Ask the Experts

How to get better response

Dave Smith asked “How can I get a better response from my marketing?”

The key to attracting better response to a promotion does not rest simply on how many replies come in. ‘Better response’ demands two principle components:

1. Reaching your financial targets

2. Ensuring repeat business

Your financial targets will be based on volume (number of replies) and revenue (the cash that you receive). You could, for example, receive twice the number of replies you expect, but fail to reach your money target. This can happen when sending out a ‘bill me’ promotion, where three months down the line you discover only 50% of orders have paid up when you need 70% to make the promotion worthwhile.

Ensuring repeat business means getting your new subscribers to renew when the time comes. This is where most promotions fail – they have not taken into consideration what renewal rates you are likely to achieve. The whole matter has been overlooked. A seemingly highly successful promotion can turn into a disaster if most new subscribers fail to renew.

It’s crucial, therefore, that whoever creates your promotion does so with renewals in mind and that figure is built into his or her brief. The two areas you need to watch are the copy and the offer. Your coupon is therefore all important, and an expert (us for example) can see at a glance if your promotion has been constructed to attract long-term subscribers.

Repeat business is a major principle of any successful publishing venture. Unless you have taken steps to ensure new customers will become long-term ones, you don’t really have a business, do you?

Peter Hobday