Man with listWe have heard about cooperative databases and the use of purchased names from third party companies to increase circulation.  These are valid methods that have worked well for catalogers.  But today let’s explore beyond these methods.  How can you move deeper still into the minds of your consumers in order to ensure that your catalog is being mailed to potential Lifetime Valued Customers rather than just any ol’ Joe?  Here are three out of box ideas to increase the names in your house files with individuals who are more apt to fall in love with your brand and become lifetime customers.


1.)    Trade Shows: Okay, think about it!  Really.  If you sell candles, why not go to an arts and crafts tradeshow?  Why not?  While you’re there have a raffle.  Set up a jar on your table and have people fill in their names and addresses and put them in the jar.  Whoever wins the drawing wins… well it doesn’t really matter what they win as long as you have their names and addresses.

2.)    Social Media: Design a contest or offer something your prospect wants in exchange for their address. For example, (continuing on with the candle theme) offer a free candle to whomever signs up for your list.  Other offers that you can leverage, white papers, newsletters, discounts on services, video logs, and so on.

3.)    Schedule Events: One of the best ways to gain names of people with interest in your product is to schedule related events.  Webinars, how to videos, speakers are great ways to draw the crowd to you.  Schedule a convention and watch your halls fill up and your mail list expand.


Remember, things change, people move, interests shift.  For this reason it is important to continue to add new prospects to your house files. Otherwise your program will begin to deteriorate and you will lose ROI.


Think about it!  The next time you are looking to expand your house file, try one of these methods. You might be surprised at how many names you end up with.