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Editor's Picks: 2012's Top Direct Marketing Tips for Each 'Target Marketing' Editor

December 1, 2012 By Target Marketing editorial Staff

But, better yet is his tip about photocopying the catalog page, ad, etc. The classic office staple of the copy machine wipes away all the color and leaves the designer and copywriter with a page of black, gray and white. Copy both pops and is readable, or it's a haze of gray. Sometimes the simplest tests are the best.

Thorin McGee, Editor-in-Chief
Simplify the form: Long, complicated forms with many required fields are an invitation to abandon the page. One look at such a form can turn otherwise interested prospects away. Your goal is to capture a lead to make initial contact. Ask for name, company, email address and maybe a phone number. That's all you need. The rest of the information can be filled in later as you begin to engage with your new lead and learn more about their needs.
Chris Chariton, GlobalSpec
"10 Tips for Improving Landing Pages," May 23

In other words, customers are more likely to complete simple tasks. A similar tip did make the Top 35 from Daryl Nielsen of HP about a way he had changed HP's approach to e-newsletter sign-up forms, and we heard the same thing from many other sources throughout the year. This is my favorite tip precisely because we heard it from so many different marketers in so many different contexts. Across the board, marketers who were doing the testing reported to us that asking for less lead to higher conversions, regardless of what the desired conversions were.

This is part of a wider direct marketing truth that Denny Hatch hits on whenever he warns against "me text," or scolds an online marketer for poor website design: The easier, more inviting, more optimized you make the experience for your customers in every channel, the more likely they are to buy your products.

It's not new thinking, direct marketers have known this for decades, but marketers are relearning it for the digital age. Most conversions—from email sign-up to purchase—create the opportunity to market to that customer again. That's the key to lifetime value, and it's worthwhile sacrificing a piece of information early in order to get them into your sales funnel and loyalty programs (and you can try to collect that info again later in the lifecycle).



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