In one of last week’s posts, I discussed how one garden center doubled sales largely by hiring someone who understood the value of promotion and knew how to do it well.
The other day, the same point hit home when talking to a friend who wholesales potted bulbs sold as gifts. Last Christmas, two of his clients, both prominent gardening catalogers with similar customers, carried the same gift basket. Company A included it in their catalog with hard-to-see photography, a pretty mundane headline, and almost no description.
Company B used dramatic photography, a powerful headline, and compelling copy. Not only did they put the item in their catalog, but they tested it as a featured item in their email promotions, and it flew off the shelves. Naturally, they continued the promotions, and they had a hard time keeping it in stock. The marketing manager dubbed it a home run.
Meanwhile, Company A is dropped the product this year because it didn’t sell well enough.
I chuckled when I heard the story. I’ve been getting newsletters from Company A for years with subject lines like “September Newsletter from Company A” while Company B’s newsletter subject lines always include strong benefits and calls to action.
I’ll bet you anything that Company A is bemoaning how tough it is doing business in today’s economy. Meanwhile, I’ve read that Company B’s business is up 40% in 2008. Sounds like a classic example of making your own luck!