Tag Archives: Customer Marketing

What Are You Learning From Your Email Marketing?

To improve customer engagement, use your email marketing to learn more about your customers.

Third party email companies like Constant Contact, Emma and StreamSend are great tools to create an effective email marketing program, though most companies only use them to send out emails and track who opens them.

That’s just the beginning for these tools.  The real fun comes from segmenting your database based on their email activities.

  • Test which day of the week provides the best open rates for your database, and make that your email date
  • Test subject lines to see which version has a greater open rate
  • Test what information generates the most interest by measuring click-thru rates, and craft your future content accordingly
  • If some of your audience responds to a certain type of offer, segment them and continue to offer them more of the same.  If another segment of your audience responds to a different stimulus, reach out to them with the information they want to receive.

Through their actions (or inactions), you can learn what your customers want if you take the time to dig into the data. The end results will improve customer engagement so you get the most out of your email marketing.

What have you learned about your customer database from your email marketing?

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Filed under Customer Marketing, Email Marketing

Hey Netflix – Just Tell Me You Want Me Back

Six months ago I canceled my Netflix account, simply because we weren’t using it.  I like the service, but since we weren’t watching movies, the $4.99 monthly fee was adding up.

Last week I received a direct mail solicitation from Netflix asking me to come back. It was a traditional “win back” offer targeting cancelled customers.

The piece encouraged me to use my Priority Code by February 28, 2010 to get “so much for only $4.99 a month”.  Secondarily, it mentioned Netflix’s newest feature, the ability to download movies to my Tivo or computer, as well as their competitive advantages: no due dates, no late fees, and no need to rush to a kiosk (the latter being a direct shot at RedBox).

I thought the six-month follow-up from Netflix was terrific, as cancelled customers are highly responsive, but the meaningless priority code seemed a bit deceptive and the heavy-handed focus on price seemed off base.  I would have preferred a simple letter saying “we want you back and here are some new things you can do with Netflix.”

If you want to win a customer back, be open and honest.  Tell them why you want them back and what they have been missing.  Former customers chose you once so they know who you are. As a result, your sales pitch should be more transparent.

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Filed under Customer Marketing, Marketing Tactics

The Little Things Make A Big Difference

When a company does the little things to make your interaction more enjoyable, it goes a long way.

Over the Christmas break I spent some time in Chattanooga, TN at the Doubletree Hotel.

While Doubletree is best known for its warm chocolate chip cookies, it was some of the other things they did that really made the difference:

–   They called a nearby hotel with an indoor pool so my kids could go swimming.

–   The clock radio had pre-set stations listed as rock, news, pop and sports, so I didn’t have to navigate unfamiliar stations.

–   Even the language they used for the ever-present room signage made me appreciate the experience that much more.

Current economic trends might be preventing you from increasing your marketing spend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a positive impact on your customers by making small, positive changes in how you do business.

  • I’ve seen home service companies bring the newspaper to the door or clear cobwebs from around the house.
  • Publix employees still bring your groceries to your car and they are not allowed to accept tips.
  • I’ve received a personal note from my Nordstrom’s sales person.
  • Zappo’s typically upgrades shipping to next day air.

In this day of social media – where anyone can make their opinion known to millions – doing the little things to make a positive impact can go far. And often these little things don’t cost you anything.

As you look at 2010, share what you are doing to make a difference with your customers.

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Filed under Customer Marketing

Stop Saving Your Business And Start Building It

Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi

This week’s blog entry is a pep talk to all those business owners who are hesitant to invest in growing their businesses.

Flat sales are considered the new up.   You’ve made many cuts and are hesitant to make any more.  You may have experienced layoffs.  You wonder what else is next.

Guess what?  You are not alone.  Your competitors are facing the same uncertainties.

The reality is if you have survived this long, you’ve run a good business.

You probably think your conservative nature has helped you make it to this point. That may be true, but it’s time to make a change.

People are spending money.  They still need products and services, and they are going to buy from companies in which they are aware.

This requires spending money on marketing, product innovation, introducing new services.  As I have mentioned in the past – give people a reason to do business with you instead of your competitor.

By doing this, you are letting people know you are open for business.

–   Email current customers with a loyalty discount offer. (If you sell a product, a subject line of “Free Shipping” increased click-thrus 60.7% versus other subject lines, according to an Internet Retailer study.)

–   Call customers to reconnect with them.

–   If your staff needs work, offer discounted audits or analyses.  Chances are you’ll find something your customers need help with.

Here are 15 companies that started and succeeded during a recession:

  • GE
  • HP
  • Microsoft
  • Federal Express
  • Clif Bar
  • Method
  • Hyatt
  • Burger King
  • iHop
  • Jim Henson
  • Lexis/Nexis
  • CNN
  • MTV
  • Trader Joes
  • Sports Illustrated

Enough with the pep talk.

Stop saving your business and start building it again.

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Filed under recession marketing

Customer Service Doesn’t End – Part 2

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Last week I wrote about the importance of having your employees positively represent your brand – even if they are on break.  I highlighted a negative experience I had at Starbucks with some employees on break who decided to smoke near patrons when an alternative was available.

Yesterday I had an interesting experience with another popular brand, one that provided a nice counterpoint to last week’s topic.

I was at a neighborhood CVS yesterday when I approached the check-out line at the same time as a Best Buy employee (though nowhere near a Best Buy) who immediately let me take the place at the front of the line.

When another register opened, that same person let someone else go ahead to the register.

Those small gestures made me feel good about Best Buy and has me thinking about Best Buy in a positive light.

It’s amazing what a positive experience — even an unrelated one — can have on your brand.

Remember, your employees are always representing your brand.

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Filed under Brand Position, Customer Marketing

Customer Service Doesn’t End – Even On Break

imagesEmployees are always representing your brand as long as they have on your uniform or are at your place of work. They play the most important role in creating a brand experience that is consistent with how you want your brand to be perceived.

One company that works hard to manage its brand is Starbucks.  One key element of the Starbucks brand is creating an environment in which its patrons can enjoy coffee.

Imagine my surprise when two Starbucks employees took their break to have a cigarette, and instead of sitting on the side of the patio in which no one was sitting – and smoking was allowed – they decided to sit near myself and other patrons.

I am not sure what offended me more – the smoke or the ignorance of these employees about the message they were sending to customers at a time when Starbucks is struggling to keep its customers.

Being a marketer and brand advocate, I decided it was the latter.

When your employees interact with the public, they are your brand.  If your truck cuts someone off the road, the person you cut off will remember.  If an employee spits gum on the ground before walking in for their shift – the customer will remember.

Branding starts at home so make sure your employees understand their role in making your brand and your business a success.

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Filed under Brand Position, Customer Marketing

How Credit Unions Can Benefit Your Bottom Line

recession-proof-business-300x300Does your company belong to a credit union?

Even with most credit unions moving to community charters where virtually anyone can join one, there remains additional value by being a member company.

  1. Becoming a member company costs your company nothing
  2. Your employees get access to loan rates that are typically lower than what banks offer, while savings rates are typically higher
  3. Credit unions tend to be more stable than banks
  4. They provide the customer service of a community bank
  5. They typically have all of the services of a national bank
  6. They are a terrific marketing opportunity for your company

A terrific marketing opportunity for your company?

It’s quite simple.  Credit unions tend to have very loyal members.  Members who have “gulped the credit union kool-aid” are evangelists for their credit union.  This halo covers the member companies as well.

The opportunity exists for you to reach out to your credit union business development contact and tell them you would like to market your services to the other credit union members or member companies.

Tell them you want to provide credit union members a special member offer or discount which can be marketed through their emails, on their website and/or newsletter.

The cost of this marketing is minimal, if it costs anything at all, and it gives you access to thousands of people you may not have reached before.

You both win when you gain access to potential new customers.

If you are already a credit union member company, you are halfway there. If not, find one who can best service your needs.  To find credit unions in your area check out the NCUA.

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Filed under recession marketing