What I Learned About Effective Offline Marketing from an Online Store
We’ve been buying shirts from a very savvy online business for a few years now. I like their shirts, but what I love even more are the marketing ideas I get almost every time we purchase from them.
This business bubbles with enthusiasm at every point in the sales process – before, during and after purchasing. Their website is a very sophisticated eCommerce site, yet it’s the simplicity and effectiveness of their communication offline that has turned us into regular buyers. Interesting, isn’t it?
What impresses me most is the care they apply to staying in regular contact with every customer. Below are a few ways I have noticed them really stand out:
- Of course it starts with the product. The quality is consistent and reliable. The best marketing program on the planet can’t cover up a poor product or service.
- Included with the first delivery is a high quality welcome booklet with useful information on all their products, and a discount coupon inviting the next purchase.
- New customers receive a beautifully printed thank you letter from the owner shortly after their first purchase with another coupon, which can be shared with a friend.
- Every customer receives a full colour catalogue in the mail every other month, always with an attractive offer on at least some of the products.
- Stop purchasing for more than a few months and they will be in touch by letter– with an enticing reason to start buying again.
- The branding, design and format of everything they do both online and offline is clear and consistent. It quickly breeds familiarity and trust.
It’s tempting to spend most of our marketing effort, time and money chasing new customers. Even though it’s probably the hardest way to build sales, it’s a trap that many businesses fall into. Of course you should make it very easy to buy the first time, but then focus on the next sale, and the one after that.
Think how you could make every customer feel special, and what opportunities you could create to educate them about the other products or services that would be interesting to them.
Don’t take buyers for granted
Keep showing and telling them how important they are to you. It could be as simple as picking up the phone. You’d be surprised how much a phone call is appreciated.
If you haven’t created a carefully thought through program to encourage repeat buying and recommendations, ask yourself why?
Make everyone who buys from your business feel really welcome. When you make your customers feel appreciated, they won’t even look at your competition – and they might just pass on a good word to their friends.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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