20 Tiny Tips and Techniques to Layer On More Sales

The momentum of your direct marketing creates many small opportunities to increase your sales. That’s why I suggest keeping a list of initiatives that will add tiny daily increments of sales to your business. You’ll be surprised how you can add 2% -5% in incremental sales each month by working your list of tiny improvements in selling tactics. I call my list “pennies in a jar”; here are a few of my tips:

  1. Between catalog mailings, send postcards, fliers, and e-mails to your best multibuyers.
  2. Package inserts are typically the most profitable mailing you’ll ever do. In addition to a catalog in each order, stuff one or two additional offers.
  3. Use a package insert manager to recruit outside offers to go in your orders. Five outside package inserts at $.05 each is $0.25 an order in incremental revenue.
  4. Put more unique URLs on your catalog pages to create Web traffic to multiple landing pages.
  5. Small space ads in magazines are being acknowledged by the Web world as a very efficient way to drive Web traffic.
  6. Give customers a series of coupons through e-mail, package inserts. or bounce-back self-mailers to keep them buying.
  7. Add your phone number to your home page. Web customers sometimes feel the need to call, and the conversion rate for phone calls is usually much better than conversion rates on web traffic.
  8. Send a series of e-mails to each new e-mail sign-up with some “Hot Smokin’ Deals” or something to that effect.
  9. Change your home page product selection to include your top-selling items.<
  10. Mail a postcard to your two-time buyers with overstock, “blemish,” closeout, and sale offers.
  11. Upsell through your contact center.
  12. Press releases are critical. Press coverage is the most valuable tool you’ve got to drive Web traffic and sales of individual products.
  13. Buy X, Get Y” offers combining two items of merchandise can turbo-charge unit sales of an item and end the head-to-head price competition.
  14. Develop exclusive offers for niche product buyers.
  15. Announce a catalog mailing with an e-mail to your catalog’s circulation.
  16. Ink-jet “buy or die” offers on catalogs to segments of your house file.
  17. Use cooperative advertising funds to pay for product offers from a manufacturer.
  18. Add a person’s name to the ink-jet message—this alone will increase response.
  19. Add color to your ink-jet message; this also increases response.
  20. Add a PDF version of your catalog to your Website the next time you complete a catalog. The technology is inexpensive, and people will shop your on-line catalog. (For more on this sort of technology, see “From Print to Screen: Virtual Catalogs”

Jim Coogan is president of Santa Fe, NM-based consultancy Catalog Marketing Economics.

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