An important component of catalog circulation planning and mailing strategy involves the catalog in-home date. Savvy catalog mailers know to plan their circulation around holidays — especially fluctuating holidays such as Thanksgiving and Easter. This year, we have a new date to consider. It is the presidential election year and it can wreck havoc on catalog response if you don’t get the timing right.
Take a look at the weekly catalog order chart above. I combined catalog orders from multiple clients to illustrate the impact on response. In this particular example, the last week of October and the first week of November have similar order curves. But during the 2012 election year, catalog and e-commerce orders took a hit. Although there was a slight rebound the following week, overall the distraction hurt response across all transaction channels.
When you plan your catalog in-home dates for 2016, be sure to analyze your order curve and avoid the week prior to the election if your results show a similar decrease. While you can’t control the drop in response, you can ensure that your catalog maximizes its sales potential by planning the best in-home window.