Three Ways to Cut Customer Acquisition Costs and BEAT the Postal Increase
Last week, I discussed some powerful resources for finding obscure mailing lists that may not be on the traditional list rental market.
This week, let’s take these resources a step further. You can use the below list of research sources to make contact with companies, and then create reciprocal list exchanges and co-marketing partnerships. With this week’s absolutely insane postal rate increase, now is a great time for you to look at alternative ways to acquire customers and even lower your customer acquisition costs.
Again, the resources are:
* Belcaro Shop at Home (www.shopathome.com)
* Catalogs.com (www.catalogs.com)
* Greyhouse publishing (www.greyhouse.com/marketing.htm)
* And www.catalogs.google.com.
One other method I didn’t mention last week is through magazines that target your particular niche. You’d be surprised at how many other companies there are out there with products that have an affinity to yours and that would be open to a marketing partnership.
Here are some examples of the types of programs you can set up with other catalogers:
1. List exchanges. The most obvious way is to exchange housefile names (both offline and online). This will eliminate most of the cost of renting those names. To keep things running smoothly, once you work out your arrangement with the other list owner, you can have your list broker work this like a regular list order. Your broker will charge you a nominal fee for this, called an exchange rate.
2. Package inserts. Trading off space in outbound package inserts can be an excellent source of both leads and orders. Just like paid-package insert programs, set up tracking codes and test creative and offers. For offers, try testing a catalog request vs. a direct sale of a hybrid of each.
As for finding companies to trade with, use the above-mentioned sources. Or, your list broker can help you make contact with the list owners of some of the lists you rent (ones that don’t already have a package insert program running).
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.