One thing Mid Wales Windows did at their open day – was collect everybody’s name and address – through their offer of a free prize draw. People were delighted to give them their details – particularly when they had the opportunity to win £1000 of new windows. They were offering something valuable to existing and prospective customers in exchange for their contact details.
In any business it is vital that you know who your customers are – so that you can communicate with them on a regular basis. This is particularly important in the present economy. If you already have a database with your customer’s contact details – fantastic, you can ignore the next few lines. But what if you don’t? How do you get them? Well if you have a shop – why not have a monthly prize draw to win a £50 voucher to spend as you like in your shop? A restaurant could offer a free meal for two.
Alternatively simply ask people to be on your mailing list and be the first to receive details of exclusive promotions and customer only offers. People love to feel special and will be delighted to be on it.
On the other hand, if what you sell includes a warranty – ask them to complete a warranty form at the time of purchase.
So, now that you have collected all your customer’s names you can…
Make extra profits with your own customer list.
How? Well, the first thing you should do is write to your customers and thank them for buying from you. At the same time this will reassure them that they made the right decision (how often have you made a purchase only to get it home and wonder why you bought it?)
This letter will also send them into shock and disbelief…
When is the last time you received a thank you letter for spending money with someone?
I did once – from my insurance broker – they even included a voucher for a couple of cinema tickets, which is an idea you could adopt in your business. If the value of the purchase warrants it why not send an appropriate gift? When I became an accredited consultant with the Better Business Institute I received a huge bouquet of flowers – I felt really special.
Whether you send a letter or a gift – it’s a small price to pay for the goodwill, not to mention referrals, it creates.
What else can you do with your customer list?
Well, you can ask them what you can do for them in future, and how you can improve your service to them. Just by asking you show your customers that you care – more than Jack does down the road. Even if you haven’t got what your customers want, you can always find someone who has and promote their products for a percentage of profit.
Once your customers tell you what they want, you can start to make all sorts of offers based on that information.
You can have “Customer only specials” not available to the general public. Give them first choice on new items. You can even pre-sell products or services to them.
A children’s store owner calls her best 20 customer when the new season’s clothes come in. Almost every customer comes in and buys something. If it works for the top twenty customers, wouldn’t it work for the others?
It’s easy to test. Just mail (or email) a 100 or 500 and see if they respond. If they do, then mail the others.
Another way to make extra sales is to keep educating your customers about your products, your service, your field of expertise and how they can benefit from them.
For example, builders can have a brochure entitled “A Survival Guide… How to avoid the pitfalls of extending your home” – (and if you know of any local builders who already produce such a booklet – do tell me).
A furniture company could send a report on “15 things you must know about designing and decorating your office”
A restaurant can give special cooking tips.
What can you offer? Find out and start mailing now!!
How often?? Well, it’s highly unlikely that you will mail your customers too much (providing you always send information on things that will benefit them). Every three months should be a minimum and two months better still. Test it – see what works best for your business.
But please whatever you do if you do collect your customer’s contact details, don’t ignore them. Your customers want to feel special – think of them as friends.
A couple of times I entered a free prize draw in a local shop – but on neither occasion did the owner write to me and tell me who’d won – and at the same time give me a special deal on buying one for myself. They missed out on some valuable sales.
I notice they no longer have a prize draw – possibly thinking it didn’t work for them – but like many things it’s often not the promotion that fails but how it is done. Please don’t let that happen to you.