Response Boosters

Shorter Surveys Make the Grade
June 20, 2007

If the gurus behind childhood-education mainstay Schoolhouse Rock have anything to say about it, three is the quintessential magic number. However, for marketers looking for just the right amount of questions to include in a survey, the “magic number” requirements become considerably more business-savvy than the lyrics to a pop song. When enticing prospects to willingly provide information about themselves and/or their feelings on a product or brand, nothing turns a person off more than something that feels like homework. According to survey tests done by Bob Roberts, manager of marketing research for Babcox Publications, an Akron, Ohio–based B-to-B publisher, surveys with an exhaustive

Benefits Revisited in the Age of Hype
June 13, 2007

Copywriters always have operated on the principle that benefits are the guts of any promotion. We know our prospects don’t care about the products we’re pitching. The only thing they want to know is, “What’s in it for me?” But with thousands of overhyped ads assaulting people daily, consumer skepticism keeps growing in direct proportion to the hype. Credibility is stretched razor-thin. As veteran copywriter Clayton Makepeace observes, “Pure benefit leads don’t work as well as they once did because they scream, ‘Hey, this is another AD! Read this so I can SELL you something.’” With the deluge of me-too messages promising to help us save

Nuts&Bolts: Fast Facts
June 1, 2007

Quarterly analysis of direct mail offers from magazine and newsletter publishers over the last two years exhibits a distinctive pattern of rising premium use from quarter to quarter within a year. But the last quarter of 2006 produced a small hiccup in this trend, with usage dropping a little more than two percentage points when compared to third-quarter penetration, according to the Who’s Mailing What! Archive, a direct mail research service offered by Target Marketing’s sister publication, Inside Direct Mail. This slight drop-off also represents another change in pattern: Where 2006 premium usage levels for publishers consistently beat 2005 rates by at least four points,

Get Inside Your Customer’s Psyche
March 28, 2007

Implementing any type of marketing program requires an in-depth understanding of your customers’ wants and needs. However, before diving in with both feet, Elaine O’Gorman, vice president of strategy for Atlanta-based e-mail marketing services provider Silverpop, recommends taking into account the two psychological preferences that most impact your customers’ purchasing habits. She maintains these drivers can help explain buying patterns and the reasons behind the consumer decision-making process. Each has its own strengths on which a marketer can capitalize to achieve relevance with an audience. • Implicit preferences are behavioral cues that reveal who your customer is. To determine this information, marketers should study

The More Pure the Free Shipping Offer, the Better
January 9, 2007

ForeSee Results’ recent study of major retail Web sites, The Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index, found that free shipping without restrictions significantly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty. The study also determined that free shipping is an effective way to convert first-time buyers. But restrictions on free shipping actually can endanger long-term loyalty. Forty-one percent of the more than 10,000 survey respondents cited free shipping as the primary factor in their holiday purchase decision-making. Seventy-nine percent went so far as to say it influenced them to choose one retail site over another. Among the key findings: • Free shipping without restrictions is a powerful tool for

Nuts & Bolts: Tweak Creative to Increase E-mail Results
January 1, 2007

One of the best ways to improve potential customers’ e-mail experience is to get them captivated and involved, according to Bill Spink, executive vice president and chief creative officer of DMW Worldwide. In a November 2006 presentation at the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association’s Marketing Magic seminar, Spink offered the following tips to attendees looking to magnify their direct marketing e-mail results. Use attention-grabbing headlines. Cite the benefits of the product or service to the consumer; for instance, “save time and money” instead of the product’s features, “new and improved.” Keep it concise. A short subject line with precisely worded copy has a better chance of drawing

Build Credibility to Convert
November 29, 2006

Today’s consumers are bombarded with countless marketing messages trying to sell them everything under the sun. As a consequence, most people filter out as many of these messages as possible, notes Jim Murphy, CEO of Murphy Communications in Upper Darby, Pa. Murphy offered his expertise at the Marketing Magic: Successful Strategies in Online and Offline Direct Marketing seminar sponsored by the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association in November 2006. One way to cut through the clutter, says Murphy, is to focus squarely on what your product or service can provide for your customer, and be convincing enough to make the customer a true believer. After

Give Information a Premium Presentation
September 6, 2006

Within the world of premiums, information is a hot commodity. Whitepapers, guides and other educational items have steadily gained in popularity over the past few years, supplanting baseball caps, tote bags and myriad tchotchkes as the go-to response boosters for many mailers, particularly those in the publishing and B-to-B sectors. To wit, in the second quarter of 2006, 24.3 percent of premium mailings collected by the Who’s Mailing What! Archive contained informational freebies; that number jumps to about 32.4 percent if you take the proprietary loyalty programs offered by financial services companies out of the equation. With so many educational premiums in the marketplace, it

What’s Working With Freemiums
April 26, 2006

When I e-mailed 99 circulation directors and consultants for this article, my response rate was a big, fat zero. It seems freemium users are tight-lipped about their successes. One publishing company achieved a 10 percent lift using a bumper sticker and plans to test an in-line package, but didn’t want its name disclosed. Another publisher polybags its magazine as part of an acquisition mailing, but maintains this is not a true freemium. A third magazine known for its freemiums asked not to be mentioned, no reason given. And on it goes. But after turning over many rocks, I found three freemium users who were less

It’s All About the Offer: But Wait, There’s More
November 1, 2004

Offers that drive response to DRTV spots The offer presentation in a direct response television (DRTV) spot is a careful orchestration: The marketer wants to build up perceived value for its product with value-added deals, while also convincing prospects that the price is nowhere near the actual value of what’s being offered. In fact, says Ron Perlstein, CEO and executive producer of Infoworx, a full-service direct response television agency in Boca Raton, Fla., often you want the premiums to look more valuable than the core product. Establishing a market price for each product and premium and then presenting your reduced deal is the basic way to