communication is not just between friends
retailers have made concerted efforts to gather personal information
about their customers. The retailers have worked to gather names, addresses, phone numbers and
their e-mail addresses. If you are like most people shopping in
a store, you will resist their efforts to obtain that personal information.
efforts have been made by the best of merchants because they recognize there is a substantial difference between the public
and their customers. The public consists of those who see, hear,
or read your advertisements on the radio, television and in the
newspaper. Unfortunately, the response rate to advertising is fairly
low. This occurs for several reasons: your business is too far away
or they aren't interested in what you are advertising today. It
is very hard to convert the public into customers. On top of that
challenge, most businesses are attempting to convert the public
into customers by attracting them with low prices.
downside to this strategy of advertising with low prices is that
the person who responds to a low-price ad is likely to want you
to continue providing them with low prices. Do they ever change
their buying habits and pay full price for anything? Perhaps they
just continue to watch the newspaper or other advertisements to
see which store has the next low price.
are those individuals who have previously done business with you
and return to do more business. Compared to the public, these people
are highly desirable. To succeed with these customers, you have
to work hard to develop a relationship with them. You get to know
many of them on a first-name basis.
important, you are likely to know more about the needs of these
customers than they know themselves. If you can find a way to let
these customers know about these needs - and that you have the solutions
- you will have a customer who will spend more money with you. They
will make more visits to your store, be less likely to look for
sale items, and refer you to their friends.
we need is a manner of communicating exclusively to our customers.
We need a technique of communicating that provides a timely message
that does not appear to resemble advertising. We also have to find
a way to get customers to share with us their personal contact information.
Let's look at how we could accomplish this.
that this summer there is a heat wave that lasts for several days.
Any product you sell that can keep customers, their homes, their
cars or pets comfortable provides a solution to their problem. Of
course, putting this in the form of an advertisement goes back to
that problem we discussed earlier; so how could we get around this?
you sent an e-mail to your customers, you would be creating the
most timely e-mail they could receive. Imagine customers hearing
about the upcoming heat wave on
the television evening news and then seeing an e-mail from you the
next morning! Do you think your customers would see this as an advertisement?
Or will they see it as your providing a customer service with this
bit of news? The answer lies in how you word the e-mail. Make a
strong sales pitch and customers will see it for what it is. Keep
the customer's well being foremost in mind as you write the e-mail,
and customers will see this as a service.
you create this e-mail, you can explain the weather, your concern
for them, and then your suggestion for a solution. When you add
the suggestion of a product that will help them deal with the heat,
you can tell the customer that they can see a picture of what you
are talking about when they visit your web site. To get the customer
to go immediately to your web site, you put an active link in the
e-mail. An active link is that bit of type that you see in blue
in the e-mail. When the customer left-clicks his mouse over the
blue area, they will immediately see the page you are talking about.
doesn't need to be the front page of your web site, but it should
be the page featuring the product that provides the solution.
see this as your providing an informational service. You know that
this is very accurately targeted promoting. Try talking to your
customers with e-mail. They are eager to hear from you.