So you committed the cardinal sin of marketing… You committed to keeping in regular contact with your past clients, and deeper connect with new ones. But you or someone on your team dropped the ball. Or the person running point on that communication left the company and no one stepped into their place.
However it happened, you have a problem. Your warmest, most connected clients – are now ice cold. So how do you warm them back up?
How about we start with what NOT to do…
COVID-19 Microwave Outreach
You could try this approach – It seems everybody and his brother who ever had your email for whatever purpose over the years decided that NOW was the time to reconnect. After all, they’re bored, you’re probably bored, we’re all stuck at home – let’s let people know we’re thinking of them. We’re cleaning for them. We’re hoping they’ll come back when we re-open. Hey, we’re re-opening! Hey, we had to scale back. Etc…
In case you missed it, there was an onslaught of similar email messaging that went out from every company out there. And sure, getting one or two from someone I don’t recall doing business with is fine. But some companies were sending emails every week. One grocery store chain I frequent was sending messages almost daily for the first month. And they all said almost the exact same thing.
There was such a uniformity of messages that people speculated that one advertising agency was handling all of the Coronavirus re-outreach. One digital marketer even compiled a supercut of all the advertising and how it mirrors each other.
You might think that now, over 5 months into the global pandemic and systematic shut down of 75% of all businesses, it’s too late to get into the game. It’s not. But there is a better way to go. A few ways, in fact.
Back to Basics
One really good approach to reconnecting with past clients is to be up front and honest. Send out a “Hello! We’re still here!” email that is short and sweet. Remind them who you are, what you do and ask if they want to stay on your mailing list. This can be very effective, but really only works once, maybe twice before it gets irritating. If you’re not ready to recommit to the regular connection, then think twice. This isn’t something on a whim – it’s your reputation at stake.
Include in the email a bonus – or set up your CRM to automatically redirect them to an added value download for recommitting to you as you recommit to them. Make it a truly worthy asset that will reinforce your value and brand. Stick with win-win materials, don’t just send them a sales piece disguised as a value.
Also, I know you want to reconnect with as many customers as you can at one time and really up your game. But… focus first on your ideal customers, and personalize your message as much as possible. Most CRM’s and email blast programs have customizable features. Make sure you use them. The more personal and specific the email the client gets, the more they will feel that you value them and their business.
You’ve Got Mail!
Growing up in the 70’s, every so often a curious card would show up in our mail from some local business. It may have come from a company my family did business with, like the local bank, or even from companies we weren’t aware existed. You opened the envelope and inside was a nice, often blank card with a newspaper clipping that featured you!
To be clear, I’m not saying these companies created fake newspaper clippings like the ads in Parade or The Enquirer. These were legit stories that ran in the small town newspapers. It was a great way for businesses to say, hey, we’re part of the community – we even noticed you in the paper!
Businesses would often mail their entire client lists Christmas cards and an individual’s birthday cards. Back before Facebook and Google monetized it, we were happy to share this data for a card or coupon every year.
Imagine the impact of a hand written card or signed newsletter that comes from a postal carrier and not through your Gmail filters.
Now, I’m not saying send postal mail to all of your past clients. But I’m not saying don’t do it either. Depending on the size of your list, you can whittle it down to an affordable level. Here’s a hint: focus on your ideal customers first. You know how to find them, right?
Dig Your Well Before You Drink from It
All of these approaches take for granted that you’ve already established a relationship with the person you’re reaching out to. Community is a huge get in this modern world, and while content is still king, relationships are the envoys that bring people to your content.
It’s bad enough that you’re reaching out, apologetically, to the people and companies you used to do business with. Trying these techniques with people you don’t know? That’s likely a waste of your time and resources – and we’re trying to make the most of those two precious commodities, remember?
I don’t recommend buying leads. Even ones that are qualified are usually not as specific and granular as the profiles you’ve created of your ideal customer. You don’t have profiles of your ideal customers? Well, it’s a good thing you’re here.
Grow the Dream has built our business helping other small businesses grow their dreams with strategic marketing. The key factor in our approach is the ideal customer. We create custom profiles for our clients that show them exactly the type of person they should be doing business with. Some companies take it and run, others hire us long-term to manage their content blogs, social media and email blasts.
Whatever your budget and goals, we have a program that will work for you, and we’re always building new classes and educational materials to help our clients maximize their marketing strategy. If you’d like to find out just what we can do for you, reach out and we’ll give you a free 25 minute business appraisal and game plan for moving forward. I promise it will be worth your time.