Your offer is right up there with your list
selection when it comes to direct-mail
impact. But what factors make for productive
offers? Noted marketing authority Stephen Lett
offers these 15 critically important pointers:
Free shipping offers, Lett writes, can boost
revenue per mailing by 20% or more.
Clearly, not every mailer can afford to pick
up the tab for shipping and processing costs,
However, crunch your numbers. If free
shipping boosts response and yields enough
income to justify its existence, you’d be well
advised at least to test the offer.
Flat-fee shipping, regardless of order size,
can lift response and revenue as effectively as a
free-shipping offer, in Lett’s years of experience,
and covers part of your delivery costs.
Lett has tested flat-rate shipping at the $2.95,
$3.95, and $4.95 levels and has seen no
difference in response. Apparently, the fact
that a perceived bargain in shipping fees are
offered at all is more important than the size
of the dollar figure.
A discount in dollars beats offers of a
percentage off, Lett notes.
The reason, he believes, is that a percentage discount
offer is harder for the purchaser to
understand than an offer in currency.
Don’t force your sales prospect to reach for
his scratch pad or calculator, Lett says.
Offering a free gift along with a purchase
is a less-effective offer than any of the above, but
can work, according to Lett.
He says that the gift, if you go that route,
should not be a product that you are selling,
and that offering a gift with a high perceived
value is key.
Aim for high response, not a high average
order, Lett advises.
Healthy response numbers translate to new
customers and repeats or upgrades after
their initial orders.
Test an offer with no minimum order, Lett
urges. In his extensive testing, this tactic lifts
both response percentages and average order
Lett’s 10 rules on offers
Figure out what you are trying to
Do not skimp on financial analysis.
Always test an offer against other
Avoid too many tests within a drop.
Do not make special offers during
your peak sales periods.
Complacency is a no-no. Retest your
Learn from what your competitors
Make your sample large enough to
be statistically valid.
Expect repeated offers to decline in
Results count. Act on them.