What Can We Learn from Snail Mail

October 15th, 2013

 

In the week when Royal Mail shares hit the trading stock market you might be mistaken in thinking this is a promotional blog. In some ways it 9940710_sis, but in fact it’s a reminder about your customer and prospecting contact strategy.

In the good ol’ days, contact with customers focussed on 4 main channels: direct mail, cold calling, face to face meetings and off the page advertising. All of these methods would cost you money – each time you sent out a direct mail piece you had to pay the postage, phone calls would cost you money and so on. But the great thing about all of these distribution methods was that you really had to think about them – a lot of money was at stake and you didn’t want to waste it – you wanted it to work hard and deliver sales enquiries for you.

What would your ROI be? Can you afford to post the mailer, are the messages right and are you sending it to the right target market?

Roll forward a few years and email marketing is fully entrenched in our marketing armoury. With Mailchimp, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft to name a few, running and tracking our email marketing campaigns it is very easy. In fact in many ways it’s also very easy (perhaps too easy) to dispatch an email and sadly lots of companies are using this method too much and becoming a nuisance to customers, prospects and members.

This week alone I have un-subscribed from numerous newsletters – most of which I didn’t sign up for. I’ve reported SPAM and changed the notification settings on all of my LinkedIn groups and forums. Instantly my mailbox is back under control – I’m able to see clients and important emails quicker rather than having to shift through lots of ‘not-so-important’ email marketing messages. So far I’m not missing them, most didn’t add any value, maybe I will regret un-subscribing, but I doubt it.

Now, before you send your email ask yourself: If I had to print this newsletter, stuff it into an envelope, buy & then put a stamp on it and find a post box – would I still send this message?

Keeping in touch with customers is good practice but make it your best practice not to over-solicit your income source. It’s time to review your client- contact strategy, or if you don’t have one – put one in place.

coachSME88

Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter.