Direct Marketing Old Timers will tell you that the success or failure of any marketing program is attributable to:
- 40% the list,
- 40% the offer, and
- 20% for everything else , i.e., copy, creative, timing, etc.
If you’re not getting the response you think you should be getting, look at the offer first.
The strategic process in old-fashioned Direct Marketing is matching up the right list with the right offer… segmenting the list into micro-segments (or “splits”), and tailoring specialized offers to make the offer more relevant.
The 3R’s: It’s not Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, but…
Jim Prendergast who is one of the great Direct Marketers of all time, a long time friend and mentor, and Professor of Marketing for years at Baruch College, always reminds his students of the 3 R’s of Direct Marketing:
- Make your offer RELEVANT; to achieve response you can’t have one message for your entire customer base. Using Segmentation and analysis, you’ve see you have different kinds of customers, and they’re going to react differently to different offers and messages. What the segments, and what are the offers and messages?
- Establish a RELATIONSHIP with your customer (they’re not a customer until they’ve bought from you three times). You are in business to win customers. Then to get them to buy more from you until they become multi-buyers, and ultimately to become raving fans of your business, so they refer all their friends to you. Again, it’s all about the customer.
- Be RESPONSIVE to your customer’s needs. Ask them what they want, and create periodic customer satisfaction surveys. Ask them if there’s anything else you can do for them. Funnel this information into developing new products to keep you ahead of the competion (if you have any). “Give ’em what they want.”
Here are a few more well-known sayings about “the offer”:
- “It’s the offer, stupid! If you do not get the results you need or response is flagging, check the offer first.” ~ Bob Hacker
- “If you want to dramatically increase your response, dramatically improve your offer.” ~ Axel Andersson
- “Success in direct mail is 40% lists, 40% offer and 20% everything else.” ~ Ed Mayer