The following is the second section of a three-part article focusing on ways a small business can personalize their marketing efforts.Â As mentioned in the first post, I’m not referring to personalizing mass produced printed materials.Â
Instead, I’m focusing on those little “human” touches that mean a lot to your best customers, prospects, industry allies and employees.Â I refer to this group as your “focused contacts.”Â The first part, posted on June 25, addressed handwritten messages.
The second way to personalize your marketing efforts is to demonstrate how much you appreciate your customers.Â
First are on-going methods such as
- acknowledging customers by name
- offering a place for customers to display a stack of their business cards so others may take one
- touching base with a prospect about some other need they mentioned during your presentation or discussionÂ
- providing a simple way for contacts to opt out of receiving your company’s routinely distributed promotional materials
- organizing free workshops in which you partner with related professionals to offer meaningful informationÂ Â Â
- sending a testimonial from an existing customer to a prospect
- writing thank you notes and placing phone calls as previously discussed
- establishing a client or customer board of the month featured at your office, retail store, newsletter or website.
Financially, you may
- offer discounts if they bring in a postcard or mention your notice about customer appreciation day or week
- hold a monthly drawing forÂ FREE use of a chauffeur,Â prepared meals, financial check-up, golf packages,Â etc.Â Â Â
- donate to your focused contact’s favorite charity in his or her name
- invite focused contacts to try a new product or service at no charge or at minimal cost, dependent upon the product or regulationsÂ Â
- establish a frequent purchase program (yes, this does require you to keep track of all customer purchases) to provide rewards.Â Use this opportunity to have some fun and select meaningful items or services.
- inform customers of special sales involving their frequently purchased items (here again, don’t forget the usefulness of a customer database), or if you have a top-selling item that your best customers frequently purchase
- publish aÂ picture in the local paper, perhaps quarterly, of an important customer, employee or ally
- host an event where you don’t talk business such as a picnic, BBQ or softball tournament.
Â The final part of this series will focus on personalizing customer service.