Six Low-cost ‘E-ways’ to Meet or Beat Your 2007 Plan By Year’s End
The last I checked our last reader poll asking catalogers whether their sales were meeting, beating or missing projections, it looked somewhat encouraging. When asked if at this point of the year multichannel marketers were on plan with original forecasts for the year, 59 percent of our readers said they were either on plan or ahead. Even better news showed that none of you were missing its numbers badly.
There are still 41 percent of you, however, who are slightly below plan, so let’s see what we can do to move those numbers up by the end of the year. Here are six tips easily put into action.
1. Add in some more e-mails. From what I’ve seen, many companies under-mail their e-mail lists. Certainly the fear of opt-outs has you a bit nervous. So let’s put your nerves to rest. The bottom line is this: Provide relevant information via e-mail, and your customers decide whether or not to opt-out. And if they do opt-out, they were going to anyway.
2. Offer news. Yes, provide industry news, product news or just about any news content that fits your target market. Send out your product-driven e-mails and your news-driven e-mails separately. Include an offer in your news e-mails, but make sure it doesn’t overpower the information you’re providing.
3. Add more product-driven e-mails. Test adding more frequency to your product-driven e-mails. They’re low-cost and can provide immediate feedback on whether you’ve reached the “one too many” tipping point. Chances are, you can add in more and not rock the boat.
4. Tease and chase. Send out an e-mail announcing your next catalog and include a coupon for their next catalog order. Or chase your catalog mailing with a special offer after it’s in home to keep the order curve from dropping. Test timing around your catalog drops to see what best works for your customers.
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.