I know this will come off as a sales pitch, but I don't mean it to be. My Printer got me into Send Out Cards which is a company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. I can do tangible cards online in a matter of minutes and then SOC will print them, stuff them, stamp them, and then send them out in a real envelope. I never have to touch them and I can do a card now and have it sent out up to 4 years later. The cards cost less than $2 and $.44 in postage. I can also send gift baskets and gift cards like AMEX or Barnes and Nobles with the card. I have a kitchen and bath business and I take quite a few digital before and after shots of my work. I then do a card with the customers photos in it and have it sent to show appreciation. I have also gone to my previous customers from the last 20 years and have been sending cards to thank them for hiring us. The cards cost me $.93 plus $.44 in postage and I have had a 15% growth in my business from old customers. I also send a card with a $50 AMEX gift card to customers who give me referrals that lead to jobs. If anyone wants info on this product goto www.sendoutcards.com/brianfitzgerald
Submitted Feb 24, 2010 11:03 AM
The best approach is to identify your target market and lead channels and then hit them with all you got. Email marketing, targeted mailings and the list above identified by the E-Myth coach. Take advantage of the technologies that are available (Facebook, Linkedin, etc) instead of wasting precious time at intruction meetings, association meetings, etc. I like to provide Case Studies, White Papers demonstrating competance in a specific area. Show your market that you know what to do and how you can help them. Get the potential client/customer to take a call to action. This way you will get a good lead generation list created with folks who truly have an interest in the product or service you provide. Thats my two cents, go get em!
Submitted Feb 24, 2010 11:28 AM
These are excellent ideas! I especially like the idea of teaming up with non-competing and complimentary businesses. We have to do more of that.
I also like the giving it away for a limited time idea. I'll have to put some more thought into how we test that concept on our Twitter and Facebook followers. Hmmmmm....
Keith Larochelle, CFO
Submitted Feb 24, 2010 12:10 PM
Since when is "Word of Mouth" a way to generate leads? Give it away? Surprise them? This article is worthless!
With all of the fantastic ways to reach customers out there this article could have been so much more that platitudes. Highly disappointing. To get leads, do the following:
1) Define your customer - Figure out who you want to target. Are they families? High income? Bulk buyers? etc.
2) Study your customer - Conduct research to find out what they are looking for, what they respond to, how they are emotionally connected to your business.
3) Target your customer - Use tightly-targeted marketing methods to reach your target customer where they are. Much of the time this will be internal marketing to existing customers.
4) Convert leads to sales and go deep in the relationship.
Most business owners neglect to identify and study their customers so it is impossible for them to target their customers. As a result stupid advice like "word of mouth" seems like a decent idea because it's free. Make a plan, execute your plan, and stop waiting around for leads to jump after you based on referrals and word of mouth.
Submitted Feb 24, 2010 12:11 PM
I think you missed the point of the article Bradley. The section titled Start With A Plan talks about what you said was missing. The suggestions made were simply that - suggestions on where/how to engage the target customer.
Not sure why you attacked word of mouth as part of a marketing strategy. Word of mouth boils down to customer service and creating happy customers. Fostering repeat business by doing a good job the 1st time is absolutly a part of lead generation.
My 2 cents...
Keith Larochelle, CFO
Submitted Feb 24, 2010 1:14 PM
Okay, @Bradley, so I have done the preliminary work and I know my target demographic, then what are the (step #3) "tightly-targeted marketing methods" I can use? No existing customers since they are new. And #4, "go deep" means what specific action steps?
Complementary businesses would be great for us.
@brian f thanks for the card idea and link; sounds like a "Surprise them" strategy that I will use to thank a customer for their purchase, or just general holiday greetings.
We have a high end product, so I thought about an e-mail blitz to friends and family for 5% off coupon to them and anyone they know in this first year of our business. For a $3K product, that's $150 savings.
Submitted Feb 25, 2010 9:26 PM
Being the owners of a fairly new business I found the article was really helpful.
Of course no one relies soley on "Word of Mouth" alone and waits around for that to work. However, it has to be up there as one of the best forms of advertising especially in smaller communities. Word of mouth can make or break a business.
I would accept the recommendation of someone I respect before I would simply buy from an ad or a gimmick. In fact, whenever I am looking to buy a reasonably high dollar value item or looking for a tradesman I always ask around for recommendations based on other peoples experiences. So far over 25% of our work has come from recommendations - that cant be bad.
Submitted Feb 26, 2010 1:15 AM
I also use social/business networking like BNI. It's not the end all, be all, but it works nicely as a word of mouth tool. We have 40 people in our group and it's nice to get an actual qualified lead from a co-member, a lead who actually asked for my particular service.
Submitted Feb 26, 2010 12:36 PM
From a lead generation standpoint, I have to agree that working with related complementary businesses is a very effective strategy for growing your customer base.
And, there is nothing like giving customers a gift of some sort to make them more likely to spread the word about your business.
Whether your customers are businesses or consumers, these are good strategic suggestions.
Thanks again for useful business information.
Submitted Feb 28, 2010 3:05 PM
Target your leads. Defining your customers is so important, conversion rates and ROI will be much higher if you can put some thought into who your customers really are, where they are, what they spend money on, and how you can appeal to them.
Submitted Mar 5, 2010 2:21 PM
Yes , i find it less costly to get new customers through the already existing ones ,by word of mouth and sure referals that end up in continuous repeat business!
Submitted Mar 9, 2010 6:10 AM
The card guy thing is a joke - bush league
Submitted Dec 15, 2010 12:07 PM
Good stuff, I also have a blog that address that title of this video called "Marketing Marathon: Why Should You Sign Up" you can check it out here: http://danielsartofmarketing.blogspot.com/2012/02/marketing-marathon-why-you-should-sign.html
Submitted Apr 7, 2012 5:59 AM