Who should you be communicating with? Where are your new customers coming from? The easy answer is … everyone. A VERY important thing to remember is to not send the same message to all of your friends, vendors, prospects, clients, family, former clients…
Reaching out is never a one-size-fits-all proposition, at least not unless you have resources and money to burn. If that is the case, send me all your money and you’ll have nothing to worry about… but enough of the levity. Starting at the beginning:
- Start building your mailing list (or database). It could be as few as five names or as many as 5, million. Just follow the advice of Nike “Just Do It”.
- Don’t take shortcuts. Do not purchase emailing lists. As a general rule, they don’t work and will get you into a world of trouble.
- Categorize Contacts! Each tag or group should describe the type of contact – suspect, prospect, customer, former customer; industry; birth year; favorite sports teams. Most contacts will fit in more than one type of contact, so they’ll have more than one “attribute”.
- Craft an email message and then tailor the message to each tag or group. One big mistake is to communicate generically. Always write to one person.
- Add new contacts to your list by asking for contacts on your website, entering contacts you meet face-to-face into your database (always after asking for permission), or offering an e-book or gift of something of value in exchange for someone’s contact information. A good habit to get into is to double-opt in your list.
- Be sure to change tags or groups of contacts as they shift to another niche. You may have a contact who started as a suspect, then a prospect and now a client… or client that has transitioned to ex-customer. Kind of like gardening – there are always weeds to be pulled and seedlings to be watered.
- Strongly encourage all of the people you come in contact with to opt-in to your email or newsletter list.
- Ask your contacts to forward to a friend.
- Promote your online communications in your offline marketing tactics.
- An active contact list is one of the largest and most valuable assets of a small business.
If you do not have an email list or communicate regularly with clients and prospects, you are making a huge mistake. Email has a much higher response rate than most social media triggers. Staying in front of people will help keep you top of mind so that, when they need your product or service, you have a better chance they will think of you contacting you first.
Not sure how to proceed? Just contact us!