9 Tips for Mailing Your Online Buyers the Right Offer at the Right Time
4. Test mailing your mail piece designated for online customers to a segment of your traditional catalog customers, especially those who placed their most recent orders online.
5. Examine channel preference by age. If possible, overlay a buyer’s approximate age on your housefile. By asking your customers for their birthdays and doing something special to recognize them, you gain valuable data and build buyer loyalty at the same time.
6. Call a segment of your online buyers, and ask them how they want to be contacted. Test an e-mail program with the same objective, and compare results. The goal is to get as many of them as possible to tell you what they want via their profiles or preferences. Calling generally provides better feedback, as you’re able to pick up nonverbal cues or other related customer feedback.
7. Respect their wishes! Nothing loses your buyers’ trust more than asking for their preferences and then not following them.
8. Update regularly. Communicate their selected preferences regularly, asking for updates. This is especially important if you feel what they’ve selected doesn’t mesh with how they act.
9. Employ the standard brand-building promotions for new customers — welcome, second order offer, related purchase offer, etc. — regardless of channel. Just because the order came online doesn’t mean these tried-and-true programs no longer apply. Your goal is always to turn a first order into a lifetime customer.
In the end, matching your communication to a buyer’s wants and needs will make your mailings and e-mails more effective. And you’ll save money through reduced mailings, too. Online buyers will read your mail and open your e-mails when they remember they asked for them and see that you’re giving them exactly what they asked for, when they asked for it. It keeps you relevant and builds trust.