Strategy Session: Think Like a Direct Marketer
The Survey Strategy
One of the most successful techniques in direct marketing is a survey. It regularly pulls 10 percent to 20 percent response and sometimes much higher. When sent to customers, it gives them the feeling that you truly care about their opinions and improves retention. When sent to prospects, it involves them-and may help them understand that they really do have a need for your product or service.
Let me give you two examples:
1. I spent time with Derek Glass, who does fundraising work in Australia and New Zealand. He showed me a recent package for a nonprofit called Seeing Eye Dogs of Australia. He added a short survey to the donation card, with each question reinforcing the need to donate. He included relationship-building questions, such as, "Do you own a dog?" and, "If yes, what is his or her name?"
The package performed five times better than the previous control.
2. I used the survey technique with one of my for-profit clients last year. The SCOOTER Store is a Texas-based company that sells power chairs and scooters for people with mobility problems. We did a mailing for it that offered a "Free Mobility Test." Inside the package was an insert with seven questions to determine whether or not you might benefit from a power chair or scooter.
I used this technique because some people are reluctant to admit they actually need assistance-and these questions made them realize that they did.
It's a good example of thinking like a direct marketer and putting yourself into the mind-set of your prospects and customers. The questions described some of the problems you may encounter with limited mobility, such as ,"Are you usually exhausted at the end of the day?"
And the copy said, "If you answered, ‘yes' to more than three of these questions, please call us immediately."