Old Customers =
A Friend A Favor
“If you love your Troy-Bilt, please pass along your special owner’s
discount to a good friend.”
The Troy-Bilt Roto Tiller was designed to last forever; it even had a no-time-limit
warranty! But we helped the company convince these owners that they should
trade up to the newer models, or ones with electric start, or even get a smaller
model for their parents.
Deep discounts allowed existing customers to give “pass along savings” to
their friends and neighbors. The company made excellent profits because the
selling costs were far less than for finding brand new prospects.
Gold In The Filing Cabinet
--Pioneering the concept of Database
you have a product that people buy only once? Think again! You may
be able to sell additional products to them, plus their friends
and relatives. The key is to have terrific customer service, keep
in touch, and look for ways to add on revenue. So, open up that
old filing cabinet of customers and call or write them.
In the mid-1970’s, we were looking for ways to increase sales
for Garden Way. The primary product was the Troy-Bilt, a 300-pound,
$2,500 (in today’s dollars) garden tiller that had a lifetime
warranty. Obviously, a gardener would only ever need one. Given
all the efforts needed to make that one sale, it was a shame that
the company couldn’t leverage that into more sales.
What We Did
We put together a team of people whose purpose was to love the
customers to death. By doing so, we were able to get the customers
with us that they made thousands of sales to their friends. We
gave them free gardening books; we gave them free repair parts;
them deep discounts on buying more products for themselves and
their friends. We once gave away a total of quarter of a million
dollars in tiller
tines. The accountants thought we were nuts, but it was like the
biblical “casting bread on the water”. It all came
How The Client Benefited
The “Owner Program” went on to become a major contributor
to the company’s profit and success. The number of customers
grew to a million, and then to two million. A dozen mailings per
year were sent to them, including a 24-page newspaper that served
as a quarterly cheerleader. The economics of these mailings were
designed to leverage excellent profits from what had been considered
a “dead” list. As the company grew and developed other
products, the loyal owner base became a responsive market for each
Back to more Portfolio Case Histories!
(Or go forward to Next Page to see Hot Mailings
Troy-Bilt Owner News
This customer-appreciation newspaper was sent to all customers four times per
Its 24 pages were loaded with gardening tips & tricks, recipes, maintenance
suggestions, and special offers on parts, accessories and new products. It profitably
mined the list of customers using what is nowadays called database management.
What The Heck Is
"Direct Response Marketing" and Why Should You Care?
Direct Response Marketing skips all the middlemen
and aims directly at your customer using techniques that objectively measure
the results. It can be used B2C or B2B and applied to any level in your sales
channel. But you can't bluff your way with this advertising; if it's effective,
you'll know it, and if not, you'll know that, too.
DM is a great way to lower your
advertising costs while increasing your sales and profits.
But there's a lot of science and art to it. To learn
more, please visit our page, Direct