In a tough economy when businesses are slashing budgets and wanting a clear ROI on every Rand spent, there’s nothing like direct marketing to validate your marketing investment.
30 Timeless Direct Marketing Principles by Bob Stone
- All customers are not created equal. 80% of repeat business will come from 20% of your customer base.
- The most important order you ever get from a customer is the second order. A 2-time buyer is at least twice as likely to buy again as a 1-time buyer.
- Maximising direct mail success depends 1st on your list selection, 2nd on the offers you make and 3rd on the copy and graphics you create.
- If, on a given list, "hotline" names don't work, the other list categories offer little opportunity for success.
- Merge/purge names - those that appear on 2 or more lists - will out-pull any single list from which these names have been extracted.
- Direct response lists will always out-pull compiled lists.
- Overlays on lists (enhancements), such as lifestyle characteristics, income, education, age, marital status,
and propensity to respond by mail or by phone will always improve response.
- A follow-up or reminder to the same list within 30 days will pull 40 - 50% of the first mailing.
- "Yes/No" offers consistently produce more orders than offers that don't request "no" responses.
- The "take rate" for negative option offers will always out-pull positive option offers at least 2 to 1.
- Credit card privileges will out-perform cash with orders at least 2 to 1.
- Credit card privileges will increase the size of the average catalogue order by 20%, or more.
- Time limit offers, which give a specific date, out-pull offers with no time limit practically every time.
- Free gift offers, particularly where the gift appeals to self-interest, out-pulls discount offers consistently.
- Some form of sweepstakes, particularly in conjunction with impulse purchases, will increase order volume 35%, or more.
- You will collect far more money in a fundraising effort if you ask for a specific amount from a donor. Likewise, you will collect more money if the appeal is tied to a specific project.
- People buy benefits, not features.
- The longer you can keep someone reading the better your chances of success.
- The timing and frequency of renewal letters is vital. An attempt to hype renewals with "improved copy" will lead to failure. The product or service is the factor in making a renewal decision.
- Self-mailers are cheaper to produce, but they never out-pull envelope enclosed letter mailings.
- A pre-print of a forthcoming ad, accompanied by a letter and response form, will out-pull a post-print mailing package by 50%, or more.
- It is easier to increase the average Rand amount of an order than it is to increase the percentage of response.
- You will get far more new catalogue customers if you put your proven winners in the front pages of your catalogue.
- Assuming items of similar appeal, you will always get a higher response rate from a 32-page catalogue than from a 24-page catalogue.
- A new catalogue to a customer base will out-pull cold lists by 400-800%.
- A print ad with a bind-in card will out-pull the same ad without a bind-in up to 600%.
- A direct response, direct sale TV commercial of 120 seconds will out pull a 60-second direct response commercial better than 2 to 1.
- A TV support commercial will increase response from a newspaper insert up to 50%.
- The closure rate from qualified leads can be from 2 to 4 times as effective as cold calls.
- Telephone generated leads are likely to close 4 to 6 times greater then mail generated leads.
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