There is a delicate balance when it comes to the relationship between a customer/client and you, the service/goods provider. And client preferences are different. Some of your clients will love your eNewsletter while others have already lost control over their inbox and would rather read about your updates in a blog. The question is, how do you find a pleasant way to stay in the minds of your clients without becoming that overbearing “give me your business!” supplier? This is a good question indeed. Here are some suggestions to help you achieve that balance.
The 3-6 Month Follow Up Program: Depending on your business, sometimes 3 months works for this strategy, and other times 4 or 6 month intervals work. Either way, at whatever time schedule works for you, you should set aside some time to run through your top clients list and touch base with them via email. Remember, this is no general email. You know your clients. You know what projects they were working on when you last communicated, and you may even know some of their hobbies and personal interests. Play that knowledge to your advantage and send an email out that talks directly to them. You never know what new projects have landed on their desks, or what new needs they may have.
Send Out a Monthly Newsletter: What customer doesn’t like free information, especially if it is relevant and something they can easily use. Newsletters are also an opportunity to highlight your business or offer discounts. If you don’t have the budget to invest in an eNewsletter solution, we recommend MailChimp, a service that will let you have a monthly newsletter for FREE as long as your mailing list is under 1,000 and your sending limit is under 6,000 a month. We say monthly because you want to give your clients a little time to miss you, or at least to thoroughly read all of the information you have to offer. Newsletters that come out a couple days a week or sometimes weekly end up not getting read, or lost in inbox clutter.
Follow Your Clients: No, not literally! But your clients probably have social networking profiles out on the web, through Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. They will be happy to have your support. Then, you get to hear about what they are doing in live time, and they in turn get to see what you’ve been up to. Show your support even further by actually commenting on some of their posts and updates. Now this is really strengthening the relationship and showing support.
Give The Gift of Your Logo: It’s really cost effective to invest in a promotional item that has your logo on it. Something like a pen or a post-it note pad; these items are sure to get some use and its an indirect visual reminder about your business. These little items can be included when you ship orders if your business makes a product. It can be sent with a final invoice if you’re in the service business. Or, the holidays are literally just around the corner (hint hint), you could slip a promo item in the envelope with your holiday card thanking your clients for another great year.
Think About Your Clients: “Just a little note to let you know I was thinking of you….” Okay, maybe it doesn’t have to be that sentimental! But you get the point. Your best clients and customers are the ones you know the most about. Is someone a sports fan? Well, send an email about how their team did in the playoffs last night. Is someone really into online marketing? Email them an article you found on some really ground-breaking online marketing techniques. You probably come across a lot of this information in your daily web surfing. Why not use it to your advantage.
Remember, you are responsible for making sure your business gets noticed and your clients know that you are there when they need you. The real question is, what are you going to do about it?