Catalog and Direct Selling: Get on the Horn
A good offer strategy will build several promotions into a single call—as few as two to as many as your customers, and your brand, will allow. For highly promotional mailers, it may be perfectly acceptable to keep a customer on the phone for as long as 10 minutes working the sale and driving up the average ticket. Other companies will take the more conservative approach, extending the primary and secondary offers only, and not wanting to become a pest in the ear of the customer.
A good strategy also will test several offers against one another. Call programs are among the most invasive contact methods, and offers have to press the right buttons in order to succeed and get customers over the annoyance factor. Going to market and failing with a single offer—if it isn’t the right offer for the audience you’re reaching—could give you the false impression that outbound programs aren’t for your business. Only testing will verify that for sure.
Evaluate your customers’ purchase patterns. Can you put your buyers into “buckets” that identify customers who buy from category A versus category B versus category C, etc.? If so, build offer strategies that tie into the categories these customer groups typically buy from. Bundling core products with, say, inventory overstocks, will accomplish two goals:
1. It will add value to the overall promotion by way of the inclusion of the core product.
2. It will decrease inventory levels of a product that can’t move on its own.
Test offers against one another. Do you find after several completed calls that the first offer in your line-up is weaker at generating response than the second? Switch them up, and begin a new test. You also should be working at least two offer sets against one another at all times, just as you would with e-mail subject lines or creative tests in print. The key to this strategy is to understand customers’ behaviors and purchasing patterns, then build manageable offers that are customer relevant.