Postal Reform, Shmostal Reform: Beat any postal increase NOW (and look like a hero!) Part 2 of 3
Continuing the discussion started here in December, here are some more tips to offset any postal increase, anytime.
6. Drive ’em on in. Can you get away with not mailing a catalog? How about testing a miniature catalog, or even a postcard designed to drive customers to your Web site. But don’t just implement it without knowing its impact; test it meticulously. (For more on miniature catalogs, watch for a special feature coming the February print edition of Catalog Success.)
7. Prospect with your best foot forward. Consider creating a smaller catalog just for prospecting purposes. Place your best selling products in it (from our squinch analysis discussion last week — see tip 5) to reduce your new customer acquisition costs.
8. Play the match game. Are you conducting matchbacks to determine where your orders are coming from? The other day I ordered some shorts from a men’s catalog over the Internet. This was the first time I got this catalog. The book stimulated the purchase, but the transaction took place online. I placed the order before dinner at my sister’s house and guess what? I didn’t have the catalog’s source code handy.
The question here is, will my sale get attributed to the Web or to the catalog? With so much business being done on the Internet these days, as it’s both a marketing and order-processing channel, knowing where your business is coming from is critical to controlling your costs.
Note/caveat: Before you attempt to make any changes to your catalog or business model, always test and retest and run the numbers in advance. Don’t make global changes to your catalog or business model without this step. Jim’s rule: Always split test any new idea — your current catalog (the control) vs. your test (hypothesis) catalog.
Comments? Something I missed that you’ve tried? Disagree with me? Fire off your thoughts below. Look for the final segment of this three-part how-to guide next Tuesday.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.