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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Making a Strategic ‘Offer’ to Ignite Direct Marketing Results

Last week, the FEI tribe learned the importance of the 40/40/20 rule for direct marketing success. This week, the tribe discusses the second component of the 40/40/20 rule—the offer. Remember, fire = print.

Marka’s lecture for today focuses on the “offer” element of the 40/40/20 rule.

“When planning a direct marketing campaign, keep in mind that what we offer is as important as whom we send it to,” Marka began. “A strategic offer that provides real value and exposes recipients to further FEI brand touches will improve our campaign’s ROI—and it doesn’t have to break the O-bank.”

“Tell us more,” Org said.

“What’s a low-selling FEI product that costs little for us to produce?” Marka asked.

“Tarches,” Zoot answered quickly. “They were supposed to be a low-cost torch alternative. They’re fine from a quality standpoint, but they unfortunately share a name with Ronald Tarch, the crooked politician who ran for Olympian Senate. Two years later, his name is still stained and the tarches sit sadly on our supply shelves.”

“What if our next direct marketing campaign gave away free tarches?” Marka asked.

Numo nearly jumped out of his seat. “This product offers high perceived and redeemed values, but because we have so much stockpiled, our incremental out-of-pocket cost is practically $0!” he shouted.

Org was a tad skeptical. “I’m glad this giveaway won’t cost much, but isn’t the point of these promotions to actually sell our products?”

“Good point, Org,” Marka said. “How about this: To redeem their free tarch offer, recipients must visit a special O-site landing page. While the landing page is loading, a 30-second video on FEI’s new fire sticks will play. That’s two FEI brand touches for the price of one.”

“And once recipients have claimed their tarches, they’re already on our O-site and will be more likely to purchase fire sticks, torches or other FEI products,” Zoot chimed in. “These tremendous cross- and up-selling opportunities can be a boon for our bottom line.”

“We could also consider making recipients answer a short survey before redeeming their tarch offer,” Lucy added. “This could help us uncover valuable buying information that we can use in future communications.”

“Or sales calls!” Zoot said excitedly.

“I’m on board,” Org declared. “Clearly this program can drive FEI brand awareness and further the sales of our other products.”

“Next week, we’ll talk about the final component of the 40/40/20 rule—the design,” Marka revealed.

Today’s FIRE! Point
When creating your offer, consider giving away free or inexpensive versions of one of your lowest-selling products. As long as the product’s perceived and redeemed values are high, the offer will help forge future business opportunities with recipients. In addition, you can use the offer redemption process as a chance for another brand touch.
FIRE! in Action
Text Message Campaign with Compelling Offer Generates Big Responses for Sonic

The drive-in restaurant chain targeted 1,000 customers with text messages offering discounts, promotional giveaways and chances to win free meals for a year. The promotion garnered a response rate 20 times higher than previous e-mail and direct mail efforts.

Next week: Discussion of the 40/40/20 Rule concludes with suggested best practices for the design component.


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