The category "newsletters-general" was the most popular type of e-mail sent last September, according to an analysis of more than 7,000 mailings sent from almost 1,000 companies in the E-mail Campaign Archive, a Target Marketing Group service that collects thousands of promotional e-mails each month.
By Bill Baird Offers that require a promise to pay are called "hard" offers. "Soft" offers, on the other hand, don't require such a promise. Because they reduce the commitment required from the customer, soft offers increase gross response by 50 percent to 200 percent. This results in higher gross sales, but also a higher cancelation rate. A combination of the two, however, often produces higher net sales after cancels, which makes the offer pay off for you, the marketer. One example of soft payment terms is to allow customers free, no-risk trial offers of the product. You promise that they can begin to get trial shipments or services with no obligation to pay. If customers decide not to continue, they can write "cancel" on your bill or call and tell you not to charge their credit cards, and the customers will owe nothing further. Tip: Emphasize the free trial/no risk terms of this offer in many prominent locations in your promotion. Also remind customers in several places that they can keep their first shipments (or benefit from your services during the trial period) even if they decide not to continue. Payment Terms
By Bill Baird Savvy marketers know there's tremendous leverage in the offer used to promote product. During the next four editions of this column, I'll give tips and ideas about how to get more out of each of the four major components of your offer (see diagram). This month: Pricing. •Price point. Nothing else that you test affects long-term profitability more than price. Test to find the major price thresholds for your product or service. If you can't test, study your competitors and larger, similar types of businesses. For an inexpensive product (less than $50), consider testing in increments of $5. Most resistance