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4 10, 2015

7 Mistakes That Make Your Email Campaign Look Lame

By |2017-03-03T12:06:51-05:00October 4th, 2015|Categories: Advertising, Blog, Customer Service, email marketing|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on 7 Mistakes That Make Your Email Campaign Look Lame

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Email marketing needs a plan to be effective.

Email marketing needs a plan to be effective.

Everyone says they’re doing email marketing but are they really? Sending out a few emails when you feel like it is not the same as having an email campaign. I get great email blasts from my friends, and then they disappear. I’ve even called and asked several what happened to them, and they say they got tired of sending them! One friend said her customers liked her message, but it was too much work.

Here are 7 mistakes that will make you look lame and actually hurt you.

  1. Not segmenting your customer lists. Basically, “one size fits all” when it comes to the message can be a problem. A customer who bought recently is not the same as one who bought five years ago. Each should get a message, but it should be different. Of course, the one who just bought should be thanked and the other should receive an incentive to come back to the store. This is not good customer service.
  2. Are you disregarding the customer hasn’t bought? Are you collecting their email? Getting their information is critical to staying in touch. If they are really interested, the right message will send them back into your store.
  3. Do you start a campaign and then stop? If you’re’ going to do a campaign, you should do it for at least a year. You want your potential customer to look forward to your messages. The messages should be interesting and fun, not filled with advertisements.
  4. Not using a service to send out your emails. Your email service is not set up to handle over 50 emails. Not only that, because of the sophisticated servers, you’re likely to be cut off from potential customers, particularly if you don’t have an “opt out” section.
  5. Do you send out emails without a goal in mind? What is worse than getting emails that don’t seem to have a reason or links to your web site or social media? The reason for an email campaign is to keep in touch with your customers, or potential customers, and provide value.
  6. Do you only send emails when you have an offer? If this is when you send them, those responding will need something. The others will probably consider you a nuisance and go away. The idea is to send an assortment of messages so everyone will remain interested.
  7. Do you send out emails without a long-term plan? It’s called “email marketing” because it’s a marketing plan. You want to have a plan that makes sense to you and the customer. If you don’t you may be doing more harm than good.

As my mom, used to say, you only have one reputation. Take care of it.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and marketing strategies for over twenty years. For more information on email marketing, go to http://followyourcustomer.com/ and sign up for a webinar on customized email marketing.  [email protected]

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10 04, 2015

Innovative Ways for the Flooring Retailer (or anyone) to Become a “Marketeer”

By |2017-03-03T12:06:53-05:00April 10th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand, Customer Satisfaction, Managing the Customer Experience, Web/Tech|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Innovative Ways for the Flooring Retailer (or anyone) to Become a “Marketeer”

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The world has changed, have you?

The world has changed, have you?

You know what it’s like; you’re getting plenty of leads, but no one is following up.

At first, just a few go by, but then they start to stack up. You’re also aware that the sales staff isn’t following up on customers who have come into the store and haven’t made a purchase.

Every business needs fresh customers, but what about those who are good leads or have already been in your store?

If you’re working harder at getting new customers than keeping old ones, you’re spending a lot of money on marketing. Think about it this way; every time a customer comes back or sends a referral, the average marketing dollar spent per customer goes down. Furthermore, a good salesperson will be cultivating customers who have bought before or paying attention to “hot leads.” The competent sales associate knows these are easier to sell.

No matter how you’re gathering your leads, they’re valuable if you’re following up and closing them. If you’re not doing either, it’s like throwing money out the window.

If this sounds like your business, the best thing you can do is start capturing customers’ home addresses and email addresses. Stop entering “Cash” on your invoice where it says, “name and address.” After all, if you don’t have customers and good will, what do you have?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently said the only way to steer customers to your business is to help them cut down on their buying choices. One way to do this is to send them small bites of information that is both educational and fun so you ultimately become their trusted adviser. An article on “Tips for finding the right flooring retailer” can help influence a fresh lead or referral to walk into your store.

The smart dealers realize that being high tech is not something for the future—it’s here now. I recently spoke with Cary Cass, general manager of Dolphin Carpet and Tile, headquartered in Miami, Fla. With over 30 years in the business and a member of the NFA (National Flooring Alliance), Dolphin is utilizing many online tools to help the customer stay connected.

We realize that once a customer is in our store, we have an opportunity to both sell them and build a customer for life. Our interactive on-line design center makes it easy for the customer to build a profile of her likes and store her choices with us. We’re also testing software that will automatically contact our customers with timely offers and useful tips. It may sound trite, but its not up to the customer to remember us; it’s our job to be memorable. This is not something we have the time or expertise to do by ourselves.

Being consistent with customer communications is the key. “White House, Black Market” a women’s clothing store targeting consumers age 25 and older, does an excellent job of staying in touch with the customer. By receiving their emails, post cards and phone calls, I feel like we’re old friends. I feel guilty not going in to look at their new styles. I know the communications are automated, but they’re still fun, informative and useful.

follow your customersMichael Vernon, president of followyourcustomer.com, gave me this advice:

The goal of any business is to build relationships with customers. In the article, Why the Zero Moments of Truth Matter More than Ever, Google points out there are endless opportunities a business has to ‘touch’ the consumer. The key is to get her to like you because people buy from people they like. To build top-of-mind awareness, these must be sent least 12 to 18 times a year. If they dont, the customer will go to the competitor. Our system will customize your message and automatically keep in touch for you.

Customers have many choices; why not be their first one?

isbeth has been teaching businesses how to improve their customer service and the customer experience for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at [email protected] If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush.

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22 02, 2015

If You’re Not Following Your Customer Who Is?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:53-05:00February 22nd, 2015|Categories: Blog, Customer Satisfaction, Managing the Customer Experience, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on If You’re Not Following Your Customer Who Is?

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It makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your customers.

It makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your customers.

Everyone knows they should be following up on sold customers but how many do? It’s not just sold customers; what about customers who have been in your business and haven’t decided to purchase? Maybe you made one phone call and then got busy. We talk about managing the customer’s experience; how can you do it if you’re not in touch with the customer? You must stay in touch with your customers if they are to remember and refer you.

It’s not that we don’t want to do it, we just get busy. Salespeople have a tendency to be motivated by “shiny objects” called new customers.  It’s the hunt. Can I close them, how much money they will give me, this is exciting.

It's pretense.

It’s pretense.

In actuality the new customer is all about “smoke and mirrors.” No one knows anything about them and that seems to be the allure. What about the customer who purchased twenty thousand dollars of tile from you three months ago? At one point they were the “allure” and now they’re among the missing. You might be tired of hearing this but 90%, it’s gone up from 80% two years ago, of your customers come from referrals. It’s the customer who you said “Thank you so much to,” and then shoved out the door. You promised yourself you would send them a thank you note, remember their birthday and swore you would call them. But then the “shiny object” came through the door and you were off and running.

The customer can’t refer you unless the remember you. While they are tethered to their tablet and cell phone you are the last thing on their mind. If it matters to you, make it a priority.

What about the customer whose home you measured but never closed? After you got over the fact that they dumped you again you ran after the next new customer. Maybe they didn’t dump you after all but if you don’t follow up how will you know. Another lost opportunity.

goldI’m telling you, the gold is in the sold customers. But, what are you doing about it?

Greg Incardona from Followyourcustomer.com and I had the opportunity to have an interview with Dave Foster about sold customers.  If you would like to do a better job with this, listen to our  audio  interview with Dave Foster. http://bit.ly/18eZd7c.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been consulting with businesses for the past twenty years about sales and customer service. If you would like her to speak at your business or schedule a consultation, reach her at [email protected] She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday.

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