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Old November 25, 2000, 03:10 PM
Dien Rice
Posts: n/a
Default Here's what affects direct response rates....

Hi Julie,

Here's more information I've dug up which might be relevant to your observations....

I thought that Joe Sugarman (a very successful direct response marketer) mentioned this sort of thing in his book, "Marketing Secrets of a Mail Order Maverick".... So I spent some time trying to find it in the book, and finally found where I read it.... :)

Here's what Joe Sugarman says....

I have found that direct response rates are lowest in the months of April, September and December -- in that order, with April having the lowest rate.

["Marketing Secrets of a Mail Order Maverick" by Joseph Sugarman, p. 251.]

Joe Sugarman goes on to say that he doesn't *really* know why those months had the lowest direct response rates, but he gives a theory....

His theory is that these months are the biggest retail months, and people are distracted....

April for Easter, summer, vacation, and the garden.... everyone's outside enjoying the warmer weather, rather than being inside watching TV, reading magazines, or surfing the 'net....

In September, the kids are going back to school and many people are focusing on buying all that you need to start the school year again.

And December because of Christmas, though Joe Sugarman says that direct response marketers with quick response times still see reasonable sales in December.

Joe Sugarman goes through many other factors which can affect direct response rates.... including economic factors (recessions versus boom times), the effect of major events and even the actions of the President in times of crisis! It's a great chapter of his book....

My feeling (based on what I've read various places) is that in general, if people are being distracted by other things, then they're less likely to be reading the magazines, or maybe even generally surfing the internet, to be motivated by direct response....

Some distractions are the big retail months, big events, and even big tragedies (like the shooting of John F. Kennedy, which according to Sugarman saw some of the worst direct response rates ever)

I hope that helps Julie with your observations.... Perhaps fewer people are online due to distractions?

Dien Rice

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