Staying in touch with e-newsletters

So how do you stay in touch with your customers and leads in an effective way? Email servers typically filter out 90% of incoming email as being junk. The Washington State Attorney General reports that almost 45% of email received is still junk mail. The Post Office is reliant upon junk mail to keep the postage rates low. Getting a customer to friend you on Facebook, or via other social media, is an option; but not having a good message does not really help.

So how can you stand out and not be trapped as being yet another piece of unnecessary communication that your customer has to deal with each day.

  1. Make what you have to say be relevant to the customer. You already know a lot about your customer from what they have bought, the inquires they have made, as well as what they have told you. Use that information to put together something that you think is of interest to them. Ideally have a mixture of specific and general interest.
  2. Provide a ‘next steps’ for the customer for if they are interested in what you are saying. You have the customer interested, now you want to have them reach out to you. Provide a link to your web site, blog, or Facebook page, where there is more information as well as a way for the customer to contact you to do business with you. Make the offer something specific so that the customer now sees value in contacting you.
  3. Keep what you have to say short. You have about 5 seconds to get the customer’s interest. If it takes them more than 20 seconds to skim read then you have probably lost them.

Directly contacting a customer is often called ‘Push Marketing’. ‘Pull Marketing’ is a term used to describe where a customer pulls information from your website, Facebook page, or blog. In future blogs,  will talk more about push and pull marketing. You can use both push and pull to communicate with customers. Here is a simple example:

  1. Set up a calendar for regular e-newsletters that you are going to send out. Plan well in advance for what you are going to talk about.
  2. Build the e-newsletter with short articles that highlights thinks that the customer is interested in, more general news and information, and what is planned for the next e-newsletter.
  3. Each article has a link for the customer to take some action on the information
  4. There is a historical archive of all the articles that is searchable
  5. There is an RSS feed to allow customers to track when new articles are available
  6. Allow customers to update their preferences, including opt-out

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do let me know. I would be happy to help.

How to create the right impression with your customers

You think that you know your own business reasonably well, but do your really know whether your online customers, partners, and prospects see you in the same way? And what can you do about creating a better and more favorable online impression.

A few simple things that you can do on a quarterly basis, to get you started, are:

  1. Look at your web analytics results to see if the search terms used to find you match your expectation.
  2. Do a browser search for the name of your business, products, and services that you offer. Include Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and other ‘rating’ sites. Compare what you find against what you expect.
  3. Review any customer emails, comments and feedback. Look for common themes, trends, or anything that was unexpected.
  4. Use this information to identify one problem impression that you want to work on for the next quarter; and determine how you will measure success.
  5. If you continue to see the same problem over and over again, consider breaking the problem into smaller pieces.
  6. Rinse and repeat each quarter.

Contact us for a free assessment and recommendations on how to improve your online presence.

How to avoid getting buried by your online marketing

Do you find yourself writing posts, just for the sake of reaching people; or even trying to find new ways to say the same thing over and over again. This is not a productive use of your time, and can be very confusing for your customers. Here are some quick tips to make your life easier.

  1. Use your favorite calendar tool to schedule out when you are going to publish on a regular basis. This could be weekly, monthly, or possibly quarterly. The emphasis here is that you have a regular and predictable schedule.
  2. For each publishing schedule entry, line up the main topic that you are going to talk about. For example: There may be seasonal changes to your products that you want to talk about.
  3. Compose the content in blocks. Identify the specific type of customer that this is for. That allows you to reuse the content across channels (Email, Twitter, Blog,…) and to have is customized for your audience
  4. In the message set the expectation of how frequently you will be sending messages out, and what the topic will be. For example: “Check back next week for our newsletter on Fall specials”

Contact us for a free assessment and recommendations for your marketing needs.

Retaining existing customers is just as important as getting new ones

getting-customers-150x150Having gone to the expense of acquiring a new customer, think about ways you can do more business with them. It is much cheaper to sell to an existing customer.

Do you have a product of services that goes with what they have just bought from you.

Do a follow-up with the customer, invite them to friend you on Facebook. Let them know about any discounts or incentives you offer for referrals.

Wikipedia has some great some background reading on Customer Lifetime Value.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do let me know. I would be happy to help.