7 Ways to Rev Up Mail Response

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.