In a perfect world, everybody will do what we want them to.
Our kids will brush their teeth the first time we ask them to, do their homework, keep their rooms tidy, and keep their curfews; our parents will listen to our advice; our friends will stop their horrendous habits; our spouses will remember their promises.
In a perfect business world… our customers will do what we want them to do. They will notice our advertisements, will read our direct mail, and will take the calls of our salespeople. In short, they will buy what we sell them.
We all know that perfect worlds don’t exist. In this imperfect one, words are often unheard, misconstrued, or forgotten. They are not tangible; they are by their very nature ephemeral. Messages, however interesting or important, get lost all the time.
So what do you do then to keep your message alive?
The problem is that conversations, sales pitches, and sales calls are all words. They disappear as soon as you’ve said them and quickly thereafter, they are forgotten as if they never existed! The solution is to get your words to stay permanently in the minds of your customers.
How do you do that? You structure your marketing communication strategy in a way that keeps your message alive in the minds of your customers, employees and everyone else with whom your business interacts.
1. Create unobtrusive follow-up messages: Use am email marketing service such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to stay in touch with your customers. Create quick, easy to read useful tips and reminders that will keep conversations alive without a hard sale.
2. Send personalized newsletters: Depending on your business, budget and list, you may want to take your newsletter OFFLINE and send a real-life printed copy. Keep newsletters informative, educational and fun. Don’t be afraid to share bits of your personal life and tie them into the message of the newsletter. Be sure to offer gifts, tips or coupons as well as to drive readers back to your web site.
3. Create a list of top 10 reasons and focus on those. Talk about getting a bang for your marketing effort; write a single article that outlines the 10 reasons customers should choose you and your product. Make them obvious, fun and snappy. Then use that list to create individual articles, presentations, messages and promotions. It will keep your message focused and make it easy for customers to refer you.
4. Set up a referral system. Check out “Pay with a Tweet” it’s a terrific way to get your online community talking about you and your offer. Simply set up an account, put a button on your site and offer a product or service that your community can pay for by tweeting about it.
5. Give webinars and teleseminars. This is so much easier than you think. Create a “concept” presentation that teaches your audience something valuable and then partner with other people in your market space. You offer to give your webinar to their community and then they can give one to your community. This is a great way to expand your list and offer great content to other experts on the web.
Keeping conversations alive is unique different from pesky and annoying advertising. Marketing and advertising messages are often too focused on getting people to simply “Buy something” it gives the audience the impression of being disrespected and used. On the other hand, keeping conversations alive actually achieves the same thing as a sales message – it reminds your customers that you are there. But instead of just selling them day after day, you are building relationships, educating and being a useful part of their life. And this, usefulness is what keeps your brand at the center of their attention and keeps them choosing you when they are looking to buy what you’re selling.
|About Ivana Taylor
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