Industry Eye: Furthermore - Marketing & Mobile Minute
Creative Ways to Make a Good Offer
One of the "absolutes" in the merchandise sales business is making an offer. Yet many marketers avoid offers due to the cost or for fear they'll "train" their customers to expect discounts every time they shop. A good offer controls your customer's behavior — that's why it's so essential. The best kind of offer includes one or more of the following:
- Encourages people to buy more faster, contains a reply-by date and a minimum order size.
- Is exclusively a product of yours or a gift with your logo and URL screened on to make it yours.
- Accomplishes what you want it to: If you're looking to get lots of traffic, try a more general offer or a sweeps. If you want to pare it down, information-oriented offers, such as a book or a whitepaper, can work well.
- Is easy to fulfill. Online coupons and gift cards that can be "delivered" via an e-mail are great — no postage, no breakage.
- Might be a "hot potato," such as a coupon for your store, Web site or catalog. It could be a gift like a free T-shirt (Talbots used this successfully for years to generate retail traffic) or dollars off on a purchase. The "use by" date gets consumers moving if they want to enjoy your offer.
If you've tried an offer before and it didn't work, it just means you didn't figure out what works. Check it against this list, and try again. —Carol Worthington-Levy, partner, creative services, Lenser (firstname.lastname@example.org).Q&A with Strand bookstore's Eddie Sutton
The Strand Bookstore in New York City has long been known for its giant collection of publishers' overstock, used, rare and out-of-print books.
Unlike its one-time Manhattan neighbor Barnes & Noble, which began expanding into the country's largest bookstore chain more than 30 years ago, The Strand remains among the last of a dying breed: a thriving local bookstore.