George - Thanks for the brainstorming! I stubbornly insist on having unique circumstances in both my personal and professional lives that make conventional wisdom nearly impossible to apply.
The biggest problem is very often that the person placing the order with us doesnt have the original catalog or key code. Many of our orders run through purchasing departments. The only way the purchasing person who calls the order in (or faxes it over) would have the number is if the end user (actual order generator) is compelled by something extraordinary to place the coupon code on the paperwork so that the purchasing agent ends up with it. (And no, asking purchasing to go get the coupon number from the order generator doesnt work, weve tried. By the time it gets to them, they dont care, they want to place the order and get off the phone.)
Also, our average order size is much higher than you usually find in direct mail. We average $720 an order
and its not unusual to pick up a $5000 purchase order from the fax machine. That means any incentive has to be substantial enough to catch attention, in proportion to the size of the order. (You best believe Id kill to know which list generated that $5000 purchase order.)
As far as personal premiums/incentives for orders go, Im uncomfortable with that. I know that other business to business direct marketers do it
but, it just doesnt seem kosher to me. (Okay, truth, Ive tried them, tastefully and tied in with a certain theme, and they didnt perform anyway. J ) We do send thank you gifts after people place orders, but I dont like to hang them out there as the reason to order from us. The reason to order from us is that well do a better job for your business than anyone else will. Make sense? Does in my brain.
So anyway, here I am trying Free Freight as the incentive to get the customer to cough up the codes.
Shrug. Well see.
Its awfully hard on a numbers junkie to not have enough numbers to analyze.