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Direct Response Marketing

Guest Opinion

1 Feb, 2004 By: Response Contributor Response

Stop Leaving Customer Money on the Table

Alarge amount of money is invested in getting a DRTV show on the air with the hopes of it becoming a mega hit. Unfortunately, very few shows perform at that level, which leaves you with a very high-risk business proposition.

But, what if you knew you could make an additional $5 per order through back-end marketing? It would clearly change how you look at your front end. With that additional income, you could run many more shows and bring in many more customers. You may even be able to dust off an old show that showed potential but didn't succeed.

How do you maximize the profit possibilities of every customer you bring in? It's simple - start to think about both the front end and back end from the very beginning. As you create your show, you should also strategize how to maximize the lifetime value of your customer after the initial acquisition.

Acquisition and Retention

"It is all about acquisition and retention." Repeat that several times, so it sinks in. "Acquisition and retention" should be your daily mantra. Be sure to analyze all customer touchpoints. Determine what you are going to do with customers that not only order, but those who inquire and don't order or who cancel or return product, or those who purchase continuity and ask for customer service, etc. If you create a plan for each situation ahead of time, you can add dollars to the bottom line.

Let's take a customer's first order as an example. Look at your shipping box as another marketing communication device - just like your TV infomercial. Put the products ordered into the box along with any collateral material/instructions and close it.

Now open the box as if you were the customer. How does it feel to you? Is it welcoming? Is every piece of paper in the box an opportunity to sell something additional or to gain your loyalty? If the answer is that you have a pretty box without strategic, moneymaking customer communications inside, then you are probably losing a lot of money!

Capture Money You've Passed Up

An easy first step to harnessing that untapped revenue is to use telemarketing upsells as printed upsells in your box. Remember: only 20 percent of customers accept upsells over the phone, which leaves 80 percent of your customers not buying an additional item.

Create a special in-box offer they can't refuse. Give them a bundled, special, one-time-only offer with an automatic enrollment into continuity. Test different offers, different products, different creative approaches. Put the same energy - if not more - into the back end as you did the front end.

Think 'Outside the Box'

If you don't have upsells and don't want to take the inventory risk, then consider creating a joint venture with another company that offers complementary products. You can both gain from the sale.

Think of it this way - if your box isn't offering your customer anything today, then you are currently at zero-profit from a free media opportunity. So why not team up with another company and share the $5 profit per order?

No matter where you are in your campaign, it is critical to start making the most of your customer immediately. It is never too late - start planning today. You spend money to acquire a customer on the front end, and if don't utilize the free in-box media placement and other opportunities on the back end, you are leaving money on the table - a lot of money.

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