Use direct marketing to get more clients
The term direct marketing is marketing speak for one of the ways for you to GET MORE CLIENTS or CUSTOMERS.
Read this if you want more clients. Your contacts are a goldmine, but you have to know how to mine.
First imagine a retail shop. There are three types of people:
- Those that walk past but never enter,
- Those that enter but are “just browsing, thanks”.
- Then there are customers. People who buy from you. These can be sub-divided further
- Customers who purchase once or infrequently
- And those who are be loyal and regular shoppers
With a retail shop there are thing that you can do to attract people into the shop. You can do things once they’re in the shop to increase the likelihood that they’ll buy from you (see our blog Get Customers in Your Retail Shop).
No shop, no problem.
However perhaps you’re like many of the business owners I work with, who don’t have a “shop front” to advertise their wares (although if you do have a shop – you can do this AS WELL!)
Perhaps you’ve heard that your website is analogous to a shop front. However the chances are that you’re not getting much passing traffic or “foot fall” from your website. So how do people know what products and services you’re offering? How can you increase the effectiveness of your website?
There are many different ways of increasing the effectiveness of your website, from Pay Per Click and SEO. However this blog is about Database Marketing – it is about digging into the goldmine of your existing contacts – and increasing the number of your contacts, and taking them on the journey from prospect to raving fan. (you might be interested in my blog What is loyalty).
These days you have to have more than a website and just hope that people will find you and buy from you. The good news is that it’s relatively simple to keep reminding people of your presence. Depending on your business, it’s fair to say that people who buy from you “know” you. They probably “like” and “trust” you too. So your job is to develop your contacts so they know, like and trust your business (product or service).
First of all you need their contact details. Their email address, perhaps their first name too. People will generally give you some small bits of information in return for something of value. In otherwords when there’s something in it for them, they will provide these details.
Once you have these contact details, they become what’s sometimes described as your “database”. While these people might not be ready to buy ‘right now’ – they have vaguely expressed an interest in your business. So you give them a gentle nudge every now and again to remind them. Sometimes this is called “database marketing” – but that sounds a bit formal – and I don’t think the term is helpful because it sounds more grand than it really is!
How to do direct marketing
Essentially you stay in touch with your contacts. You send them an email or a letter.
Depending on the size of your contact list (or database) you can copy and paste the contents of your email to each person. As your list becomes bigger (hurrah) there are a number of tools available to help you automate this, for example if you’ve got their firstname – you can tell MailChimp to use the firstname in each email. For example: “Hi Angus, …” You might be interested in my blog create an electronic newsletter in 24 hours
The tone of the email should be informal, and give value. It’s not about selling. It’s just about them “seeing” your shop front. It’s about establishing your “credibility” in your line of business. It’s about building the “know, like and trust” relationship so that when they’re ready to buy, it’s YOUR BUSINESS that they go to. The way to do that is to make sure you are sending them something of value .. something that they will value. It doesn’t have to be gold bars.. it can be information, tips, tricks. Of course there are many ways to do this and it is just a matter of really knowing your customer and helping them buy from you, and that is a process that can be learnt
In summary, collect business cards, collect email addresses. Don’t have these cards sitting on your desk doing nothing – use them! Keep reminding people of your business by sending them short articles of value.