I see it time and time again; business owners / marketing managers start an electronic marketing program but only get around to sending their first message out to their customers. Alternatively, they send out another message 6 months later which contains nothing more than a promotion of one product in their business.
Yes, it takes more effort, but significantly more benefit can be derived from doing the following:
- Create a plan for your marketing communications with the intention of connecting with your audience, educating and providing value. Have a think about those 3 bolded words. I believe they should be the sole purpose of your messages – the repeat sales, new customers and profits will flow automatically if you do those. Your plan will include message dates, key topics and who is reponsible. For help with your planning session read our article.
- Execute the plan without fail. Though, be mindful that details in the plan may change in response to environmental events or unexpected changes in your business. To ensure that you do execute your plan, and execute more than your first communication / advert, diarise the preparation of each communication, and the execution date giving yourself enough time to carry it out.
- Whilst you may not see any results from your first communication, your message is out there, people are seeing that your business is still alive and well, and they are potentially moving closer to being ready to respond.
- Continue to grow your List by promoting your communications in all your customer touch points. This is very important as it does two things: 1/ ensures that you keep focused on your communications with your customers. If your emailing / sms list is continuing to grow there will be less chance that you will tire of sending your messages, and 2/ adds new prospects to the start of the sales process. Most people need to feel that they trust you and understand what you can do for them before they will be ready to buy.
- Mix up the communication & follow up responses: make sure you act in a timely manner when people respond to your communications, don’t forget to occasionally ring your key prospects, or send a hand written note in the mail. Electronic messaging is great for getting the majority of your communications done at low cost, but it can’t completely replace phone calls and face to face meetings. In addition, using personalisation (more than just your contact’s first name) in your messages and more targeted special messages outside your regular ‘news’ messages also helps to connect better with your contacts..
With businesses and consumers being more selective about what they spend money on, businesses that really are about providing value and serving their customers will be the ones that succeed in 2009. You need to make sure that your communications reflect those attitudes.by