Lift online response with the old mail ‘notch’ trick

The ‘notch trick’ is a cheap, secret weapon used to lift the response rate of a direct mail pack. We employed the ‘notch’ on a regular basis at Time Inc. The secret to the notch’s power is the same force that’s driving mobile apps profits, texting commerce and is the future of the iPad.

The notch was a small cut-out at the top of the direct mail order card that began the tear-off process.  See above.  It tempted the customer – almost dared them – to tear off the card.  Basically, it started the tear-off for you. It made it easy. In a way, it made the purchase decision for you.

Just like it was easy for people watching the NFL playoff game to text $10 for Haiti earthquake victims ($22MM in a few hours!) Asking them to call and put $10 on their credit card would have cut the response rate by 80% I’m guessing. Notch power is also the secret sauce to mobile apps’ profitability. Download the app, use the free features and, hey, if you want to buy something just one touch and you’ll soon receive a box in the mail. Don’t worry, we’ll hit your credit card.  Easy. Sale.

No doubt the iPad is gearing up with a hip, unique take on the notch. In fact, every form of e-commerce should take the Notch test. Why not start the ordering process for your customer? Make it as easy as possible to order. That means don’t drive traffic to your corporate site and make them look around for the order button. Take them right to a microsite where the ordering process has been halfway begun for them.

Then sit back, count your profits and put another notch in your ROI belt.

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