What Does a ‘No’ Response Really Mean?

What does a ‘no’ response really mean? The previous article addressed some of the common language, communication and media challenges we encounter when attempting to connect with the market. Now let’s shift gears and discuss what a no response really means and more importantly, what to do about it to improve response rates and sales results.

No Response

Regardless of the method of communication – i.e. direct mail, email, social media, text, etc. your goal should always be twofold. First, to grab the prospective buyer’s attention and second, to move them to an eventual sale.

In doing so, it helps to work the industry averages in your favor. For example, the typical open rates for email campaigns vary from 15% to 30%, and the response (click) rates from 2.5% to 3.5%, based on factors such as industry and company size. For direct mail, the response rates average between 1.5% and 4.5%. And improving on the industry averages should translate to better close rates, if you have a compelling value proposition and offer.

So, what are some of the steps you should take to improve response rates?

First of all, it’s important to determine what a no response really means before taking action. From my experience, the primary reasons for a no response include:

  1. “Didn’t receive your correspondence.” This usually translates to one of two things – it is lurking in their spam folder, or they got it and ignored it.
  2. DNA > does not apply. Does not fit a perceived current need, want or desire.
  3. Not interested. Already bought a similar product or service from someone else.
  4. Stop bugging (spamming) me. Overwhelmed with similar email, direct mail, etc. offers, and views them all as spam.
  5. Out of pocket or too busy, will get to it later. Most of the time they don’t, without some additional prompting.
  6. Did you ask for a response? Make sure you have included a call to action with your offer.
  7. You’re the best … I’m crazy about you! Can’t wait to buy all of your cool stuff!!! (Oops, sorry, day dreaming again!)

Next, after determining the reasons for low response rates, how should you move forward in addressing the issue? Here are some dos and don’ts to consider in finding the right solution(s):

  1. Do take it personal. After all, this is your business and your life. Remember Habit #5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Take positive corrective action.
  2. Don’t go postal, spam or stalk them, or try to run them down in the parking lot. The good news is they haven’t opted out, so you are still in play.
  3. Do keep testing the market. Change your headlines, content, call-to-action and offer to improve the “stickiness” of your campaigns.
  4. Don’t give up. Remember this data point – 80% of sales are made on the 5-12 attempt. Continually seek creative ways to connect with the target audience and enhance your offers.
  5. If all else fails, do try the “Shock & Awe” campaign to get their attention. Caution: Do not over-use this approach; it will dilute the impact.

One final thought, do not feel alone. We have all experienced the highs and the lows associated with connecting our messages and offers with the marketplace. It can be frustrating at times when you don’t see immediate results. Just keep changing things up and stay engaged so you are top-of-mind to those future buyers when the timing is right.

Enjoy the journey!



COPYRIGHT © 2013 John Carroll