MARKETING

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  • What is Direct Response Marketing?

    Game Plan

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    Why You Should Consider Using Incentives to Boost Response

    A compelling sales message that clearly lays out the value and benefits of your brand may be enough to entice well-qualified consumers to click the “Buy” button. But for others, you may need to offer a little something extra to get them to reach for their digital wallets.

    Providing incentives to your customers is a great way to tip the balance in your favor and convince them that right now is the best time to buy. Some common direct response incentives include:

    • Coupons. Everyone likes to get a good deal. Digital percentage-off coupons for online and email campaigns work because consumers don’t have to try to figure out the value of a free gift or other bonus—the savings off the regular price is right there in front of them. Digital coupons can be easily shared through social media and they may include tracking codes so you can analyze which of several offers was most successful.
    • Free gift or sample. Everyone likes freebies. Giving something of value as a reward for a purchase is effective as long as your gift is appropriate for your audience. And offering a free sample of another item in your line is a good way to get customers interested in something other than what they are buying and may help to drive future sales. Here’s an interesting psychological finding about freebies: A 2013 study conducted by the University of Miami’s marketing department found that when a product that triggers more emotion, such as cosmetics, is offered with a free gift, shoppers are more likely to buy that product if the gift is unknown than if the gift is revealed.
    • Loyalty program enrollment. Loyalty programs can offer extra perks, like free shipping or expedited service, or ongoing discounts. In addition to building loyalty to your brand, these programs are a great way to develop a qualified customer database for targeted marketing. Plus, they make your customer feel special because they are part of an exclusive group entitled to benefits not available to everyone else.
    • Charitable donations. Find a relevant charity or cause that ties in to your product and pledge to donate a certain percentage of sales profits to that cause. This promotes your brand’s social responsibility and makes the customer feel he or she is also doing good when they buy your product.
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    Game Plan

    • If you decide that incentives are appropriate for your direct marketing campaign, perform a cost-benefit analysis to make sure that the incentive you choose isn’t so rich that it eats into your profits.
    • Incentives must be targeted to your audience. This article describes seven attributes of effective direct marketing incentives that can help you zero in on the best offer for your demographic.
    • For tips on effective digital coupon marketing, read this Forbes.com article.