Germany Your Next Market
Cash-on-delivery is another method, but predominantly is used in the low-ticket end of the market, where personal credit-worthiness could be an issue. Payment by personal check is virtually unheard of for mail-order transactions.
Choice of Suppliers
Local suppliers know the German market inside out and are therefore valuable partners for companies expanding into Germany. Suppliers experienced in working for foreign clients will be aware of potential pitfalls. A number of suppliers have established special international client teams to meet the need for local marketing expertise.
English vs. German
In many cases, it will be necessary to mail in the German language. It is too much to expect someone to order products and services in a language other than their mother tongue. A different language creates a barrier between mailer and recipient, and this is not the aim when entering a new market!
Consider working with a German direct marketing agency that will not merely translate an existing domestic market mailing or catalog, but rather highlight the adaptations necessary to make a mail piece compatible with the local market.
Lists and Data Sources
Rental lists play an important role in the majority of customer acquisition strategies, and the business-to-consumer market offers more than 2,000 lists and data sources. These are similar to lists and data sources in the United States. They include:
>mail-order buyer and prospect lists from both niche and mass market operators;
>magazine subscriber lists;
>compiled files with micro-geographical data on a cluster basis with response modeling;
>lifestyle databases generated from consumer questionnaires; and
>opt-in e-mail lists.
The German population is smaller than that of the United States, so German lists naturally have smaller universes; the standard U.S. 30-day hotline selections are therefore only available (or worthwhile) on very large lists. However, mailers should not be put off by this—list rental is big business and list brokerage is alive and kicking.