2. Enquiry Follow-up
2. Enquiry Follow-up
In this method, the newspaper advertisement is restricted to a broad outline of the proposition with an invitation to the reader to write to the manufacturer for further details. In response, the supplier sends a range of literature describing his product in detail together with a carefully constructed selling message.
Generally, the enquiry follow-up consists of:
A. a sales letter;
B. an illustrated leaflet;
C. an order form;
D. a reply envelope, usually pre-paid.
In addition, some manufacturers provide a premium coupon, offering a discount to the customer providing he places his order within a specified time.
A. The Sales Letter. This is the most important part of the manufacturer's response. In it, he will stress the benefits to be derived from his product, its price, the terms under which it is offered, together with his guarantee of satisfaction. The letter should expound the 'sales story' and should punch home all those considerations which should induce the recipient to order the product.
B. The Illustrated Leaflet. The purpose of the leaflet is to inform. It should describe the product fully, and anticipate and answer such questions which the potential customer is likely to raise about its appearance, specification and utility.
C. The Order Form. This simplifies the customer's task in ordering the product, prevents him from forgetting to include his name and address (a not infrequent occurrence) and tells him exactly how much money to send and how to send it (by cheque, postal order or cash by registered letter).
D. The Pre-Paid Reply Envelope. Once again, this will help the customer to order and prevent the delay or possible postponement which can occur if he has to wait until he can find a suitable envelope or postage stamp.
There are two main advantages in the use of the Enquiry Follow-up method. The first is that the manufacturer, upon receipt of the enquirer's name and address, can follow-up again and again, if his first letter does not produce a favourable result, he can repeat his sales message at intervals until he either secures an order or decides that the enquirer has no further interest in the subject. The considerable response obtained by mail order firms in response to their second or third follow-ups, is an indication that customers do not always make the effort to order upon receipt of only one mailing of promotional material. It seems that the successive approaches create a cumulative effect.
The other advantage of this method is that one is not restricted to a few words only to describe the product and put over the sales message. There are many products which simply cannot be described adequately within the limitations of a newspaper advertisement. It is for this reason that the Enquiry Follow-up method is frequently used for the sale of correspondence courses and for technical products demanding considerable explanation before their value can be fully ascertained.
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