Here’s a model you might find useful. One of my clients bought a digital t-shirt printer a couple of years ago, but he was never very happy with the volume it generated. My recommendation was to incorporate printed t-shirts into his overall marketing effort. He has a really cool logo, so we printed up a quantity of t-shirts featuring that logo, and we offered them as a response incentive on his next direct mail program: Tell us about your printing needs and we’ll give you a free ABC Printing t-shirt!
The direct response rate on this mailing was approximately 4%, and the secondary response gained from follow-up phone calls raised that to almost 11%. Basically, he gave away 44 t-shirts in return for 44 appointments, and among other things, those appointments yielded a few orders for printed t-shirts. I think you’ll agree that it was a successful marketing program.
From a modeling perspective, here’s what he learned:
- A valued response incentive can increase theresponse rate
- Printed t-shirts have a high perceived value, even ifthe printing is an advertisement for the seller
- The follow-up phone calls had a very significantimpact on the overall success of the program,nearly tripling the response rate
Needless to say, this printer doesn’t send out “vanilla” mailings and wait for the phone to ring anymore.
This all becomes a lot more important, by the way, if you’re trying to make the transition from printer to marketing services provider. Your marketing services customers will expect you to guide them toward strategies that will work, and the best way to do that will probably be to model them on strategies and programs that have been successful for others.
Here’s another application for modeling—the next person you hire to work in your business. In this application, there is both positive and negative modeling potential. What I mean by that is to evaluate what makes your best current (or past) employees good, and what makes your current (or past) worst employees bad.
I’ve heard the positive side of this expressed as cloning good employees, but that’s really not the right term. You’ll never find someone exactly like your all stars, but if you think below the surface, you can probably identify the most critical characteristics. Then you can look for someone who has most if not all of them. On the negative side, you can probably identify the most troublesome traits, and disqualify anyone who demonstrates most if not all of them.
Bottom Line: Modeling can probably help you to increase sales and improve your operation in other ways. Please start thinking below the surface!