3 Tactics to Improve Customer Response
Everyone’s heard the saying, “The customer’s always right,” and that has never been more true than today. The freedom the Internet has brought to consumers—search, social media, etc.—allows them to dictate their own shopping experiences. That means it’s vital for marketers to gain trust and build relationships in their communications if they have any hope of nabbing sales.
Here, Laura Simkins, audience marketing and planning director for AFAR Media, the San Francisco-based media company that publishes experiential travel magazine AFAR, and fundraising coach Sandy Rees offer ways to strengthen response from consumers.
• Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
This cannot be overstated: Today’s consumer expects personalized communications. “[Personalization] is really critical,” says Rees. “… Every time I get a hold of something that says, ‘Dear Friend,’ I say no, no, no.” Use the recipient’s name in every message, she counsels, and study your database segments to add further personalization. Give the recipient relevant offers based on prior purchase behaviors and profile demographics. Let your database analytics do the work for you.
• Offer Different Ways to Respond
Some customers respond best to mail. Others prefer to go online. Give your customers the choice to order however they like. For example, says Simkins, put a prominent URL on direct mail pieces so recipients can choose whether to return the reply card or make their transactions on your Web site.
• Test Different Offers
Not everyone is interested in the same offer. While 20 percent off may sound good to one customer, it may not be as appealing to another. With that in mind, test sending different offers to different target segments to see what promotions work best for which customers. Simkins recently tested two-year discounted subscriptions, pay now for $5 off and another discount for ordering online for the launch of AFAR magazine. This way, AFAR can determine what segments respond to what offers and tailor future messaging based on those results.