Nuts & Bolts: B-to-B
While the natural onus of any entrepreneur is to acquire new leads, spending time on borderline or lapsed customers just makes sound business sense. They’re already in your database, they’re familiar with your product, and they’ve demonstrated a willingness to buy. Terry Jukes, founder and CEO of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based direct marketing consultancy, offers the following three suggestions on how to keep your B-to-B customers in the fold.
1. Maintain vigilance on lapsed accounts. Don’t let good customers go just because your contact is no longer with the company. Make it standard procedure to call any customer who has lapsed into a non-buying status to ascertain their interest in buying again—often, it’s a simple matter of educating the new person that you are a valued and reliable supplier with a proven relationship.
2. Personalize your reactiviation mailings. Use the data you have, e.g. last order date, person placing the order, product ordered and amount spent, to send a personalized offer. A reactivation mailing with personal historical data and a relevant second offer may do the trick, Jukes says. Many mailers also use a “gift with order” premium to sweeten the deal.
3. Try an urgent format. The reactivation mailing should be official looking and marked “Urgent,” or “Important Account Information Enclosed.” This creative treatment stands out in a crowded inbox, and gets the recipient to realize that he or she already has a buying relationship with your company.