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 is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing and a professor of direct marketing at Miami International University of Art and Design. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.