When you are shipping products, do you include a simple thank you? You might be surprised by what a difference it can make. Most buyers open the box, take out their purchase, and recycle it with little thought. But opening the package to find a thoughtful and beautifully printed card can change that experience and win you a loyal customer.
Take the example of a nursery selling everything from flowers to vegetables to decorative succulents. Let’s say a customer is looking for asparagus roots. They go to Amazon, put “asparagus roots” into the search box, and see page after page of images of asparagus plants (along with pricing). All asparagus looks the same on the surface, so with little to differentiate one plant from another, the buyer makes a selection based on price, quantity, and customer reviews and may not even pay attention to the name of the nursery.
At first, a nondescript package arrives in an Amazon Prime envelope like any other Prime order. Then, out drops a beautifully printed card with “Thank you!” in a large, handwritten script. Around the “thank you” are a series of personal notes:
Hi, My Name is Reebock.
Beneath that is written, in a lovely script:
Thank you for supporting our plants.
The card includes an invitation to visit the nursery’s website and YouTube page for planting instructions, then to send pictures of the plants once they grow.
Suddenly, the nursery is no longer interchangeable with any other greenhouse. It has become personal. The grower has a name, the buyer knows they are supporting a veteran, and the buyer has been invited to share a unique experience with other growers. The chance that this buyer will return to that nursery next time they want vegetables is much higher — all because of a simple “thank you” card.
How could you use thank you cards to engage your customers and create a personal connection?
It’s happened to all of us. We receive a fundraising mailer that includes a set of free address labels or an inexpensive bookmark. There is no obligation to donate, yet we feel compelled to give anyway because of the gift. This is the power of reciprocity.
Reciprocity is a powerful psychological principle that works as well in marketing as it does in our personal lives. Studies have shown that even the smallest tokens can have a significant impact. For example, researchers from Monmouth University found that waiters and waitresses could improve their tips simply by bringing a small candy with the bill. Specifically, they found that diners who received a small piece of chocolate tipped 17.8%, on average, versus 15.1% for those who did not.
How can you apply the principle of reciprocity to your business? Here are a few ideas:
1. When sending a direct mail piece, include a free sample of your product.
2. Purchase a new mover’s list and send out a welcome packet with information about local attractions and events. Include coupons for your products and services at the same time.
3. When people land on your website, offer them a free e-book or access to a webinar. When they sign up, ask them to sign up for your email list, too.
4. Send customers branded items like pens, hats, and tote bags. Even inexpensive items have proven to increase intent to buy.
5. Hold a contest or giveaway for a fantastic prize. On the thank-you page, ask entrants to share the information with their social networks.
Reciprocity is a powerful tool. The gift that you are giving matters less than the fact that you are making people feel valued. So why not give it a try? You’ll increase sales, build customer loyalty, and improve your bottom line.
Today more than ever, effective marketing is based on psychology. Whether you are using direct mail, email, or mobile, these five trends have been growing in importance over the past few years. Why do these trends continue to grow? Because they work.
1. Let your culture and personality show.
Increasingly, consumers are looking at the character and culture of a brand as much as they are products and price. Offer behind-the-scenes looks at your people and your mission. Tell stories about real people using your products. Humanize your brand.
2. Give back.
Consumers love to buy from brands that give back. There are many ways to do this, from investing in ocean clean-up to promoting social justice. Look at the meteoric rise of TOMS shoes, which gives a pair of shoes for every pair purchased. If you give back, talk about it!
3. Build brand advocates.
Consumers trust one another more than they do brands, so encourage buyers to become brand advocates and loyal customers. Encourage and incentivize them to tweet, share, and promote their positive experiences with your products and company. What people say about you on social media matters.
4. Tell a story.
Brand storytelling is hot in marketing right now, and it doesn’t require words. Great images do the job, too. Nonprofits do a great job of this by printing pictures of abandoned pets or children in need on the outsides of their envelopes. You don’t need to read the copy to be convinced that you want to help.
5. Boost your use of metrics.
Incorporating metrics into your marketing proves the value you are creating for the organization. Response rates alone aren’t sufficient anymore. What is your conversion rate? Your average dollars per sale? There are many different types of metrics you can use to evaluate success. Find the ones that work for you and take advantage of them.
Don’t worry — you don’t have to tackle all five of these marketing trends at once. Pick one that makes the most sense for you and give us a call. Let us help you get started!
For nonprofits, every dollar they spend on overhead, administration, and marketing is a dollar not spent on their mission. Not surprisingly, there is an intense focus on which marketing channels are most effective. So which channel works best for nonprofits? A study by YouGov provides the answer: direct mail. In a survey of more than 1,150 U.S adults, YouGov found the following:
One-fifth (21%) of respondents said that a direct mail solicitation prompted them to make their most recent donation. This is higher than for any other channel.
Older donors (55+) are most likely to respond to direct mail. One-quarter made their last gift in response to a mailing. Among 18-34-year-olds, this drops to 14%.
Lower-income households are among the most motivated by direct mail. Nearly one-third of those earning $40,000 yearly or less responded to direct mail for their last donation. Among those earning $80,000+ per year, this drops to 18%.
Only 12% of donors report being prompted to make their last gift by something they heard about on the radio, TV, or print.
Even fewer (10%) were prompted by email.
Few donors (6%) were prompted by social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, although this is stronger among 18-34-year-olds (11%).
Regarding fundraising, direct mail is the clear winner for nonprofits. So, what is the next step once you have decided to launch a direct mail campaign? Make it the best it can be. Why not give us a call?