When you’re in the mail-order business or you sell by advertising nationally, you will get a lot of questions and inquiries for information, literature, quotes, and so on. You must answer these quickly. You can respond by mail, fax, email, or even overnight delivery if appropriate. If you respond by mail, use First Class or Priority Mail only—anything less is unimpressive to the buyer or recipient. Always try to get your response out the same day if possible, so it arrives while the potential customer is still thinking about your business. Their interest will wear off the longer they wait.
The bottom line is that if you respond quickly to inquiries, you will give the impression that you’ll be just as prompt in filling their order. The old business saying is, “Don’t delay—do it today!”
When you’re using an envelope to send information and samples, put something on the outside such as, “Requested Information Inside.” This will let prospects know it’s not unsolicited mail, and it will remind them that they are waiting for it.
It goes without saying that you should keep a record of all of your inquires and build a separate mailing list. Always do one or more follow-up mailings to the names on the list until they buy. Or make
a quick phone call to evaluate their level of interest and readiness to buy. Email is another method of following up and making secondary offers. Once these prospects become buyers, move them to your customer mailing list.
When you’re sending follow-up mailings, test different products at different price levels. A word of caution, though: Some people don’t like to get offers from anyone, so give them a way to opt out of your mailings.