Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How Many Brochures Should I Give?

How Many Avon Brochures Should I Give?


Today I want to look at some options for getting your brochures in customer hands, but one common question that comes up is how many brochures do I give the brochure to a prospect or customer who hasn’t placed an order so we’ll take a look at that first.

When this topic comes up on representative groups on Facebook you will see everything from reps who cut someone off if they haven’t ordered by the 3rd brochure to those who say never stop giving them brochures.  I think the sweet spot is somewhere in between. 
First, you have to remember, the brochure is your store, if the customer or prospect does not have a brochure, they can’t come into your store. Yes, we have the online brochure and that is a fantastic tool, but even my customers who shop online prefer to have a brochure in hand that they can flip through.  However brochures are an expense, sometimes our biggest business expense so you do have to establish limits on how many brochures someone gets without actually making a purchase. 
There is no hard and fast rule for how many books someone should get but there are a few things to keep in mind.  Few people place an order the very first time they get a book, this is why it is so important to get contact information from anyone you give a book to so that you can get them future brochures. In general people tend to  see a marketing message 4-8 times before they respond to it  and reality is that Representatives come and go so customers need to see that you are reliable and are going to stick around. So I certainly wouldn’t stop after only 3 brochures, however giving a brochure every campaign until the end of time isn’t cost effective either.

My personal guideline is to treat the brochure like a magazine subscription. Anyone can get a 6 month subscription, but to continue that subscription they have to place an order once every six months. I also have people that get the brochure only every 3rd campaign for a year and some that only get every 6th campaign for 2 years. These are typically customers who don’t order as often or and don’t need every brochure. Once someone’s subscription “expires” I send them a postcard letting them know and sharing other ways they can stay in touch, including viewing the brochure on my online store or following me on Facebook.  Even after someone is not on my regular mailing list they go on a list of people who used to get the brochure and they will get 1-2 books a year just in case they are ready to start ordering again. 
Postcard I send people when their "subscription" ends
Aside from using a customer’s order history as a way of deciding how many books to give them, there is one other surefire way to determine how often a customer needs a brochure…ASK Them. Maybe they know they are only going to order once a month, or every couple of months.  Or maybe they only order one favorite product so you can just let them know when it’s on sale and then just give them a brochure in their order so they can see what’s new.  And you will have customers who are more than happy to view the brochure online or just browse through the online store.

One of the most important steps you take each campaign is getting brochures to your customers and prospects, after all, your brochure is your store.  The most obvious way to distribute brochures and the method you are probably using is to take them to the customers and prospects personally.  

Tips for giving books to your customers in person
      Make a tracking sheet with all customers and prospects so you can check off when each customer receives their brochure so you can easily see who still needs one. See example below.  Arrange the people on your book list into a route for the most efficient drop off. 

Example of Customer Follow Up Log

     Work your book drop offs into your regular routine…give them a book when you see them, drop off all books in a neighborhood while you are making deliveries in the area.
      Use the clear literature bags to hang the brochure in a convenient location if you are dropping off the book when the customer is not home. Whenever possible ask them where the best place to leave the book is. No point leaving the book by the front door if they always enter their house through the garage.  Note – it is a federal offense to put anything in the mail box unless you are the mail carrier, even if the resident gives you permission. 
      For those customers that are out of the way or that you don’t see as often, consider giving them 2 brochures at a time. Be sure they know the order dates for both books or that they can take advantage of the backordering option.

As your business grows you may start to find it is more difficult to get all of the brochures out each campaign. Mailing brochures is a good option for getting the brochures out when you just can’t make the rounds yourself. And while mailing brochures is an expense you have to take into account that you will be saving gas and wear and tear on your car, and more importantly that you will save time. Time that could be spent on activities that create more income in your business, or time that you can spend with your family or doing things you enjoy.  So consider the benefits when looking at the cost.
3 ways you can mail your brochures
      Regular first class mail through the post office. This is the most expensive option but the best choice if you are only mailing a few brochures. The cost will vary based on the weight of the brochure but you’re looking at a couple of dollars each brochure in postage. I have seen some representatives suggest sending the brochures using media mail because they are printed materials but the post office does not allow marketing materials, which our brochures are, to be sent by media mail. Even if they accept it initially the postal service has the right to open any mail sent as media mail and if they determine it is not eligible they will charge the additional postage, and your customer may be the one getting the bill. 
      Campaign Mailer ( https://www.campaign-mailer.com/cp/index.php ) is a service offered by an Avon Representative who has a bulk mail permit.  They provide the brochures, prepare them for mailing and mail the brochures at bulk rates. The service cost from $.99 to $1.39 for each brochure depending on how many you are mailing. That includes the cost of the brochure so you won’t need to order as many brochures. 
      Bulk Mail through the postal service. You can get a permit which allows you to send at bulk rates through the postal service.  The bulk rates are significantly lower than first class and vary based on the weight of the brochures and how many you have going to a particular post office or zip code. In addition to having a bulk mail permit you need to be mailing a minimum of 200 identical pieces to qualify for bulk rates.  The best resource for information on bulk mail is the postal service, but you can find a great beginner’s guide to bulk mail at savepostage.com . I started bulk mailing my brochures about 17 or 18 years ago and had a significant sales increase because my customers were getting the brochure more consistently so the cost was well worth it, especially since it meant I was no longer spending entire days driving around dropping off brochures with my daughters in tow.  If you don’t already have 200 customers you can fill out your list by mailing books to other addresses in your customer’s neighborhoods to find new customers. Or you can get together with other representatives and mail your books together.

Chris Arnold
Avon Independent Sales Leader
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