Boy, times are tough. Companies are hurting and I’ve been working with a lot of clients recently who are looking for creative ways to find new or keep existing clients. These clients all have customer databases and are trying to figure out ways to mine the data and go after any low hanging fruit. They tell me “the phones aren’t ringing” and they need to find ways to make that happen. In the process of helping people run reports and figure out who to contact, we have learned a few things about what to do with the names on the reports. That usually ends up being a logical next question – “have you run across any cool marketing ideas.” We hear it all the time.
Gee, you know, the same applies to us as well. Our phones are ringing less. So, I’ve spent the week compiling some tips and techniques that I’ve gleaned over the years so that we can do them within our own business. I think I’m then going to go out on a limb and create an eBook that compiles it all into one nice document. It’s turning into a pretty nice document. Now I’m debating whether I’ll sell it or give it away as a “here kitty kitty” link on my website. That, by the way, is one of the techniques you can use to draw people to your company website. Send out an email offering a free download of a document that will help your client in some manner. While they are on your site, the idea is to have them poke around and see what else you might have to offer.
Regarding sending out emails, it’s getting tougher to reach out to new and current clients. Spam rules make emailing a nightmare. “Do not call” options make it equally difficult to make phone calls. Knocking on doors or sending out real paper mail are coming back in vogue. Something to try is sending out postcards with updates about your business and suggestions that people visit a website to learn more about special offering or to download a free document like I suggested earlier.
Speaking of paper mailings, another approach is to keep track of what Jim Cecil (nuturemarketing.com) calls Pain and Passion. Pain is what keeps someone up at night. Passion is what gets them up at 6:00 AM. Once you have kept track of them in your CRM tool of choice, you then do a lookup of a particular topic, find a great article about that topic, and then send it out in paper form. Attach a note that says “remembered you were interested in … and thought of you.” For example, if you deal with people or organizations in the medical profession, they may be interested in articles on HIPA regulations. They don’t need to know you sent it out to 50 people. However, they will hopefully appreciate the fact that you sent the article and also the fact that you knew they were interested enough to track that.
They say it takes 7 to 8 “touches” to bring in a new client. Well, you also need to reach out and touch your existing clients as well. Sending out articles is one of those touches. Remember, usually it’s easier to try to get business from an existing client than it is to go find new ones. And in this economy, even more so.
Continuing down the paper mailing trail, one of the things I suggest is sending out lumpy mail. Recently I wrote a blog article about using lumpy mail as a way to get your mail opened. http://www.egenconsulting.com/lumpy-mail-getting-your-marketing-material-opened. Research has found that people will open mail if it feels like there is something inside. If they think it’s a check, they’ll open it first. That’s why I am not fond of the groups that send out advertising that looks like an IRS check. That’s just plain nasty. But, when you send out something cute, that ties into a slogan or marketing campaign, you’re just doing something to make the client open the mail. I’ve sent out little cocktail monkeys (you know the ones – they hang off the side of a cocktail glass). The inside says something along the line of “are you looking for ways to get the Administration monkey off your back?” The card inside then suggests you visit our website looking for ways to do just that. Works pretty well. Hm, may need to do that again.
So, drill down into your contacts, find the ones you haven’t “touched” in 6 months and send them an article, or a postcard or a really cool lumpy envelope. Oh, and when they respond, record what it was that got them to call you or email you back. That way you can keep track of what worked and what didn’t.