Hello again! I've been gone a while because the direct response industry has been one wild ride this year and every spare moment has been dedicated to helping my clients maximize sales dollars. My job is certainly not done yet - this year promises to hold more ups and downs! But for this moment let's talk TV...
The last two weeks in TV land (last week especially) have delivered SOFT, SOFT results for TV infomercials. October, affectionately known as Red October, historically delivers up and down results. This year my industry counterparts agree that results are about 20% lower than even past Octobers. People are not calling as much and those who are calling are not as easy to sell. We can blame the TV infomercial ads, media rates, politcal races, the "recession" and several other contributing factors except that blame doesn't add to our ROI.
The real focus needs to be on how to ride out SOFT results without leaving money on the table. Here are a few tips/tricks that may help your campaign get out of the "red zone" and into the "green zone".
1. Creative - change it up! Slight tweaks in your CTA and product offer can help drive in the extra calls you need to weather lower response times. There are ways to test tweaked creative without adding to your production and dubbing costs too much. Similarly, make sure you choose the right media to test your tweaks. TWEAKS: try FREE SHIPPING, an EXTRA BONUS GIFT, HARD offer to SOFT OFFER, BOGO, add in your 800# more frequently. Or be daring and cut your half hour show down to 3 or 5 minutes and expose your core message to a new audience with a better CPM!
2. PUMP Your Agents Up - your profit model may not support higher sales commissions to sales agents long term, however, they could keep your continuity pipeline filled short term. A call center SPIFF per order goes a long way to self-motivate agents to go that extra mile. A well thought out SPIFF can temporarily boost close rates 3%-5%. Work with your sales manager to develop a SPIFF program that works to fill in the CPC, CPO, or ROI deficits you're experiencing. A poorly executed SPIFF can actually work against you so plan it well.
3. Same Day Recovery - if you're using a Live Agent center check into their ability to do Recovery Calls in real time. If they can dedicate the agents to this program quickly draft a Recovery Script. They should target customers within an hour of their initial inquiry. The script should have two parts: a new attempt to close the initial sale and a drop down option that makes the decision to purchase easier for the customer (ex. pay plans, trial offer, reduced order size, sample sizes). Adding an effective Same Day Recovery program to you inbound center can add another 5%-12% to your daily orders.
4. 24-Hour Outbound Calls - if you are not set-up with an outbound center that can call your customers back within 24 hours - you need to be. Sales are made on inpulse. Time kills desire. Your outbound phone script can imitate your Sales Recovery script. Make sure the customer list that is passed to the outbound center is scrubbed for Same Day Recovery connects. Again, expect to capture another 2-3% in orders from a well run outbound campaign. If you think you do not have enough daily leads to support an outbound campaign - think again. There are centers that specialize in limited-lead base campaigns.
5. Micromanage Your Web Hits - you should be converting between 10%-22% on your average website driven by TV traffic (even more on some offers). The easiest way to maximize sales on your website is to make email capture your first priority to allow for remarketing. Check the legal regulations on email remarketing. But aside from email captures there are several "technical" tricks your web specialist can add to your page that keep your customers engaged initially and even afer they leave your page.
Bottomline, don't leave money on the table no matter what time of year!
Cheers for now... let's talk soon!