Timing Is Everything
Have you recently launched a new product? Or perhaps you are about to? It may help you to know that your timing may be off a little bit. The last week of June through the first week of September can be some of the slowest time for sales in the direct marketing business (at least in the UK). I’ve experienced that in the past. That figure is not taken from just one product either; it appears to be right across the board with a variety of products.
Explaining the Slump
It’s pretty easy to understand the slump in sales. At those months, the kids are on break from school (distracting their parents), the sun is shining, and in all fairness the beach looks pretty inviting compared with staying home in town, doesn’t it?
Because the kids are off school for the next six or so weeks, it’s now into the peak holiday season for the UK as well as other parts of the world. Since a large majority of people will either not be at home to receive your direct mail promotions, or be sat at their computers to read your email newsletters, perhaps this is not the right time of year to be launching a new product.
What can you do during this slow time?
- Give an extra incentive to make a purchase by offering a ‘limited time only’ discount. In fact you may have found some of these discounts in your email recently from other companies trying to boost sales a bit.
- Spend the downtime working on other projects. Get them ready to go for when sales pick up again. They should do so in the next few weeks.
- Take some time off like a lot of other people. There is more to life than work! Enjoy some quality time and relax a bit. You may find yourself coming up with new ideas to implement once you go back to work.
So when is the best time to launch a new product?
I’m sure that everyone you ask this question to will answer differently. However here’s what I can suggest (100% is the best response you can achieve):
- January: 100%
- February: 90%
- March: 90%
- April: 90%
- May: 85%
- June: 85%
- July: 80%
- August: 75%
- September: 95%
- October: 90%
- November: 75%
- December: 60%
Important Note: Always try to avoid the week before and the week after the Easter Holiday. Also avoid the last four weeks before Christmas. After all why risk a 60% response rate when if you wait a few weeks you will get 100%.
Many marketers now claim the week between Christmas and the New Year is the best time to mail out new promotions.
One Final Twist
If most Internet and Direct Marketers are avoiding launching and promoting new products during the summer months. Perhaps there’s less competition on the doormat and in the Inbox overall, therefore giving you a higher chance of conversion to a slightly reduced audience. Just a thought.