Yesterday I received a phone call from an acquaintance that I’ve met once or twice but haven’t seen in over a year. She wanted to let me know that she was referring me to a client of hers who needed help with his Web site copy. Although I hadn’t thought about her in months, she mentioned that she’d received a postcard from me for the past two quarters — and that’s why she instantly thought of my services when her client voiced his need. Although it wasn’t really magic, it sure felt like it. That’s the magic of keep-in-touch marketing — people remember you and feel like they know you, and eventually, they often give you business or refer others to you.
Want to develop some “keep-in-touch magic” of your own? It’s easy. You’ve probably got a number of names in your contact database, but when was the last time they heard from you? If you’re like many business owners or marketers, you spend more time looking for new business than keeping in touch with your current and former clients. But nurturing the relationships you already have is crucial to growing a successful business. And finding a way to keep in touch with those contacts on a regular basis is integral for keeping yourself and your business on their minds.
Many of the best methods of "keep-in-touch marketing" involve writing — and that may be why lots of businesspeople don’t do it! But writing doesn't have to be a chore; just keep in mind that the point is simply to keep in touch, not necessarily to make an immediate sale. If you approach keep-in-touch marketing as just that, a method of staying in contact with friends and associates, you’ll take the pressure off yourself to craft the perfect sales pitch. And there are a number of methods for keeping in touch, so you can choose the ones that work best for you and your business. Here are a few to think about:
As in the example mentioned above, simple postcards can do the trick without investing much time or money. Use them to communicate upcoming sales, new products, or simply to remind people of your services and the value you can offer. Thank-you notes. More personal and less regular than other forms of keep-in-touch marketing, the old-fashioned thank-you note can work wonders for your business. I once heard the owner of a successful travel agency say she writes at least one thank-you note every day, and people always remember, often saving her notes for years. Send personal thank-you notes when someone takes you to lunch, gives you a referral, or provides a service that helps you do your job better. Be creative — there are numerous reasons to thank people. You can do the same with congratulations notes.
Electronic newsletters or print newsletters are perfect vehicles for keeping in touch with your clients and prospects. You can use them to provide useful information, industry news and tips, and build an ongoing rapport with your readers at the same time. Miscellaneous Mailers. Mailers can include anything from an announcement of an upcoming sale to a holiday greeting. A local company that designs diamond link bracelets sends reminders just before Valentine’s Day, Mother ’s Day and other special occasions to those who have bought starter bracelets from them. The clients are reminded of a great gift for the upcoming occasion, and the jewelry company usually gets a lot of business.
Whatever method you use for keeping in touch, keep in mind that your main idea is just to remind people that you’re still around and that you have value to offer. Of course, it’s always important to write correctly and creatively, and to provide your contacts with useful information, but for these projects your main purpose is simply to keep in touch.
Get started, and experience some "magic" of your own!
Copyright 2004 Nancy Jackson
Nancy Jackson creates powerful marketing communications for companies of all sizes. For tips on better writing and communications, subscribe to her newsletter, "Marketing Tips from The WriteShop," at: http://www.writeshoponline.com.