What Web Developers Can Learn From Facebook
High Speed Internet and the Wane of Dial Up

Leveraging Your Existing Customer List

Last week a client sent out a direct marketing piece to their customer list via traditional snail mail.  I was aware that the client had both an email and traditional mail database for two years, yet I wasn't aware of the size of their traditional mailing list until last year. To my surprise the client had over 3,500 people on their mailing list for their local and national clients. They had built their list over the last twenty years.

It had been a few years since my client last tried any paper sales letters or announcements with their existing client base. They decided to send out an announcement about upcoming education sessions and the redesign of their web site.  I received a copy of the letter they sent out to their list and it left much to be desired.  But my emphasis was on getting something out, regardless of quality.  After almost a year of urging the client finally caved in to my request. The original mailing went out to 100 people in the local area. It pulled a very respectable response rate of around 5%. A few weeks after the campaign we measured the Return on Investment to be over 1200.00%. The above example illustrates one of the best revenue generating tools available to almost any company, an existing customer list.

Lead Online Follow Up With Mail
Now that many businesses are preoccupied with email marketing fewer companies are using traditional marketing methods. Some of the best internet marketers use their web sites as lead generation tools and follow up with traditional methods such as paper sales letters. Cultivating online leads with paper follow up has proven to be highly successful for a number of people.  Yet it is technique that few companies consider. It is important to remember that in today's digital world, people still like tangible items. Use tangible marketing materials to your advantage.

Those Who Have Bought Are More Likely to Buy
If you have spent the time to cultivate a good relationship with your potential customer and existing customer base, try approaching them before anyone investing in additional marketing of new customers. Some of the easiest people to sell to are those who already value and trust your advice, service, or product line.

A major blunder companies make is soliciting their customer lists with relentless sales pitches. People grow resentful of such techniques. I'm still a firm believer in Dr. Joe Vitale's suggestion of giving your customers/potential customers 95% information and 5% sales pitch.  You should build and reiterate the feelings of trust and credibility with customers and potential customers on a regular basis. Send them information that would be useful to them and don't get preoccupied with making the sale.  It might seem counter intuitive, but it really does work.

Revisiting Something Successful
In terms of event marketing, consider ticket sales. I have had experience with a service that sold event tickets online.  That particular service was able to enjoy an over 90% satisfaction rate for their ticketing service.  What good reason would there be not follow up with previous customers for upcoming or similar events? In my opinion, one of the single best investments of time and money for event marketers is in their previous customer list.  Use the time between events to build your list and keep your existing list subscribers informed.

If you are looking to quickly generate some additional revenue, start with your existing customer list. It's hard to think of any other marketing conduit that offers such a high return on investment.

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