Lois K. Geller, of New York’s Mason & Geller Direct Marketing agency, suggests these ways to spark your customer acquisition out of the doldrums:
If you let the units of a campaign look the same too long, you risk cueing your customers to toss your mailing pieces in the round file, Geller says. She quotes Greg Harpur of the $50 million Appleseed clothing catalog, who advises that marketers have to understand the ramifications— which are not good—of mailing the same offer to the same people over and over again.
Become your own customer, Geller advises. Make sure that your creative is customer-oriented. Do your photos and illustrations show real–looking people using your product? Are you using high-protein callouts or captions to show how your product functions?
Make certain that your offer genuinely adds value for your customer. Recently, Geller recalls, “I had a client who was selling a $50 product with an offer of a $5 gift certificate.” But what can you buy these days for $5? I also received a mailing with a certificate worth $25 off any purchase I made during December. “Now that’s irresistible!” she remarks.
Your order form should serve as a stand-alone advertisement. Your order form, she says, should be involving—perhaps carrying a peel-off sticker—easy to use, and designed with enough space for customers to enter their full names, addresses, and credit-card numbers, along with their e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
Test free shipping and handling. Also, Geller advises, never make the customer calculate sales taxes.
Call your own toll-free phone number to make sure that your inbound-telemarketing operators are pleasant and helpful to speak with— and that they are fully informed about your product and its benefits.
Order your own merchandise— and see whether your packaging encourages you to order from your company again. Use bounce-back offers or special discounts in your fulfillment materials, Geller urges.