Increase your direct mail response rates with freebies.

Written by Alan Sharpe

Although it may seem counterintuitive, giving something away at no charge can lower your cost per lead. That’s because offering a freebie usually increases your response rate.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

Your cost per lead isrepparttar money you must spend to acquire one lead. When you mail 10,000 strangers at a cost of $0.50 each ($5,000), and get a response rate of 1% (100 leads), then your cost per lead is $50 ($5,000 in cost divided by 100 leads).

Now let’s say you offer a free information booklet. The booklet costs $1 but offering it increases your response rate from 1% to 3%. Here is what happens:

Your cost of mailing remains constant: $5,000 Your response rate increases: 3% So your number of leads increases: 300 leads Your cost per lead drops: $16.66 ($5,000 divided by 300) Addrepparttar 105191 cost of your freebie: $1 per lead And your new cost per lead is: $17.66

Which of the four B2B offers is right for you?

Written by Alan Sharpe

In business-to-business direct mail, you are unlikely to reach prospects atrepparttar very moment they are ready to buy. And even if you do, you are not likely to closerepparttar 105189 sale with just a sales letter. That’s because business buying decisions rarely involve just one step (such as dropping a cheque inrepparttar 105190 mail or placing an order by phone).

Instead,repparttar 105191 buying cycle typically involves a request for more information, either by way of literature or a visit from a sales rep, followed by a sales meeting, a product demonstration, maybe a trial, then a contract.

You do not usually know where cold prospects are in their buying cycle. So your direct mail should try to hook them wherever they are. The best way to generate a response is to present more than one offer.

Hard Offer The hard offer asks forrepparttar 105192 order. “Call before June 18th to save 40% off your network installation.” “Book your commercial property tax audit now.” Use a hard offer when you want your mailing to generate immediate action--usually inrepparttar 105193 form of a sale. Prospects who respond to hard offers are usually able and willing to buy right now.

Soft Offer The soft offer asks your prospects to raise their hands in a show of interest, but does not ask for an order or a commitment. An example of a soft offer: “Returnrepparttar 105194 enclosed business reply card for your free copy of our special industry report.” Use a soft offer when you want to generate a sales lead rather than an immediate sale or sales appointment. Soft offers identify prospects who are able to buy, just not willing to buy right now. You follow up with them and closerepparttar 105195 sale later on.

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