communication

Communicating With Your Customer Base

While it’s tempting to continuously search out ways to get new customers, realizing the value of returning customers is an important part of keeping your business thriving. According to marketing experts, acquiring a new customer could cost a company up to six times as much as reselling to an existing one. If customers are happy with the service you provide them, they’re likely to use your business again in the future.

Communicating deals and services to past and current customers is a great way to keep them informed of why your company is better than any other company they would consider for the job.

THE MESSAGE
Sales letters and newsletters, either electronic or hard copy, are great ways to stay in touch with your customers. These news and sales letters can include:
• Company news
• New services
• Special promotions and money saving offers
• Expert tips and advice
• Helpful maintenance suggestions

If your customer communications are informative and/or regularly provide something of value, customers will be more inclined to be on the lookout for them and read them when they arrive.

When writing your message to customers, make sure to keep it brief, simple, and interesting. Start by having a catchy and relevant title, especially if you are using an email campaign because the title and subheadings are the first things a customer will read. These eye-catching subjects are often used by customers to make a judgment on whether they will continue reading or discard your message. Using familiar images, coupon templates and bullets will keep customers focused on the services and promotions you are offering to them.

DELIVERING YOUR MESSAGE
In order for your marketing campaign to be successful, you should first determine who your target audience is and then cater to their needs. Ask yourself questions like: Do most of your customers own their house or do they rent? What is their age? Is there some common issue they might all have in common? By answering these questions, you can determine what information, offers and services you should highlight in your message to the people most likely to contact you.

Email campaigns have become increasingly popular and cost effective, because they aren’t time consuming and customers who receive emails are more responsive than those who receive mail, see banner ads, etc. Furthermore, email campaigns allow for an unprecedented degree of transparency in the marketing process. They allow you to determine how many messages were opened as well as undeliverable, calculate the percentage of emails opened, and analyze if action was taken by the readers. You can find numerous services online that can help set up email campaigns and track results such as Constant Contact, StreamSend, Benchmark, and many others.

No matter what method you use to reach your customer base, make sure that you are following the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act, which established rules for commercial emails. For example, you must inform customers how to opt out of receiving future emails from your company, tell customers where you are located, and use accurate and true subject lines and headers. Subject heads with all CAPS, exclamation points, and words like “Free” can also land your mailing in the Junk box.

HOW OFTEN
While you don’t want to flood your customers with mailings, electronic or otherwise, it is important to maintain a relatively consistent line of communication with your customers. It’s always a good idea to alert customers of any change in your services, or any new deals that you are offering. Make sure that your entire staff is aware of any changes as well so that your company is consistent in its communication with customers.

While sending out traditional mass mailings may seem like the easiest and most recognizable means to reach your customers, there are many other more effective ways to communicate your company’s offers and services. Other ways to reach out to your customers include banner ads on websites, radio spots, text messages, and email campaigns. Using many channels to get your message across will increase your visibility to customers and reinforce your message.

It’s no secret that customers are a vital part of your business. Keeping your business in front of your customers is one way to ensure that they will return for future services and refer you to friends.