How Not to Run a TV Promotion

Over the holidays, there were any number of product promotions ‘for free’, where one has to sign up for two or three additional monthly product shipments in order to get the ‘free’ shipment, which by the way, doesn’t include ‘shipping and handling’.

We want to profile one which my wife called, because it’s pretty emblematic of how not to do one of these promotions.

Keranique, which is a hair growth and thickness treatment looked good to my wife, so she called the number on the TV screen.

The first mistake was that Keranique wanted her to verbally do an extensive demographic questionnaire, so they could profile her for marketing data. Understandable, but it was about 10 questions and 10 minutes too long. We would have kept it to age, area of country (since the ad ran nationally), and maybe income (most people lie on this one).

But, she hung in there and hit the appropriate numbers on her touch tone phone to complete the survey.

But, the kicker was that she had to sign up for two more monthly shipments of the product, at $80 per month, in order to get the ‘free’ product that was promised on the front end TV ad. This borders on deceptive, but Keranique isn’t the only company that does this, which is why I’m writing about it.

A better approach would have been to just charge for shipping and handling (it would be better to even pay that), then take telephone numbers and email addresses for future product marketing.

A little bit before then end of the thirty day period, then have telemarketers phone each of the recipients, and get some feedback on how they liked the product and take reorders. This is much more customer friendly than the lockstep approach they used. Our approach would probably yield two or three times the lifetime product purchases, based on our experience. The TV ad and associated promo costs probably ran $100,000, and I’ll bet that they didn’t recoup their costs.

OK Keranique, give us a call (1-800-716-9626) if you want to do this right. BTW, we just happen to have a telemarketing room.

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