Guerrilla Marketing Principle #1 – If You Are Out of Sight, You Are Out of Mind.
A customer is a very special person. Of the billions of people on planet Earth, only a tiny fraction has chosen to do business with you. Often these customers are hard fought for. The fact is for whatever reason they have selected your business on purpose. What is a customer worth to your business? Probably a lot.
Having said this, I am surprised by the number of businesses that do not have a program or plan for staying in front of customers and clients with regularity. These businesses are easily spotted by the roller coaster – feast or famine nature of their sales.
The consumers’ needs and interests change and they forget quickly. If your business serves the business to business market it is even more vital that you market to your customers regularly as employees, market contacts and when personnel change your business will be forgotten quickly and then a competitor walks in the door or sends them a postcard and “boom” you lost the business.
Every business’s marketing program should have two parts: One part promoting to people who have already bought something from you. The second part of a marketing plan is to get new business in the door. When budgeting your marketing money it is best to spend 60%-70% on getting new customers and 30%-40% promoting to existing customers.
What is the best way to market to existing customers?
- A thank you note sent within 48 hours of each purchase, although 24 hours is more impressive and memorable. Anyone can send a thank you note. Often the thank you note has a coupon for an additional service, usually an offer with an item related to their purchase tendered about 30 days after the purchase. The offer can be for a product or service. Guerilla marketers do it ASAP.
- A follow-up questionnaire sent to each new customer to learn more about them and their interests and what other things they may need help with.
- A birthday card sent to customers. Use the questionnaire mentioned above to learn each customer’s birthday – month and day, not year. Then send them a card when their birthday rolls around. Later, you can expand this tactic by sending graduation cards to the customer’s kids, anniversary cards to the customer and spouse and postcards from your next vacation.
- A newsletter sent monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. A well-designed newsletter not only keeps you in front of the customer, it also allows you to provide valuable free information and still make offers to sell something.
- A catalog of your offerings sent only to customers or sent first to customers, then to prospects, if your customer list isn’t long enough. Customers will especially appreciate a “customers only” catalogue that clearly communicates it is for customers only.
- Emails sent to your customers on a regular basis. Your emails should be designed with 85% helpful information and 15% selling. The purpose of the email is to provide free advice or help not necessarily to sell something.
Do you have a referral program in place? People who have brought from you can be your best source of leads. Are you asking for referrals? If not you should.
If you don’t stay in contact with your customers, somebody else may win them away from you. By constantly fanning the flames of love and loyalty, you will prove beyond any words that you revere your customers, while at the same time safeguarding against apathy.