The Mail/Call Center Connection
If you are looking for new ways to improve the results of your control mailing, you may be surprised to find the answer at your call center. A few small adjustments to your telephone approach sometimes can accomplish as much or more than a change in the copy or design of a winning mailing.
Keep in mind that the net return from your mailing is the function of five things:
• Your gross response (inquiry) rate;
• the percentage of inquiries that actually become orders;
• the average sales value of those orders;
• the percentage of sales revenue you actually collect; and
• the revenue you keep after paying for returns and customer service costs.
That said, here are 17 ways you can boost each of these factors with the help of your call center.
Raise Your Gross Response (Inquiry) Rate
Consider the following two phone-based tips to motivate more readers to respond to your call to action:
Tip 1. Add a phone number to every mailing. When you can capture orders over the Internet for free or by prepaid postage for well under a dollar, you may wonder why you should use the phone at all, considering the cost per call is often several dollars. First, you lift your response rate when you give your customers as many options as possible. Second, some people feel more comfortable ordering when they can talk to a live person who can answer their questions. Third, your recipients can call the moment they feel the urge, while a prepaid envelope usually sits overnight on the kitchen counter where it can get put aside or thrown away. It costs more to include a phone option, but the extra revenue from those additional orders almost always will justify the cost.
Tip 2. Test a “soft” offer. If price objections are suppressing your response rate, try removing the price from your mailing with a call to action like “Call for more information.” Marketers frequently test this approach in DRTV campaigns, and sometimes see call volume double or triple over a hard price-point offer. You may find a skilled sales consultant can overcome your customers’ price objections better than a sales letter or lift note.