Direct mail: consider the humble postcard

Most direct mail packages involve a mailing envelope, with a brochure, sales letter, and other inserts — plus associated design, printing, folding, stuffing, and postage costs.  For many marketers, the total cost is prohibitive.

If you have a short, easily understood message to put across, consider using a postcard instead. Design and production are simple and relatively cheap, there are no folding and stuffing to deal with, and you get a break on postage, too. Not only does it cost less, but your prospect doesn’t have to tear open an envelope to get the message.

One caveat:  Your postcard mailing may be simple, but it must still be well written and  designed. You want to save money, but you don’t want to look like a low-rent business.

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Behind in payments? Pay everybody a little

If you’re having a legitimate cash flow problem, without enough cash in hand to keep up with bills from your suppliers, you can get those overdue debts off your back — temporarily — by using what cash you do have convince the suppliers that your heart’s in the right place, and that in the end they will get all their their money. Solution: make partial payment to each of them, with an explanation that the rest will be forthcoming. It’s been my experience that a creditor will not make a fuss about what you owe, as long as he/she is getting partial payment every month.

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Your unconditional guarantee

The unconditional guarantee should be a key element in your customer satisfaction program. It tells your customer that you believe in your product and stand squarely behind it.

And unconditional means exactly that:  UNCONDITIONAL. No special conditions which must be met to get a refund. If the customer is unhappy, all she has to do is bring the product back, and she’ll get a refund, no questions asked. No advance permission needed. No sending the product back to someplace far away. No unreasonable proof of purchase required

Your guarantee should be stated in clear language,  using terms everyone understands, and be specific about what’s being guaranteed.

Yes, there will be customers who will abuse your guarantee policy, and obtain fraudulent refunds. But many marketers have found that the cost of such fraud is more than compensated for by increased sales and ongoing customer trust and loyalty.

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