Lewis Griffiths, as muscle-bound UPS delivery man Kyle, received one of the biggest cheers of the night during the New York West End production of Legally Blonde: The Musical. I know, it’s a mystery, right Ladies?
Let’s be honest! If every package we ordered arrived like this… retail stores would go out of #business overnight and paying for RUSH SHIPPING would become the standard for ordering paper plates online. The likelihood of this coming true in the near future is slim… (always have some hope).
What is true, and a big problem in the present, is the lack of attention paid to the shipping boxes being sent out by companies everyday. As an owner of a call center that handles customer service calls, Synergixx, I can tell you first hand that the speed, condition, and contents of your box dramatically impact return rates and reorder rates. This is true for both #direct #marketers and #retail marketers.
Forget about a sexy man in too short shorts delivering packages – many marketers today have allowed their packages to arrive DOA – dead on arrival. Then marketers are surprised when their database has become a customer graveyard.
Traditional retail stores are loosing ground to online purchases. More and more marketers have figured out that good old fashion direct marketing drives better online conversion. The sheer amount of companies selling online is growing every day. These are the facts which support reality that the amount of boxes being shipped everyday is exponentially increasing.
I had 7 boxes delivered to my house in the last 48 hours alone! (no, I do not have a shopping problem, exactly)
Why is the BOX so much more important than the SHELF?
Both direct response and online marketing (shipping direct to consumer in a box) allow you to sell your product for 5-10 times the amount you would get selling it on a retail shelf. Nice profit margin right? However, profit can quickly disappear IF the box with your product arrives:
- late (after the time period the customer was quoted on the phone)
- looking lack-luster
- without instructions or confusing directions
- without a clear invoice or welcome letter
- without free gifts
- missing a customer comment card
- or it simply wasn’t fun to open
Before I give a few examples on how to reduce returns and increase revenue by better ‘delivering your box’, let me take a few sentences to explain why I’m still a huge fan of direct response marketing (DR) for increasing the number of boxes that ship every week as opposed to selling directly on store shelves.
Many product owners feel selling in physical retail stores is the goal because of the perceived volume of units sold. Or as I like to remind companies – the potential of volume that can be sold if everything lines up correctly. The truth is that one day you may end up on every store shelf in the world and direct marketing can help get you there while making you money along the way. In my opinion, you cannot go retail without being in direct response. While retail gives you one revenue stream and a volume bump it lacks in other areas. Direct response marketing, with or without retail, is a money making system for building a massive #database, generating higher #profit margins, and creating “sleeper #revenue”.
Selling direct to consumer (on the phone or online) before getting on a retail shelf has many benefits:
- Increase working #capital by selling initial #inventory at a higher margin than retail allows
- Build a massive database of customers that you can monetize
- Generate reoccurring revenue streams with direct order customers that you control
- Spend money on #advertising that generates immediate cash flow from sales rather than advertising that takes 3-9 months to realize sales at the point of purchase in a store
- Build a national brand name for your product through TV, Radio and Online using direct response ads that make your product instantly recognizable once in stores
- Use direct response advertising to make retail buyers knock on your door and offer shelf space rather than pay ‘boots on the street’ to try and get you onto store shelves at a high commission rate
- Control inventory costs during the initial 1-2 years of your product launch to reserve working capital
- Secure national advertising contracts that generate real-time sales and drive store sales at the same time
- Use the high visibility of TV and Radio advertising to sell the product at a higher price than in stores; thereby supporting your retailers ‘special value’
- And the list goes on and on…
If you eventually want to be on the SHELF use the SHIPPING BOX to get there faster and make more money along the way.
Advertising on TV and Radio is too expensive for my budget!
I hear people say all the time, “I don’t have $250K to spend on a TV infomercial.” And I constantly say, “Give me $25K and I’ll show you the power of selling your product direct-to-consumer on radio first. Give me $75K and I’ll show you the power of TV to generate immediate sales. Both mediums will help you self-liquidate media budgets so you can increase the number of boxes being sent out with product every week.
YES! EVEN IN A WORLD WHERE ONLINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING ARE TAKING OVER — TV AND RADIO REMAIN MASSIVE DRIVERS CUSTOMERS — DIRECT, ONLINE, AND IN RETAIL.
So, let’s talk about the box!
I just released a FREE eBOOK (you’ll find it at www.thatgirlcharlie.com) that you can download for instant ways to increase the value of your box while decreasing customer return rates and increasing reorder rates. It features 10 Principals for generating revenue with every box you ship.
Here are a few of my favorite tips…
1. GET PEOPLE EXCITED ABOUT RECEIVING YOUR BOX
One way to measure the excitement level of your customer is to offer expedited or rushed shipping. If you can write a telemarketing script or online order page copy that gets 1 out of 4 customers to pay EXTRA to get your product faster, then you know your customers are excited about your product. The less excited your customer is about getting their package, the less excited they become about keeping it. This is why so many products are returned with the box unopened. Your customer’s excitement for your product was DOA – dead on arrival. On the other hand, the sooner a customer gets your box the more excited they are to open it right away.
Spend time testing language in both places to maximize the priority or rush shipping take rates.
We live in a world where shipping for most items is now free – thank you Amazon Prime! Customers expect it and will search out places to get free shipping. However, with the right offer and language paying to get the product faster is welcomed by your customer. Ask yourself, how exciting is the language you are using when presenting your customer the final offer to buy?
2. MAKE SURE THE BOX FITS
The #1 reason customers return your product – and consider if they even want your product any longer – is the condition in which it arrives. Too many marketers cut corners or do not quality check their shipping partners. Then return rates start exceeding 5%, 10%, even 15% and marketers discover it is due, in large part, because customers are sending back damaged products. This is a profit killer and makes the case for your customer to purchase from any company but yours in the future. Stop using over-sized envelopes, too big boxes and skimping on the packaging material to save on costs.
When packing a product, make sure your item fits snug. Measure the item and select a box or envelope with enough extra room for additional packing materials. Using bubble wrap or biodegradable packing peanuts for padding will get your item there in good condition. A snug fit is best so the item won’t move around and get damaged during delivery. Make sure your package inserts, invoices, and other “paper” items arrive in good shape too! And remember, it’s okay to reuse boxes, as long as they’re in good shape and old labels are covered or removed.
3. NOW MAKE YOUR BOX SOCIAL
Is it possible to turn the opening of your Box into a social experience? The marketers at #LootCrate say YES! And as part of a monthly subscription service none the less. Their monthly delivery is themed around a certain topic that would appeal to #gamers from covert ops to dragons. LootCrate just scored the top spot on the Inc 500 2016 list so they know a ting or two about this.
LootCrate encourages subscribers to share their un-boxing on social media.
More importantly, their packaging encompasses everything a gamer would understand and be attracted to, from “tips for the perfect un-boxing”, to QR codes that, when scanned, take subscribers to a special “members only” area with special videos. These points, together with hashtags, help spread the word about LootCrate in a way that’s fun and interactive.
As the next crate comes closer to shipping, the more the #LootCrate hashtag pop up on Twitter – and it’s all an integral part of their marketing strategy. Subscribers submit their #unboxing reactions to LootCrate via video or photos, and LootCrate proudly displays them. By incorporating these kinds of tips into your own packaging strategy, you can also have your customers enjoy the thrill of the unboxing. If you haven’t figured it out yet – this is FREE ADVERTISING THAT TURNS INTO NEW CUSTOMERS AND REPEAT SALES.
I could go on and on about the importance of your BOX and why direct marketing is still the best way to increase the number of boxes you sell every week but I’m positive I just heard the doorbell… and you never know… perhaps it is my UPS Man!
800-610-1771 ext. 11