Re-Seal the Deal: Category Repurchase

Three years ago today, I wrote about a great piece of direct mail I received from a local driveway sealer company. The piece had everything needed to make a purchase decision: a great offer, strong call to action, and perfect timing.

The service was excellent and I’m happy to report that it’s only in the last few months that I noticed that my driveway’s starting to fade a little. But three years of a nice, black driveway for just $65? A bargain!

I’ve been wondering why Academy Sealers hasn’t hit me again this year with an offer to re-seal my driveway. From looking at our neighborhood, it seems to me that those who seal their driveways tend to do so every two to three years.

So I expected an offer last year, when I did not receive a postcard, or this year. I think it’s probably hard to guess up front if I purchase on a two or three year cycle. I’d advise a driveway sealer company to mail on year two, then year three and four if no purchase.

With the data (purchase/no-purchase) you can start segmenting the universe into something like this:

  • Non-buyers
  • One-time buyers, who maybe liked the deal
  • Two-year cycle buyers
  • Three-year cycle buyers
  • Four-year cycle buyers

Then you can start looking for patterns. I’d guess that the cycles vary by neighborhood, which can help fine-tune future promotions. Further, timing matters. August in Virginia is probably too early and December is too late, from a weather perspective. Also, you’ve got to get in front of the competition.

In addition, I’d look at my sales penetration by neighborhood. It might be better to door-hanger the neighborhood with hand-written prices (to make it look like somebody gave you a custom quote) and maybe add an offer of 10% off if X or more neighbors got the service. And…

You can see how this got me thinking about driveway sealing and all the interesting marketing you could do, just by thinking about category repurchase rates.

So, do you really know your category repurchase rate?

Takeaway: Know your category buyers. Segment them by–among other things–repurchase rate. Customize offers to the targeted segments. And win.

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