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Sonoma County Gazette

Marketing 101: Reach Out And Touch Your Customers

Aug 20, 2018
by Elizabeth Slater


Connection with your customers and potential customers in a variety of different ways can increase your profitability and potential for new customers.

Why should customers want to hear from your business?

If you did a good job when consumers visited your business before, they may have made a connection. Regular contacts with these customers and potential customers will enhance and strengthen that initial contact, which in turn will encourage these people to purchase from you more often.

It is easy to forget that even your most loyal customers are not thinking about you all the time. They have their own lives and crises to deal with, a job, kids, in-laws, car trouble and everything else that makes up everyday lives. This means that they are not necessarily thinking about your company.

Regular contact keeps your company in the minds of the people on your mailing or email list and creates the awareness needed to make those purchasing decisions. Regular contact also makes it more likely that when consumers are thinking about you type of products, your business will be a part of the conversation.

How can you make your contacts most effective?

Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” So before you write that newsletter or bang out the email it helps to be prepared.

To start, get a calendar and plug in the type of promotions or event you want to hold in each month of the year:

  • January: New Year Newsletter goes out
  • February: Email for Valentine’s Day promotion
  • March: Spring Sale Event press release

Start now for 2019, it’s not too early to do this. Before you know it the holidays will be upon us then there we are at the end of the year with nothing done.

Anything forgotten can be added to the calendar later, but by just putting together the calendar you have ensured that most of the annual events, releases, etc. will be on your customers' radars

Making the calendar will also help you to decide when you are going to hold events, get the information out early and allow your customers to clear their calendar for those days.

Once you have scheduled all the promotions for the year, make a list of all the contact pieces you will be sending out. For example: if you want to communicate with customers once every six weeks you will need nine major contacts with the whole customers list for the year. Not counting regular Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. You may wish to add in two or three contacts specifically for your best customers, so they receive a total of twelve contacts per year. Consider a combination of newsletters, emails, invitations and press releases and possible postcards, in addition to your online promotions.

Naturally, if something fantastic happens then certainly you will add in an additional email to announce this to everyone on your mailing list.

Don’t Forget the Press

Set up the same type of calendar for the press releases that need to be sent out, when and on what subjects. Remember press releases need to be sent out well before events (in some cases months) depending on the publication.

What is the right mix?

Plan on contacting your customers in different ways. A lot can be done on social media as well as emails and the website. When your customers come into the business and are added to your mailing list, ask them how they want to be contacted. Additional send different contact pieces to different types of customers. For example, if you are hosting an event, it might be worth the money to send personal printed invitation to your top tier customers and emails to everyone else.

Mention the other things you are doing later in the year in the different contact pieces you send out. For instance:

  • Check your mail in August for an invitation to our Summer Sale
  • Look for an email from us in September for details on our special preview of Fall products.

Use emails and newsletters to direct recipients to the website to register for an event, or to purchase wine if you have an online store. Update your website regularly or people will stop coming. If you don’t have a what’s new page add one. It makes it easy for your customers to check what you have going on.


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