Message & Media: No Excuses!
When was the last time you sent your customer/prospect/member/donor/fan a message via email, direct mail or another channel? Have you gone silent because you don't think you have a reason to write?
Too often, marketers only communicate with customers and prospects when they have something to sell. While that's a solid business objective, there are many other reasons to communicate that can help build your brand, strengthen customer loyalty and open new doors for two-way engagement across channels.
For example, successful real estate agents farm a specific area or market demographic to grow their business. The targeted audience may be a local subdivision or specific demographic based on net worth or other factors. The idea is to communicate with these people regularly, sending marketing messages that plant the seeds for future business.
So, if you're looking for reasons to write 1) be creative and 2) use this list to get your creative (and marketing) juices flowing—you have no excuse!
1. Thank you. These are two of the most powerful words in the English language. Say thank you for a recent purchase, product review or XX years of loyalty.
2. Last chance. Catalogers have a long history of sending "Last Chance" offers to long inactive customers. But caution—say it only if you mean it.
3. We goofed. Watching our politicians reminds us it's better to admit you made a mistake than to hide in silence. People appreciate your honesty when you say, "We goofed."
4. Good news. The more relevant the news is to your reader, the more lasting the impact it will have. And make sure to give your advocates an easy way to share it.
5. Do a friend a favor. Yes, it's true, "Birds of a feather flock together." Ask advocates for referrals.
6. Happy, happy, happy! Send wishes for a Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Easter, Happy 4th of July, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Halloween, etc.
7. We want you back. Because it's more cost-effective to reactivate an inactive customer/member/donor than to prospect for a new one, tell your inactives you've missed them and give them a good reason to return.
8. You're invited. Getting invited to a special event (online or off) is almost as good as getting a gift.
9. Reminder. Busy people welcome relevant reminders to renew, attend, sign up or take advantage of a big sale that's about to end.
10. Birthday. Traditional birthday cards still are seen as more personal than e-cards, but both are welcomed!
11. Anniversary. Celebrate customers' anniversaries with your company. People appreciate the acknowledgement that you know they've been doing business with you since _____.
12. Announcement. Tell your customers about new products, new people, new services, new store hours, new partners or new lower pricing.
13. New and similar. Amazon is a master at cross-selling by keeping customers informed of new book releases that are similar in topic and/or author to customers' past purchases.
14. Early bird. Early bird offers with enticing rewards (which don't have to be discounts) encourage early response.
15. Celebrate Third Thursday …or First Friday or any other reoccurring day of the month. Turn it into your organization's special event celebration to offer sale prices, focus on little known facts about your products or unique customer reviews.
16. Sneak preview. The better the customer, the more he/she likes to get the inside scoop. Give your most avid fans a sneak preview to build brand loyalty. It's a great opportunity to use video or augmented reality.
17. Special recognition. Recognize special relationships, such as those you have with preferred customers, new donors or 10-year members.
18. Welcome. A first-time buyer is a trier. Transform that trier into a multi-buyer with a special welcome note and offer.
19. We value your opinion. Everyone has an opinion, and most of us enjoy sharing them. So give your customers the opportunity to engage with you by sharing theirs.
20. Enter to win. Need customer photos for your website? Have a contest and tell people about it through every channel.
21. Time is running out. Remind readers that time is running out to take advantage of sale prices … enter your contest … or RSVP for a special event.
22. Deadline extended. While it's not a good idea to extend every deadline you set, when you have good reason to give people more time to respond, make sure to tell them.
23. 'Introducing …' is a powerful word. It implies something's new, sounds a bit social and sets up the start of a relationship.
24. Success story. Share a success story, case history or series of customer reviews. People love to read stories.
25. Surprise! Everybody loves a good surprise. Yours could be a new product announcement, preferred customer reward or return of a favorite that was discontinued.
26. Open house. Give it a name or reason for being, then mail or email invitations.
27. Limited. Make a limited time or limited edition offer. Scarcity=extra special.
28. Friends and family. Extend the reach of your message by making your offer available to your recipient's friends and family.
29. Post-sales event. There's always a way to capture the attention of those who missed on a sale mailing or email.
30. Confirmation. It's reassuring to receive a confirmation of anything, from an order received to a password change. Confirming a customer's action reaffirms that you are paying attention.
31. Historical milestones. In a world filled with milestones, celebrity birthdays and other less well-known special events—such as Bed Bug Awareness Week, April 22-26—check out "Chase's Calendar of Events 2014." It offers more than 12,500 events in 196-plus countries, covering every day in the year.
Still at a loss for ideas? Take a look at the Trish Witkowski's month-by-month calendar of 50+ marketing ideas on Page 6 of her e-book, "Direct Mail (Simplified): Track & Measure." It's a great checklist of more reasons to write.