Message & Media: Let the Good Times Roll
On the flip side, company anniversaries can be powerful marketing tools when translated into customer benefits. For example, a bank that's celebrating its 100th year can use this centennial to reinforce a message of financial stability: "We've been around for a 100 years and plan to be here for 100 more." It's also an opportunity to make special centennial offers to both loyal and prospective customers—honoring the past and future.
• Birthdays. Whether you sell to B-to-B customers or consumers, a birthday card is always appropriate and always appreciated because it's personal. That's why companies like Southwest Airlines send so many birthday cards each year to Rapid Rewards members who travel with them for business and pleasure. One cautionary note: Once we leave our 20s, few of us appreciate being reminded of exactly how many years we're celebrating. Even if you have the data, I don't recommend sending "Happy 40th" or "Happy 60th" birthday greetings. Let family and friends do that.
• Half Birthdays. I just read in the Wall Street Journal that DSW honors its rewards members with special discounts on both their birthdays and half-birthdays. It's one more reason to communicate, celebrate and encourage customer engagement.
• New Additions. What better way to announce a product line extension, improvement or enhancement than with a "birth" announcement. Call attention to what's new-and-improved with a dedicated email, catalog cover or 3D mailing to your best customers. Celebrate the people, technology and customer input that contributed to making the new addition happen.
• Holidays. We all expect to hear from our favorite marketers around Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. But here's a way to make your company's holiday greetings stand out from the rest—celebrate less well-known events and holidays. For example, I once wrote a letter for a consortium of plumbers celebrating "National Toilet Tune-Up Week." It generated a flood of responses from both new and existing customers.