Promoting Interaction and Sales
In each box of chocolates, you’ll a find high-quality, glossy, tri-fold brochure that includes a short letter from LeBlanc denoting her start with the company, a plug for the company’s product lines and a prompt to visit the company’s retail locations. The rest of the brochure offers depictions and descriptions of the Harbor Sweets products. And the brochure includes the company’s address, toll-free phone number and URL, so even after the candy is long digested, the brochure may prompt customers to order again or gift recipients to buy a box for themselves.
Harbor Sweets also drops into each box a self-addressed, postage-paid postcard on which customers can note their thoughts on the product. A check-off box encourages customers and giftees to inquire for more information on Harbor Sweets products. It asks for an e-mail address to send news and special offers, and it denotes the company’s URL, further promoting multichannel shopping. No doubt it’s these and the other savvy marketing tactics it employs that have enabled Harbor Sweets to boost its average order value for retail customers from $83 in 2004 to $88 last year.
Harbor Sweets does not regularly use other types of insert media, such as package inserts in other companies’ outgoing orders. “We tried those and did not get a satisfactory response,” says Phillips. She does, however, buy space ads in national magazines to tout the Dark Horse Chocolates product line, and during the holiday selling season, she runs ads in Boston and Salem periodicals to drive store sales in that region. “In all, our main marketing efforts lately have been in the wholesale and Web channels,” Phillips recounts.
The company also is transitioning its customer service team into an inside sales force. “We’re training the reps to segue into more sales conversations with customers,” says Phillips. “We’re giving the team members more tools, introducing new products to them, so they know how to talk about them with customers. For example, if we have a wholesale client who calls about one product line, we train the reps to say, ‘You know we have a candy bar that has the same ingredients as those chocolates you ordered for your store. Would you like to try those?’ We use that customer service process to expose more products to more people.”