Tag Archive for Maintain Customer Relationship

Tools to Stand Out

BNET shared some stories about marketing tactics that independent bookstores are using to remain successful.

  1. Expand your reach to a national market.
  2. Go green.
  3. Create a store within a store.
  4. Open your doors to the community.
  5. Cultivate the next generation of customers.
  6. Get social.

One or more of these ideas could work for your business. We would love to help you implement them and put together a story to tell your customers about it. Maybe it is just the reason you have needed to mail a postcard out to your favorite customers?

Is It The End of the Marketing Funnel

Marketing has grown more complicated, media choices have exploded, and consumers have asserted themselves more visibly than ever before. So perhaps some of the classical ways to understand and visualize marketing concepts, need to change and evolve too.

Forbes.com shared some information from Forrester that found that 53% of U.S. online consumers research products online that they’ll then purchase in the store. This process exposes consumers to brands they might not have previously considered, expanding their consideration set at exactly the point where, according to the traditional funnel, it should narrow.

The author, Forester analyst, Steve Noble proposes to bury the marketing funnel and introduce a new model–the customer life cycle.

Discover: Every customer must discover a brand, product category, or personal need–the initial trigger that leads to a new or repeat purchase.

Explore: In this phase, customers explore the brand–and their options. When visiting an online store or handling products in a well-crafted shop environment, customers are immersing themselves in the explore phase.

Buy: Customer experiences during this phase include product availability, inventory lookup, and satisfaction with the checkout process. It also includes the actual price paid, the perceived value, and the experience with the sales channel if there is a problem.

Engage: After buying a product or service, customers engage with brands in several ways.

We reported on the evolution of the way people make buying decisions based on some data from McKinsey. That study found that “traditional” marketing was still a very important part of the buying process, it just happened earlier. This latest information from Forrester Research also supports the important role that direct mail can play in the buying process, during the discovery and engagement phases.


Because it is still January and many of us are still looking for ways to improve…

Perhaps looking around and asking questions like, “Is this as simple as it can be?” Or even, “Is this necessary at all?” A BNET post titled Do You Make Things Too Complicated? Take the Razor to Them, led us to search for more information about Occam’s Razor. Occam’s writing led to many scientific quotes and thoughts, but our favorite is: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

It’s so easy and so tempting to do too much. You can have a Facebook page, blog, Twitter page, YouTube channel, smartphone app, streaming video content, and cool icons on your Web site. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you have a solid, well-executed online/media plan and a clear vision of how every element serves your business, go for it. But if you doing a lot of stuff just because others are or because it seems like you should. Is it doing anything for your business? Are you doing more than you need to?

Are your customers responding? What about sending a simple piece of mail to reconnect?

Reasons For Facebook Unfriending

A University of Colorado Denver Business School student revealed the top reasons for Facebook unfriending, who is unfriended and how they react to being unfriended.

After surveying more than 1,500 Facebook users on Twitter, Christopher Sibona, a PhD student in the Computer Science and Information Systems program, found the number-one reason for unfriending is frequent, unimportant posts.

Is this information further confirmation that social media, email messaging and other electronic media are based on a very delicate balance? If you really want to maintain relationships or create meaningful connections why not use more than one medium? There is great power in something physical that can be touched and felt. Direct mail can be touched and felt and it can reach exactly who you want to reach.

Generate Sales Fast

If you’re looking for a reliable way to bring in revenue, the best place to start is by contacting your best customers.

Start by Segmenting Your Customer List

Your best customers are the most likely to purchase. Try dividing by sales or average order size. Analyzing your customers will identify strategic breaking points between groups. When you sort your customers’ sales activity, from highest to lowest and cumulate sales and calculate percentage of total sales, you may be surprised. The top customers will reliably respond to your offers.

Let Customers Know You Miss Them

We Miss You

“We Miss You” offers

Just because someone cancelled last year, or you have not heard from them in a while, doesn’t mean the sale is gone forever. Mail a “We want you back” offer. It will produce more sales than cold prospecting letters.

The Value of Touch

The Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day talked about how powerful an appropriate pat on the back can be with employees. They reminded us about an abundance of studies demonstrating the power of touch on everything from Rhesus monkeys to students in a classroom.

A pat on the back or a brief touch on the shoulder can express support and reassurance, making the recipient more willing to take risks and improving his decision making. Often times, contact can be more powerful than words. Use touch sparingly though, and don’t linger; it only takes a brief moment of contact; any longer can feel creepy.

This reinforces how powerful touch can be in other areas too, especially marketing. Can we help you to maintain a tactile relationship with your customers by sending something in the mail?

Get more from Customer Data

DMNews recently talked with experts about the best ways to combine and leverage customer data.

Elissa Tomasetti, VP of marketing, Financial Times, suggested that creating a single view of your customer will allow for better targeting.

Sal Pecoraro, VP of database marketing solutions, Infogroup, advised looking for trends in behavior to refine follow-up with customers.

Dino Michetti, GM and VP of client services, Epsilon, reminded marketers that current technology and innovation allow for real-time marketing and better data automation.

A Strategy for Tough Times

BNET posted an article in its leadership section titled, “What to Do in a Double-Dip Recession? Grow!” This may sound counter intuitive but it isn’t. There is evidence and research everywhere to support the notion that if you invest in gaining market share when your competitors are just trying to hang on, you will be in much better position when things do turn around.

We published these tips about Marketing in Tough Times a few years ago, they still seem very relevant today.

Creating More Value in the Mail

DMNews published a story about trends in marketing campaigns that stress customers’ ideas of “value”.

US consumer spending grew at the fastest rate in three years during the first quarter of 2010, according to figures from the Commerce Department. Overall spending grew 3.6%, with spending on durable goods increasing 11.3%. For nondurable goods, the increase was 3.9% and for services, 2.4%. These figures suggest the worst of the recession may be over, but it doesn’t paint a clear picture of what the consumer will do next.

The power of putting money back in consumers’ wallets explains the growing popularity of coupons. NCH Marketing Services reports that coupon distribution rose 11% in 2009, while redemption rates have increased consistently over the past six quarters. According to a recent Nielsen report, direct mail is the second-fastest growing redemption method for coupons, posting a 69% jump in 2009.

Price promotions aren’t the only way to a consumer’s heart. Sprint does a good job providing value and relevance to consumers in its communications, including direct mail. Over the past year, the company has shifted its focus away from acquisition toward more loyalty- and customer retention-oriented efforts. There is so much more information about your customer base, so it is a lot easier to get relevant and meaningful. In February 2009, Sprint introduced a complimentary loyalty program for wireless customers and is promoting it through direct mail and e-mail. A mailed welcome package details the benefits of the program.

Determining your customer base’s definition of “value” will drive the right direct mail strategy.

The economy has made things tough for everyone but, in the end, mailing successfully means being able to tap into what’s going on in consumers’ minds. As marketers, we are responsible for giving customers what they want, and at this particular time, that means value.

Direct Mail Works

Smart Money Magazine published an article in the June issue with the title “Why Your Mailbox Runneth Over”. The article stated that charities still rely heavily on direct mail as a fund-raising tool. Nonprofits spent $1.8 billion on direct-mail solicitations in 2009.

Pasadena, Calif., marketing consultancy Russ Reid Co. found that fund-raising campaigns with 12 to 18 mailings a year were twice as profitable as those based on just three to six mailings. Donors are surprised when they receive a rapid request for another gift after making a first time donation. The tactic is effective because donors feel the strongest connection with a nonprofit immediately after their first donation.

We can help you put these findings to work for you in your profit or non-profit organization. Even if people say they only want to hear from you a few times a year, they may respond much more when you triple or quadruple the number of times your customers hear from you. What about a plan to send something to your customers very soon after their first purchase? Can we help you with a multichannel communication plan, integrating direct mail and email?