Versioned Copy-Make it Work for Your Next Campaign
Each one of these groups may benefit from receiving a different version of the same basic letter.
Something else to consider. A one-time, or first-time, buyer isn't a devoted customer—at least not yet. He or she still is trying you out. It's the second purchase that will move the buyer into the category of being a more valuable repeat customer.
That said, the letter and e-mail message you send to a first-time buyer should be different from that which you would send to a repeat customer. Start by acknowledging the individual's first purchase with a "thank you for giving us a try." Tell her you hope you have not only met, but also surpassed, her expectations. Let her know you want her as a valued repeat customer. To transform one-time buyers into loyal multi-buyers, test letter versions with different offers and different messages. Never assume that because someone has bought from you once, he or she will buy from you again.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
If the adage that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers holds true, the letters you send to that top 20 percent of your customers also should be different from those you send to less-profitable customers.
The objective is to create the most-effective message to cross-sell and upsell. Even if you can't individualize each letter or e-mail, you can send segmented copy versions based on factors such as the following:
- most recent product purchased;
- product categories purchased;
- frequency of purchase;
- recency of last purchase;
- customer's lifetime value;
- gift-buying history;
- customer anniversary;
- provision of referral names;
- method of payment used; and
- number of marketing channels used (e.g., online, in-store, mail, phone).
When I wrote for Current Inc., in Colorado Springs, CO, I would write as many as 124 versions of a single letter, testing offers, openers and other elements—each targeted to a different customer or prospect segment. By tracking the response generated from these different versions, we were able to identify the new control letter for the coming season based on measurable results.