The humble Christmas card can mean so much.
Personally, it can be a time that you hear from family and friends in far-flung places. They have the ability to spread, warmth, happiness and news. Business Christmas cards can have the same effect, and staying in touch with your clients is becoming much more important.
Marketing and lead generation
Marketing and advertising are all concepts we think we are familiar with. Brands create super adverts, fire up the imagination and the desire of the consumer and when they make the purchase, the marketing campaign has hit the bullseye.
And then, the brand will do it all again, with another advert or campaign that tells the consumer what they simply must have…
Many businesses fall into this trap and whilst this is something we know we all have to do, it can be unrewarding when the campaign does not yield the results we want or need.
There is, however, a strand that we miss out on when it comes to marketing and that is, the concept of ‘staying in touch’.
Do you chase new business at the expense of your current customer base?
Take a moment and think about this. When was the last time you made any form of contact with current customers?
Company Christmas cards are just one way of staying in touch and making the customer feel valued. Known as win-win marketing, there are 5 steps that you need to take in order to stay in touch with this valuable resource for your business…
Step 1: The Database
Sending pre-printed company Christmas cards will only be effective if you have a database of names and addresses to send them to. Some companies split this database into several sections which could include;
- Current clients
- Those you have made contact with, but have not had a business transaction with
- Geographical location lists
- Companies or individuals that you have a valued business relationship with
There are many online databases that can be bought or downloaded that you can format to make staying in touch easier. But don’t forget your responsibilities under the Data Protection Act for keeping people’s details safe, both online and offline.
Step 2: Annual Plan
You need a plan to keep in touch with your clients that is more than simply sending a pre-printed Christmas card every December. There are a few different ways you can stay in contact, for example:
- Blogs, weekly or monthly can be great way to stay in touch
- Monthly or quarterly newsletter
- Emails etc.
Find what works and mix and match; don’t forget that staying in touch is not just about selling. It really is about keeping your brand in the vision, or psyche of your customers
Step 3: Content
… which leads on to content. Simply emailing, creating newsletters and sending blog links is not going to cut it. In fact, they will become a nuisance and you may find that customers are actually turned off. Ensuring that your content is useful is important – why not try some ‘how to…’ guides? Tailor your content to suit your customers!
Step 4: Permission
Your contacts or customers may have given their permission some time ago for you to communicate with them but the etiquette, if you are going to stay in touch with them, is to ask them if this is OK. Therefore, it is essential that you give recipients the opportunity opt-out; sending an email to your database-driven marketing email is a great, inexpensive, no fuss way of doing this. Many online direct email marketing companies and apps also have this function.
Step 5: Measure it!
As with all campaigns, measuring success is fairly essential and you could be spending time, money and effort on something that is not doing a good job.
The Christmas card is a perfect way to remind customers of who and what you are; they can serve as a catalyst for staying in touch all through the year and can be a great way to get another strand of your marketing campaign underway.