7) An intelligent thank-you. With all of the technology available to direct marketers, it amazes me that I’m not recognized as a loyal customer when placing an order. A simple, “I see you are one of our best customers. We really appreciate that you continue to choose us. …” tells me I’m appreciated. Use your database intelligence!
8) Preferred customer mailing. Many direct marketers use this technique, but because of its popularity, this idea may not always seem sincere. Don’t call it a “preferred” mailing and then send it to customers who have only bought from you once or twice. They won’t believe you in the future. One B-to-B marketer created a preferred customer postcard that included a great offer and asked customers to use a secret code when ordering. The more exclusive sounding, the better.
9) Personal notes. For B-to-B direct marketers, the value of an assigned customer service representative can be quite powerful. If this is your model, ask your reps to send special relationship-building notes (hand-written) throughout the year. Of course, the more a representative knows about a customer, the more relevant the message can be.
10) Holiday greeting. We personally send holiday greeting cards to our best friends—why not our best customers? The more personal, the better. A quick hand-written note signed by either the president or another relevant representative will tell customers you have gone out of your way.
11) Free upgrades. Why not? If a loyal customer spent a good deal of money with you, why not offer a free upgrade? This doesn’t have to be of great value, just unexpected.
12) Excess inventory gift. The unexpected always is appreciated. If you have inventory that is sitting around, send it out with orders. Send a note of thanks along with the gift, telling customers you would rather give it to special customers than liquidate it. They may not need the gift, but they certainly can give it to someone who might.