No.1 | Create and maintain a conversation with your customers (Part 2)

Mail (letters and postcards and stuff)

That’s right, good ol’ fashioned snail mail.  When was the last time you received a hand-addressed and hand-written letter?  I’m willing to bet you opened that sucker and read every line.  While you don’t have time to become pen-pals with every single person on your mailing list, you can probably pick a few key ones to send a personal note to.  There are even mail houses that do hand-addressing and hand-writing FOR you, for mass-mailings. Go to  www.UpperHandMarketing.com to learn about one such company.  Tell them you read about them here and get a 10% discount.  

Also, don’t rule out sending postcards and other forms of direct mail . . . just do it right.  Make your mail piece stand out.  Send an oversized postcard rather than the standard 4” x 6”.  Did you know that you can send a 6”x11” postcard and still get the 42-cent First Class postage rate?  A larger-than-normal card will stand out and cut through the clutter in someone’s mailbox.  Also, be sure to include some sort of call to action (CTA).  Ultimately, you want the recipient to do something — call, email, buy, jump up and down — so tell them what you want them to do.  Don’t leave it to them to figure out.  

You may rule out sending large mailings on a regular basis simply because it costs more than sending an email or making a phone call.  But don’t think of printing and postage expenses as costs — think of them as investments.  Putting your hand-crafted message in your customers’ hands on a regular basis will keep your business at the top of their minds, and will ultimately lead to more sales.  It’s too easy to just click the delete button and get rid of an email.  With direct mail, they have to physically throw it out, so they’re more likely to actually read what it says.  

We’re at the beginning of a New Year.  Your slate is wiped clean, and you can start fresh.  Make 2009 the year you start communicating regularly with your customers, if you don’t already.  There are many, many more media available than the two I’ve mentioned here (ideally you want to use as many as possible, but that’s for another discussion).  The key is simply to start.  Once you get the conversation started, you can add as you go.  

I hope this is helpful to you.  Be sure to pass this newsmagazine along to someone else who may find it useful once you’re done with it.  If you have questions about marketing or topics you’d like to see discussed here, leave a comment or send me an email at tcolson@mercantilecc.com.  Until next time, make it go . . .

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