Renewal Notices and First Impressions
Know your audience and keep messages on target.
Harlan Hogan said āyou never get a second chance to make a first impression,ā which is almost as annoying as āthere is no āIā in team,ā but even more annoying is both these sayings happen to be true.
Whether you are sending a new offer, a renewal effort, an invoice or an order acknowledgement, your outer envelope speaks volumes about your publication. Therefore, before you decide on outer envelope copy, make sure you understand your audience.
āYo Dude! Hereās a mega awesome offer!ā is probably not going to work well if you are offering a new subscription and your audience is CEOs, expectant mothers or students of English literature. Keep in mind the audience you are serving. Sending a letter to chief executives in a plain envelope without any copy whatsoever almost guarantees the letter will be opened, thus proving the adage āless is moreā is just as annoying as āthere is no āIā in teamā as well as Mr. Hoganās message noted earlier.
Keeping the message on target is important, but urging the recipient to do something is also a good technique. If I get an envelope that states: āYou need do nothingā, then I do nothing and throw the unopened envelope away. If I get an envelope that says: āYou need do nothingā¦ but what about 5 extra issues?ā my trash can may not fill up quite so quickly, since now I am intrigued by the offer.
Iām not sure how many people only send renewal notices by email, but if you do not put at least a couple of renewal efforts in the mail, you are missing an opportunity. I know more and more people are getting and paying their invoices on the Internet but many are still convinced itās unsafe for personal data. Donāt let ābeing greenā stop you from mailing some renewal efforts. And be creative. Done correctly, you will see a good response to mail efforts, probably better than your email response.
Putting an acknowledgement of an order into the mail is not a bad idea. You can use this notice to offer people an opportunity to extend their subscription term (called a renewal at birth), or offer them other products. Hereās suggested copy: āThanks for being part of our family and as a valued member, here are some other products we thought you might like to know about.ā
This approach makes you a) look as if you really care (which you do) and b) get more revenue just for being nice.
However, all of this relies on one thing, getting people to open the envelope. Ask yourself what makes you open an envelope. The promise of a benefit? Something free inside? Engagement, such as a short quiz?
Think long and hardā¦and prosper!
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