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Chapter 17: Increasing Your Profits
There are a number of steps you take during the rollout of your mailing to increase response and profits. Here are a few strategies for adding to the bottom line.

  • When you speak to satisfied customers, ask them to send comments you can use as testimonials. Add these to a file for future use.
  • If you find a list that has acceptable response, try mailing to it again with the same offer. Generally you’ll get a greater response the second and third mailings.
  • If the first mailing just barely pays for itself... the second mailing typically needs to pull only one-fifth of the response to pay out.
  • When answering inquiries, always include a cover letter thanking the customer for their inquiry letter.
  • Include a ‘back-end’ offer when you ship the product. This is usually an offer for a product the customer will want that goes well with the product he has purchased.
  • Turn customer inquiries into information. If many people ask the same question, that question should be addressed in the sales letter when you rewrite it.
  • Work customer suggestions into product features. When several customers ask if the product can do a certain thing, make sure you highlight this certain thing when you rewrite the sales letter.
  • Use information from the test mailing to help create a more responsive sales letter. The test mailing is designed to show you the good and bad points of your offer. Using customer feedback, edit the letter, and remail to the same list.
  • When you create a project that works, keep mailing it. Direct mail is a numbers game. Once you get the response rate in your favor, expand the project to additional mailing lists.
  • Put successful projects on autopilot. Once a project is proven to be successful, set up a system to continually mail out the letters and respond to the orders.
  • Don’t let it go stale. Be sure to review the product and sales letter often. This gives you a chance to update the sales letter and increase product quality.
  • Take advantage of volumes of scale. As your mailing size increases, be sure to get new quotes for printing and fulfillment services.

    Often you’ll get substantial discounts for volume.
  • Keep track of customer order inquiries. The best customers for your next product will be people who purchased your last product. Keep track of their names.
  • Send follow-up mailings or newsletters to customers who purchase from you. This increases product satisfaction and provides a good way for you to announce new companion products they might be interested in.
  • Product returns are normal, even expected. Some people make it a habit of ordering products, knowing they will return them. This is not a big problem.
  • When products are returned, find out why. Ask the customer to write you a note explaining why the product is being sent back. This is especially important on test mailings.
  • Keep track of why products are being returned. In most cases, the problem can be quickly remedied, if you know what the problem is.
  • Most products are returned because they don’t meet the expectations the sales letter created. You can fix this by making sure the customer gets more than they anticipated.
  • If product returns are greater than 5%, stop mailing the sales letters until the problem is fixed. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying more in refunds than is coming in from sales.
  • Don’t give up. If your test mailing didn’t work, find out why, and fix it. In most cases the reason direct mail projects fail is one of the following:
    1. Wrong mailing list
    2. Wrong product
    3. Weak sales letter

    Find out in which area your weakness is in, and fix it. (It is most likely your mailing list.)

Source: 301 Direct Mail Tips, Techniques & Secrets
Category: My articles | Added by: Marsipan (04.12.2012) W
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