October is my birthday month. Many retailers that I shop with online and offline have started sending me birthday greetings even through my big day isn’t until the middle of the month. But how could this be a good marketing move? One retailer sent me a 15% off coupon for my birthday and another only sent an email saying Happy Birthday from us.
I was actually pleasantly surprised and stunned by this. Store one was obviously hoping I was going to treat myself to some new shoes as part of a killer outfit for my big day (a smart and correct assumption). The latter store missed the mark completely. When you communicate with your best target customer it is critical not to waste their time. Now, if retailer number two profiled me correctly, they would have realized that the last time I was in their store I spent over $500, and the proper thing to do for my birthday was to send me a “very special” coupon for only their best customers. Instead they opted to spam me with simple a happy birthday email.
The first thing all businesses should have is a detailed customer profile for existing customers. These profiles should be in a Customer Relationship Management System or (CRM system). In it should be a few key pieces of information including name, address, email, birthday, phone number and cellphone number. Then you need data on their buying habits. How much did they spend last visit? How often do they come into the store? How does this customer prefer to be contacted? What is this customer’s size? What did they buy? Have they shopped online, opened email communications, or used the coupon program? You may not get answers to all of these questions, but you should try to fill in as much detail as you can about your target customer.
Here are the 6 reasons why you should contact your existing customers.
Send helpful articles– You can forward along a clipping or link from an article that you read somewhere that is relevant to their interest or business, send your own original articles or blog posts, or sign them up for a subscription to a magazine as a gift. It doesn’t really matter where the content comes from. You want to position yourself as an invaluable resource to your customers.
Discounts alerts– One of the best ways to bring traffic to your store or your website is to provide a coupon or discount, such as a buy one/get one 50% off or an offer of free shipping on purchases and returns. Provide merchandise at an exceptional discount as a loss leader to get traffic in your business.
New product launches or special service offerings– Whenever your company has a new product or special service offering, make sure your customers know about it! Make it exclusive. It is okay to offer special hours, events and pricing to your best customers. Don’t assume your customers know all of the ways they can work with your company.
Announce website updates and social media launches– Let your customers know all the ways they can contact you and learn about special offers. When you give your website a facelift or are launching on social media such as with a Facebook FanPage, LinkedInprofile, branded YouTubechannel or Twitter profile, you should let your existing customers know about it. Consider launching a Facebook “Like” campaign using pay-per-click advertising to boost your traffic. You may need to play around with 3-5 ads until you get the right message that creates the most successful formula.
Event invites– Everybody loves a party. Invite your customers to grand openings and open houses with free food and drinks. Think about a themed holiday party or if your company purchases a table at an event or sponsor an evening at the ballet and invite some of your best clients to join you as your guests.
Send special birthday/anniversary coupons– Everyone loves to hear or read their own name, especially on their birthday. Send a personalized birthday greeting by snail mail or email to loyal customers a free or discounted offer. Be sure to include a coupon for 15% to 40% OFF or more in your business.
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