The Holiday Challenge
4. Say thank you. Thanking people, even thousands of customers at once, is a terrific retention device. Not, "You are very important to us, blah, blah … ," but a straight, "Thanks for your business. We appreciate it." We say thank you all the time—even after Hurricane Wilma roared through and knocked out our power, water and even a window. We managed to e-mail clients to thank them for their patience while we were "down and without electricity." No one complained, and everyone thanked us for letting them know.
5. Invite customers to get involved. Have you ever thought of inviting customers to comment on a company blog? Yes, it takes nerves of steel, but it's open, honest and you'll learn a great deal. Many savvy senior marketers listen in on customer service calls regularly; they learn a lot.
6. Ally new technology with the old-fashioned sense of a 1925 storekeeper. It can help us get closer to our customers, recognize, thank and reward them. For the holidays this year, try to use technology to get to your largest audience. Be creative with the personalization. Use a real signature from a real person, not the company name. Companies mean nothing to me—the people there do. Try to write a personal note to your best customers and include a gift and thank you.
Thank you, my readers. You've entered my contests and sent me great e-mails this year. Hopefully one or two of my direct marketing suggestions have worked for you. Have a great holiday!
Lois Geller is president of Mason & Geller Direct, a direct marketing agency in Hollywood, Fla. You can reach her at email@example.com.