AMiable Solution #335: When the Sales Don’t Come In
Every marketing campaign you create takes time, strategy, planning, and money. When you don’t get the results you predict or expect, the effects can be devastating to your budget and your morale.
Fortunately, if this has ever happened to you, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to make the same mistakes twice. You can make the most of a bad marketing experience and help minimize (it’s marketing, after all—there are no guarantees) a repeat if you follow a few simple steps.
First, check your audience size. If you’re testing a new market, a new product, a new tactic, then you should always start small. You wouldn’t jump into a lake without knowing where the bottom is. Finding your footing with small steps lets you know if it’s safe to go deeper or not. If your first contact with a new list/market goes well, take a bigger step—mail to a larger list or advance the offer. If, however, the first attempt with a new list fails, it may be time to retreat and try another lake.
Then, share your results. You may be part of a marketing team, but the details of each project tend to stay with the creator. In other words, you may be eyeing up a prospective list for a campaign, not knowing that your colleague rejected it. When your team regularly communicates the rationale and history for various decisions, it not only makes the team stronger and smarter, but it improves the results of everyone’s work.
Finally, check the back end. It should go without saying you should relentlessly scrutinize every aspect of your campaigns—your offer, the contact information you provided, your lists, your response options, images, language, timing, etc.—whether they succeeded or failed, to help you move forward and make wiser decisions. Unfortunately, sometimes we get so focused on what we’re sending out that we overlook how orders and inquiries are handled as they’re coming in.
Good marketing can create big winners. But sometimes it takes a few losers and the right attitude to find the path to success.