One Effective Way to Increase Your Response Rates
All of us are struggling these days to find new tactics to increase our catalog response rates. With postal rates increased, we’ve all been working hard to reduce our catalog costs. But how many times can we cut trim size, reduce paper weights or cull our mailing list? What new tactics are there to help increase mail and e-mail response rates to help us offset those higher postal costs?
Many B-to-B catalogers have tested sending an e-mail announcing the arrival of a new catalog. I’ve seen some success with these programs, especially when the e-mail is well-targeted, relevant, properly executed and contains a compelling offer on the new catalog being received.
But here’s a fresh idea: In addition to e-mail, I’ve seen some testing with guided voice mail. Here, the mailer leaves a voice mail message for the catalog recipient in advance of the catalog being received. Ideally, it’s short and personal.
Something like, “Hi, this is Terry, your sales rep at XYZ company, and it’s Tuesday, Aug. 2. I wanted to let you know our new catalog is on the way to you and has a great offer on page 3. For our best customers like you, we’re doubling that offer if you order by Aug. 15. Make sure you take advantage of this limited-time offer.”
You get the idea. This particular message tests the “curiosity factor.” (“What is the offer on page 3 anyway?”) Other offers you might test would be more specific and detailed. But make sure they’re relevant, timely and as personal as possible in a mass voice mail.
This tactic only works when you have direct-line telephone numbers with voice mail, and you leave the message overnight so the recipient hears it first thing in the morning. Each assigned sales rep should do a recording to help it be more recognizable or personal.