5 sure fire ways to make yourself look like an idiot

Shayne Tilley
Shayne Tilley

When you’re presenting direct offers to customers either through direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing or door to door sales, here’s five sure fire ways to ensure you’ll never make a sale…

Send your customers an offer they can’t accept

There nothing quite like sending a customer a letter, or an email with an offer so wonderful that they’re ready to buy. Only to find out “sorry – we don’t ship there” or “that service isn’t available at your address”. Don’t make promises you can’t keep!

Give customers a call to action that doesn’t work

The main purpose of a direct mail piece is to get a customer to act. That action might be to click a link, visit web address, or dial a phone number. If your direct mail achieves that – its done its job. So when that action is completed, you better be ready for it! Nothing converts quite like a 404 page or a phone number that’s disconnected.

Send your customers better deal on a product they already own

Talk about rubbing your customer’s noses in it. These days people are aware that offers change over time. How many of us have bought a TV, only to find it on sale the next week, or Apple’s price drop on the iPhone. So if they see an ad on your site, or hear something on the radio, most people will feel unlucky, but not angry. Send them a direct mail, with their name on it, offering them a better price something you should know they already own — now you’re asking for trouble.

Don’t unsubscribe your customers when they ask

When a customer asks not to hear from you about a particular product, or to not hear from you at all, then act on that request. I don’t like your chances of selling a product to someone who’s clearly nominated they’re not interested – nor will you sell anything to the 10 other people they tell “they just couldn’t get you to go away!”

If a customer asks you a question, don’t respond, they don’t deserve it

If a direct marketing piece prompts a customer to ask a question, then the sales 90% complete. Don’t answer and I can guarantee it’s lost, answer promptly, comprehensively, and courteously, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll make the sale.

Unfortunately over my many years as a marketer I can associate myself with just about all of the above. But the best thing about making mistakes is that you learn from them, so perhaps you can learn from mine…

Feel free to add your own direct marketing tragedies.