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Direct Response Marketing

A Call (or Text) to Action

1 Sep, 2009 By: Nicole Urso Reed Response

A Call (or Text) to Action

Securing Online and Mobile Sales

The advantage of online shopping from a consumer perspective is convenience, but as more consumers flock online to shop, there's a lower level of commitment to complete a purchase. Often, consumers will shop online and leave their carts full without committing to buy. This presents an opportunity for retailers to reach out to potential customers, encourage or help them to complete a purchase and recommend an upsell item.

"We were working with a retailer that had most of its transactions online but it had a call center," says Craig Handley, CEO of Listen Up Español (LUE) and Revenue Enhancement Consultants, based in Portland, Maine. "Its upsells were low, and the calls into the center also had low conversions on upsells. So, in a moment of frustration one of my managers picked up the phones and started calling back customers about their experience, confirmed the order and asked for additional upsells."

LUE has worked with online retailers in categories ranging from nutraceuticals to dating. The company's cart abandon call-back program guarantees to reach 70 percent of a retailer's customer base, and that at least 15 percent of these calls will convert back into sales. Over the course of a year, Handley claims, this can result in more than $1 million in sales for a retailer. While calling back on abandoned carts, they've also discovered and exposed some fraudulent sales, which customers appreciated and benefited from as well.

"We call from a service standpoint and just make sure they got what they wanted," says Handley. "Some customers say, 'Oh, yeah. I wanted to get that!' Some need a little extra push, so we like to have a discounted offer or a new SKU to offer, just in case. But we can get more than 15 percent to happily give us a credit card, creating found money in a day and age when it's harder to find."

As with all new direct response marketing campaigns, the key to launching a mobile strategy is to start small, test and then roll out a larger plan that's customized to a business' needs and also provides a special value to consumers. The added benefit of mobile is that it brings businesses one step closer to understanding their consumers and creating low-cost marketing programs that will work. It's the ultimate medium for consumer segmentation and ushers in a new era of real-time, geo-based and direct communication.

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About the Author: Nicole Urso Reed

Nicole Urso Reed

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