By Mike French
According to the marketing firm Yankelovich, we were exposed to about 5,000 ads per day in 2006. Today, those numbers range anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000. The dramatic increase is primarily the result of various social media platforms where we are constantly exposed to advertising without even realizing it. With so much exposure, it is harder to get ads noticed in the deluge. The following are some practical things you can do to improve your advertising response rate.
1) Make sure your ad gets seen. You can have the most wonderful, tempting ad on the planet, but if it is not visible to the consumers who want what you have to offer, you will get no response. People can only respond to ads they see. The better you are at getting your ad in the right place, the better your response will be.
Identify who your best customers are – who purchases the most from you, and where they are located; then make sure you advertise in those places. For example, consider the type of business they own, such as collision shops or auto repair shops. Think of the trade magazines they read, the radio stations they listen to, and the clubs and organizations they belong to. You can buy a targeted mailing list for their demographic and/or business type and mail directly to them. You can also reach specific target groups with demographic-focused social media platforms.
2) Develop strong customer relationships. Most people prefer to buy from friends they know, like and trust. The better your relationship is with them, the better their response rate will be.
Develop a good friendship with your top customers and get their permission to send them your best specials. This is called “friendship marketing” and it works very well. Studies show that 80 percent of a company’s revenues come from only 20 percent of their customer base. Write notes to thank them for their business. Find out their birthdays and anniversaries and send them a handwritten card. Not many people do this, so you will stand out from your competitors. How do you get this information? Just ask them for it during a purchase. These business friends will be the first to respond to your offers.
3) Make it quick and easy to reach you. Have you ever tried to call a business when you needed something and hit a solid brick wall of resistance? You were told to select this or that number and were forced to listen repeatedly to an annoying recorded message. Or you were shuffled to an operator who was unable to help you. Or you were told to leave a recorded message.
These situations send customers directly to competitors who are ready and waiting to help them. If you want a great response from your offer, make it easy for customers to get through to a friendly person who is ready to help them.
4) Have multiple ways to respond to your offer. Everyone has their favorite way to get what they need. Some people want to talk to a live person on the phone. Some want to go to a website to find it themselves and order online without having to speak with anyone. Some want to text their order, and some want to live chat. Then there are the “old timers” who just want to go to your location and purchase it now. The more ways you give people to respond to your offer, the better your responses will be.
5) Deliver fast and free. Amazon has changed people’s ordering and delivery expectations. People have been trained to expect Amazon’s delivery service from everyone else, including you. They expect to order it today and have it delivered tomorrow right to their door for free. That’s why your offers need to include
fast and free delivery to get the response you want.
6) Give secondary incentives to respond. A secondary incentive is a way to “sweeten the pot.” Many people call to get prices and other information so they can shop around. Little incentives added to your offer will help them decide to buy immediately from you rather than continue to check out your competition. Add things to your offer such as attractive money-saving coupons and/or match your competitor’s coupons plus provide an extra 5 percent discount. Give them a free promotional product with their purchase, free delivery, free curbside service, or free technical help for installation.
7) Offer strong guarantees and easy returns. Guarantee your customer’s 100 percent satisfaction or give them their money back. Strong guarantees and no hassle returns take the fear out of buying. This is especially true in the purchase of used auto parts. Make sure your guarantees are up front and easy to see in your ads. This will improve your response rate over others who do not post strong guarantees and easy returns.
Mike French, president of Mike French & Company, Inc., can be reached toll free at 800-238-3934, or visit his company’s Web site at www.MikeFrench.com.