, the database will determine that customers who shop in only two of those categories should be mailed a rebate offer in the remaining department.


Helm Kraus, director of marketing, said ThankQ has built brand loyalty for his firm, as it has led customers to purchase items in multiple departments and has created 47 percent more revenue than past programs used by Quality Stores.


"We're doing more than just sending out pieces to people," Kraus said. "I really believe the response rate indicates that the customers identified that we valued them."


The direct mail program was designed by RTMS/CIC, Milwaukee, and personalizes the mail pieces by using consumers' names. Dave Schneider, vice president of marketing at RTMS/CIC, said the system would be offered to interested companies after his firm changes its name this month.


"We use our own geographical/demographical knowledge and combine it with purchase histories to understand what customers might want to buy from our partners but aren't," Schneider said.

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