Diversifying prospecting tactics also makes you less vulnerable to competitors, because you have multiple acquisition “tools” in your arsenal. The more places your offer appears, the more likely you’ll be there for potential customers when their need arises. You can capture prospects who are inefficient to reach via mail, with mediums where prospects “raise their hands.” Schlagenhaft points out that the produce cataloger uses print, inserts, paid and organic search. And Cushman’s also is an Amazon.com partner and has tested eBay. Multichannel acquisition “adds a wealth of new names to our list,” she says. “We reach buyers who may not necessarily be catalog buyers.”
When crafting your strategy, in addition to considering which magazines your audience is likely to read, television or radio shows they tune into, or Web sites they frequent, consider internal company issues. Some companies, for instance, want to test quickly, while others take six months to plan a
test. These will impact your media selection. Also consider your resources, such as budget, staff and systems to track everything. Remember to plan for creative and fixed costs of new acquisition media, as well as ongoing production and media expenses.
While some media are easier to track than others, some have significant customer spillover impact on retail and Web traffic, most notably, DRTV and space advertising. To make tracking easier, use different toll-free numbers by medium (space ads vs. direct mail) and specific toll-free numbers for each effort, if feasible. Naturally, don’t expect prospects to remember where they heard about you. Use embedded links or source codes for every effort.
For online advertising, develop landing pages or mini-Web sites. These will let you close the deal you made for that hero product or catalog request. Cushman’s landing page for space ad offers mirrors the ad. Include a unique URL, but keep it simple — consumers will ignore text after a slash (e.g., www.catalog.com/info).