Test Private Customer Sales

Like you, I receive many mail offers that just don’t grab my attention. If it looks like a “mass mailing,” I don’t perceive it to be relevant. In this age of variable printing and personalization, there’s really no excuse not to be testing various personalized offers. One such proven offer is the private customer sale.

This involves digging into your customer file to find what products your customers have bought in the recent past, or what products they’re likely to buy based on past buying behavior. With this information, you’re able to send a personally addressed mail piece (letter, postcard, catalog, etc.) offering them some benefit (money off, two-for-one deal, percentage off, etc.) for ordering those products again.

This private offer, tailored to each customer, should be sent with a heading to grab their attention, such as “Because you’ve been a good customer … .” It’s not just throwing out a discount.

Depending on the product offered, it also might include a “time to reorder” message, which can be positioned as an additional customer reminder service. It should be personally addressed (e.g., “Dear Terry …) so customers quickly recognize it’s an offer tailored to them. Make it relevant and meaningful, and whether or not they buy at that moment, at least they feel the company making the offer isn’t wasting their time and is thinking about them and not the masses.

Even better is if you can print a picture of the product on the mail piece. Also, add some form of customer information that makes customers feel you value them, such as “orders placed year-to-date.” This helps to explain why you’re now extending this good deal.

You may remember that the old Viking Office Supplies perfected the execution of this idea more than 10 years ago. Since then, technology has delivered even better personalization and print on-demand functionality. We also have e-mail today, which makes the execution of a private sale much easier.

So, when was the last time you made your customers feel special (and boosted sales) with a personalized, relevant and private offer? If you’d like to share your experience, please e-mail me at tjukes@b2bdmi.com or click on the “Post a Comment” mechanism below.

Have a comment? Please provide me with your feedback at tjukes@b2bdmi.com .

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes@b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221 (direct line).

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221

Comments or questions are welcome.

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