Consumers respond to mail-order companies that make life easier for them--via clear catalog descriptions, good photographs and an easy-to-order/return process. They won't work too hard to decipher what you are trying to communicate. Your order-taking process should also be quick and simple. Offer as many ways as possible for customers to send orders: fax, phone, mail, e-mail and the Web. On the phones, don't make customers wait on hold for several minutes. Have enough employees to handle the calls.
Also take heed of the entrepreneurs who thought they didn't need to provide a toll-free number for their customers. They offered terrific mail-order photo albums and storage containers. They had a wonderful people working their phones, and delivery was reliable. They noticed, however, that their growth was slow. So when they asked their callers what they could do better, they were told time and again, "Get a toll-free number." They did, and business skyrocketed.
Excerpted from 303 Marketing Tips: Guaranteed To Boost Your Business