3 Under Utilized Ideas for Customer Engagement

customer engagement, customer experience

There isn’t a marketer on the planet that doesn’t wish his or her clients would take more action. But unfortunately in today’s dynamic marketplace, most of what we produce gets muted (or in some cases ignored) by the sheer amount of online noise.

If you’re searching for inexpensive and innovative ways to better connect and stand out, I’ve shared three ways to drive home that call to action and strengthen your bottom line.

  1. Utilize Video Email

All great marketers know the power of an email follow-up after a sales call or in-person meeting.

But normal email users are driving a Honda when compared to the Ferrari that is video email.

Implement The Digital Handshake, a concept I adopted about a year ago, which gives that highly sought-after personalized feel to your correspondence.

I use a $70 webcam and one-button uploads to WOW clientspretty much like I would in person.

Of course, you wouldn’t send someone flowers before the first date (that’s just creepy) so use your video handshake immediately after that first point of contact for ultimate results.

  1. Bring Back The Handwritten Note

Elaborating on the need for personalization, clients today face a barrage of stimulation when it comes to newfangled communications:

Facebook ads that follow clients around, bulk emails, text messagesetc.

So it becomes difficult for your message to stand out (and in some cases, even get read at all!)

But thankfully, the old-fashioned hand-written note will never go out of style.

Whether it’s a post-card reminder to book your vacation rental for the winter season or a follow-up letter thanking a client for their amazing business this year, there’s a reason Gary Halbert’s A-Pile vs. B-Pile has been blowing pretty much everyone’s minds for decades now:

Because getting real mail that’s not spam is returning as a luxury again!

  1. Share Insider Advice

Information is everywhere and clients don’t just want authoritative blogs or industry experts…

They want privileged access.

So the most engaging marketers are providing clients with intel that’s not available to just anyone.

If you are in the travel industry, share the privileged or exclusive experiences that you’ll be providing to your clients when they arrive (stuff that most tourists don’t get to see).

If you’re selling real estate, be generous and transparently display the very market trends your agency is seeing internally.

No matter your niche, distributing exclusive data, comprehensive resources, or unique perspectives is, according to this amazing infographic from Quick Sprout, the absolute best way to engage clients and ultimately close more sales.

What Does All This Mean?

Today’s marketers are constantly seeking ways to better engage their clients and stand out from the noise.

For the same reason you wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street and start pitching, no longer do interruptions really make that personal connection that we all so desperately need.
But here’s the good news:

Chances are, you’re very good at explaining your product or service in person to someone who could really benefit from its’ use.

So get proactive and start utilizing these techniques that – while they ain’t no cocktail party – will effectively recreate the very dynamics that make an in-person interaction so gosh darn golden.

This is a guest post by Matt Landau. He is known as the Tony Robbins of vacation rental marketing. His writing has been featured on CNN, BusinessWeek, and US News & World Report among other publications.


With holidays around the corner, you marketers are trying to figure out how to stand out from their competitors.

Eight figure marketers don’t just talk at prospects and customers, they build relationships and engage them. That’s why successful marketers use tools that are high touch and more personal.

Sending handwritten holiday cards to high value and top prospects cost $5, but the return on a card that costs as much as a cup of coffee is in hundreds and thousands.





The Ultimate List Of Email Marketing Mistakes (and what to do about it)

Marketers are the new sales reps. Especially, the email marketers.

Before the internet, if you were considering purchasing something and researching your options, you had to call a salesperson to get all the info. That means a sales person had the power to influence the buyers from the very beginning of the cycle.

With Google, most people don’t have a need to contact a sales rep anymore until they are 70-80% into the buying cycle. Instead, it’s you, the email marketer who has to take over.

You have to take over the task of building trust and educating. That means now you are in charge of influencing the buyer in the early stages of the sales cycle.

With that in mind, let’s look at 31 scary email marketing mistakes to avoid (experts make these too):

      1. Lack of Targeting and Deep Segmentation

        (Source: Hubspot)
        Segmentation is not just reserved for when you are asking people to buy or to push them through the funnel.  You can start segmenting right from your welcome email. “This means sending targeted emails with specific goals that actually match each customers’ interests,” says Chris Hexton.

      2. Not Running Multichannel Campaigns

        Lifecycle marketing campaigns should involve a little more than just emails. Reaching them on different channels including direct mail can help shorten the sales cycle and improve buyers experience with the brand. For example, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Adding personal touches like writing handwritten notes or even just picking up the phone to follow up can show customers that you care.

      3. Not Separating Transaction Emails From Email Marketing

        (source: Mailchimp)
        Emails like receipts and shipping confirmation are considered transactional emails. People expect these emails from you. However, this does not give you the permission to send other emails unless they have explicitly given you the permission. Other types of emails include behavioral and email newsletters. Email newsletters can be blog posts and similar content. While behavioral emails give readers relevant information or offers based on where they are in the buying cycle.

      4. Assuming People Remember Who You Are

        (source: Mailchimp)
        People don’t always remember who you are, especially if they signed up soon after they first discovered you. Remind them who you are frequently, without annoying them.

      5. Writing Like a Used Car Salesman

        (source: Mailchimp)
        You don’t talk like a used car salesman when you are with a person face-to-face so why write like that. If you are going to pitch something, first record your pitch as if you were talking to a person and then write it down. I am sure many people have talked about this, but I first heard this tip from Neville Medhora.

      6. Poor Subject Line Copy

        (source: unbounce)
        To make sure your CTRs and response rates are high, first and foremost, you need people to open your email. There are many ways of doing this, but break up your message in the form of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) works every time. And your subject line is the “Attention” part of your message.  Protip for attention grabbers: Subject lines and attention grabbers don’t have to be complicated. Just make a point no one else is making.

      7. Overselling in the Subject Line

        (sourceForbes/Constant Contact)
        Two reasons not to do it: One is people are not going to believe what you are saying — aka, won’t open your email. If they do buy into it, they will feel tricked and betrayed. Say bye-bye to all your future opens and click-throughs from this person. On the other hand, don’t undersell either.

      8. Leaving the Subject Line For Last.

        (source: Marketingprofs)
        Writing the subject line down first means you have to decide what the goal of the email is going to be. Create your CTA along with the subject line. That means, all you now need to do is figure out how to keep them interested and create desire while moving from point A (subject line) to point B (CTA). Whereas the other way round will change the goal of your email, as many times as your mind wavers and wanders. Plan ahead.

      9. Slowing Down Your Readers

        (source: Marketingprofs)
        Things like long texts, lots of call-to-actions and lots of distracting images will slow your readers down. Worse yet, you will lose them quicker than the time it took them to open your email. Here are a few tips:

        1. Break it up with headings. Make it easy to skim.
        2. Keep your CTA limited to just one. You can repeat the same call to action. If anything, dedicate one-third of your copy to get people to take Action. Yup! 1/3.
        3. Make sure your images are actually making people imagine a scenario (preferably what it feels like to solve their problem with your solution), or it’s making them laugh.
      10. Ignoring Campaign Reports

        (source: Mailchimp)
        Don’t check your campaign reports once a week or once a month. As soon as you send out a campaign, check the results immediately. Figure out why you have the results you have (good or bad). Then test your hypothesis in your next email. If your reports are good, you want to figure out how to repeat the success. And if your report is bad, well you know you are probably spooked by now.

      11. Not Take Action

        While you are checking your reports, don’t forget to make changes to the campaigns or emails that are set to go out next. Look at your reports, make a list of new findings and hypotheses. Then go ahead and implement or test them in your next set of emails.

      12. Lack of Automation

        (source: unbounce)
        Avoid planning your lifecycle marketing on the go. Instead list out all the steps people will have to take for you to make a sale. For example, if you funnel looks like this: sign up -> fill out their profile -> invite friends -> surf your site -> do something -> add it to the cart -> enter credit card -> hit purchase. Each step needs an email, whether it’s transaction, behavioral, newsletter or a combination.

      13. Poor Ddeliverability and Engagement

        (source: unbounce)
        Email deliverability depends a lot on how much you list engages with your emails, i.e., opens and clicks. If the engagement is slow, make sure you have double have opt-in in place and also place where they can choose the frequency of the emails they receive from you. Yes, that means fewer people on your list, but they will definitely be more engaged and qualified. Also, make sure you are that you are setting proper expectations, and they remember you.

      14. Lazy List Management A.K.A. Not Building Lists

        (source: unbounce)
        It’s so easy to build a list and then forget all about it. However, you need to constantly work on improving the performance of the list. Remove all the emails that bounce and move people who have stopped engaging with your emails  to another list. Sending emails to only to engaged list members will increase your deliverability.

      15. Expecting New Creative to Immediately Lift Metrics

        (source: Marketingprofs)
        The problem with new creative is that it is new. You don’t know if it is going to work. What you can do though is before you get a new creative going, form a couple hypotheses based on the persona’s you have created. Then, test it. It will help you figure out what works, and it will help improve your personas.

      16. Focusing Only on ROI

        .  (source: Marketingprofs)
        Not all your marketing emails are going to drive conversions and revenue. And that’s not the only type of marketing emails you should be sending out. Your email marketing should have three goals:

        1. Improve brand recognition,
        2. Get people in the habit of clicking links in your emails (so they click when it counts the most – bottom of the funnel) and
        3. To influence them earlier in the buying cycle (not in a manipulative way).

      17. Thinking Email Exists in a Silo

        (source: Marketingprofs)
        Passing the leads to sales once they are sales qualified is an old way of doing this. Sales and marketing need to be integrated. They are partners in crime. Sales need to know what the customer knows, sales also needs to be on social channels being a source of information for

      18. Emailing too Often and Emailing too Little

        (source: business2community)
        Too many emails and you are risking banner blindness and fewer emails (even if they are sent consistently). It also means you may be forgotten and worse, they will lose interest. You do not want to stop selling if they are not ready to buy and you don’t want to keep selling when are ready to buy from you.

      19. Sending Emails that Offer no Value

        (source: business2community)
        An email with no value, usually means you are not targeting your prospect for the stage of the cycle they are in. But you could use AIDA to plan your lifecycle marketing campaigns. Getting them to sign up is the “Attention” part of AIDA. The next part in the process is to keep their “Interest”, which is what your emails will do. And your behavioral emails will create “Desire” which will then lead to “Action” aka sale. So send the right type of info means you are sending and evoking the right mix of emotion and logic.

      20. Using Spam Words

        (source: business2community)
        You might be using spam words without even knowing. Here’s a list for your reference: The ultimate list of spam words.

      21. Sending Emails That Offer no Call to Action

        (source: business2community)
        This is a big no-no. Enough said. Although the next one might not be so obvious.

      22. Not Using Ttransactional Emails to Drive Conversions

        Transactional emails have the highest open rates. Use that to your advantage and ask them to take action. What type of actions, you say? How about asking for referrals in your invoice?

        People are most excited about your product when they have made the purchase. Because if your product is bad, it’s just going to downhill from there (and you have bigger problems). If your product is good then, it will eventually seamlessly integrate into their workflow and become invisible. So the best time to ask them to take action is when they are happy.

      23. Sending Emails that Offer no Links to External Content

        (source: business2community)
        Again, all your emails should drive action, but make sure these CTAs are low risk. That is, you are not asking for a big commitment. If they have to make a big decision every time you ask them to take action, you are going to lose them. You are going to build a habit of avoiding taking action.

        Eventually, you will have to ask them to make a big decision (aka part with their money). But by then you will have built trust by managing their expectations properly, which leads me to the next mistake…

      24. Poorly Managed Reader Expectations

        (source: hubspot)
        When you ask people to take action, whether its opening your email or clicking on your CTA, you need to make sure, you are giving them exactly what they are expecting.

        I am not talking about click bait. I am talking about things you do unintentionally.

        You might not be trying to manipulate them, but you need to know your customers and their personas to understand how they might interpret  what you have written. If you don’t manage their expectations well, their trust will soon erode. That means you won’t be able to convince them to take action or spend that money with you over your competitors.

      25. Overuse or Underuse of Personalization

        (source: hubspot)

        You don’t want to act like you are high school buddies with your customers, but at the same time you don’t want to act like you haven’t even bothered to learn who they are. I am sure you know that. But what you need to be careful about is the gradual familiarity that will develop over time.

        You should gradually boost your personalization depending on where they are in the cycle just as a sales person would do. How you talk to them after they signed up will be quite different after they have opened and responded to a couple of your emails just like it would be in face-to-face interaction. It’s lots more that just from using a personal tone in your copy.

      26. Infrequent Testing

        (source: hubspot)
        Testing is one of the most overlooked parts of email marketing. Just like you can’t dig a well when you are thirsty, you can cannot test your emails when you are driving an important campaign. Run tests that will reveal more about your segments and personas earlier. So you can run successful campaigns when it counts.
        Some other things to test:

        1. Varying content lengths
        2. How many times you repeat the CTA
        3. Location of the image on the page
      27. Buyers Cycle vs. Sales Cycle

        This is the one of the hardest part of email marketing. Each of your verticals or personas will have different priorities based on what role your product plays in their professional and personal life.

        For example, if a company sells tools to protect against hurricane, your weather app is not going to be a priority unless it is hurricane season. On the other hand, if a company needs to watch out for huge fluctuations in temperature, finding a weather app to help them is going to be high on her priority list. Selling and influencing these two companies requires understanding both your buyer’s cycle and your sales cycle.

      28. Building Persona’s Once

        Most of us create personas and then forget all about it. Let’s admit who has the time. But this is one item that will boost both your conversions and because personas will help create smarter segmentations. That means keep testing your hypothesis and updating your personas. Don’t just use A/B testing. Supplement it with customer interviews.

      29. Setting Short Term Goals for Campaigns

        Campaigns by nature make us think short term. They have a start and an end date. However, we need to see that our efforts tie into the main goals. For example, do you changes in sales KPIs like growth in sales pipeline, shorter sales cycle or increased qualified leads.

      30. Not Using the Industry Language

        People buy from people they like i.e., those who are similar to them, who behave like them and who talk like them. So, if you want build trust and want them pay attention to your messaging, learn their language and speak in their language.

      31. Being Leeching Larry Instead of Giving Gary

        (sourceNoah Kagan & Neville Medhora)
        We all hate friends and people who are asking for favors and never thinking about how they can help us. I bet your customers think the same. Here is how Neville explains it:
        In the marketing world however, people turn into THATdouchebag Leeching Larry:
        “How do I raise my prices?”
        “How do I double my email list quickly?”
        “How do I increase my website traffic?”
        “How do I get people to pay me more money?”
        “How do I build a big business so I don’t have to work?”
        “I want to grow my email list to 10,000 people.”

        SO instead let’s flip all these questions around, and ask them like Giving Gary would ask them.
        “What can I give away that would help 10,000 people?
        “What will 10,000 people how to double their sales?”

As they say, the “devil” is in the details. So while all these don’t seem like a big deal avoid these email marketing mistakes can boost sales and customer loyalty. Those little personal touches go a long way to show a customer you care.

It can get you word of mouth as companies like Grasshopper, Brooks Brothers and many others have seen. And it can also reactivate hot leads that have stopped responding.

For example, GraniteMed sent one handwritten letter and they reactivated 47% of their dead leads. Learn how you can do it too.

36 Powerful Sales & Marketing Influencers You Should Follow This Week

sales influencers, marketing influencers

With 130,000+ people attending Dreamforce and only 5 days to connect with amazing people. We thought we should help you out. Every year there are influencers that we all know about and there are tons of people who are hounding them but there are many others that you might not have heard about. I have made a list of sales and marketing influencers at Dreamforce plus others who are contributing to #DF14 on twitter. Make sure you don’t miss them…

  1. Eric T. Tung #33 Global Social Influencer, #36 Digital Influencer, Social Media Consultant & Speaker, Social Manager @BMCSoftware, 2 degrees from @KevinBacon, Free Hugs!
  2. R Ray Wang Constellation Research Founder, Provocateur, Keynoter, Disruptive Tech, Innovation, Biz Model Strategy, Author, Contract Negotiator Dominate Digital Disruption!
  3. Marshall Kirkpatrick CEO @GetLittleBird: enterprise marketing tech to pinpoint the best people to talk with and to listen to online. To build reach & see the future first.
  4. Matt Heinz B2B revenue acceleration via sales & marketing strategy, demand generation, sales pipeline & process improvement, retention & renewals.
  5. Koka Sexton Social Marketing @LinkedIn | Leader of the #SocialSelling movement | Inspired by great content, social marketing, data and a cup of espresso. Let’s Go!
  6. S. Anthony Iannarino Catalyst. Instigator. Agitator.
  7. Dion Hinchcliffe Chief Strategy Officer, business strategist, enterprise architect, keynote speaker, book author, blogger, & consultant on #socbiz & next-gen enterprises.
  8. Miles Austin is The Web Tools Guy. Sales & Marketing Technologist, speaking & writing on web tools at FilltheFunnel blog. Seeking warm weather for Harley trips.
  9. Josh Druck Social Business Strategist – Content Developer – Marketing Coordinator @PeopleLinx
  10. Jill Konrath Author, AGILE SELLING & more. Take a sneak peek now: http://t.co/QyiAu7z4Aj Speaker at lots of sales meetings.
  11. Jill Rowley Founder & Chief Evangelist. #SocialSelling #ModernMarketing. Delivering Keynotes, Strategy Sessions & Workshops. ABCs of Social Selling = Always Be Connecting.
  12. Mike Merrill is an Enterprise Account Executive at @Salesforce @ExactTarget @MarketingCloud, TEDx & Keynote Speaker, Founder @SMCDallas, Chief Bacon Maker
  13. Gabe Villamizar Social Selling Expert | Social Media Marketing Manager at @HireVue #SocialSelling. Former @InsideSales SMM – Data, Analytics & Metrics.
  14. Zena Weist Integrated media strategist @LevelFive, wife, mom, @UnboundOrg sponsor, autism awareness advocate. Guinness, wine and chocolate devourer, therefore I run.
  15. Nancy Nardin We are an advisory firm specializing in sales productivity tools & advanced selling strategies. Recognized as a #Top50 Most retweeted Vendor by B2B Marketers.
  16. William Tyree Marketing technologist and writer. CMO at RingDNA.
  17. Tonya Hall Digital Marketing CMO / CEO @Barzhini Media / Host, Producer and Booking Ninja TWiT.tv
  18. John Taschek Marketing strategy @salesforce. Author ~ Speaker ~ Enterprise. Described as a seething mass of enlightenment. Soccer fan!
  19. Sam Capra Digital marketing enthusiast with a heavy emphasis on mobile, social and email.
  20. Alex Hisaka Content Marketing Manager at @LinkedIn. Previously at @Desk and @Salesforce.
  21. Trish Bertuzzi Inside Sales Thinker, Writer, Builder. Passionate about all things related to phone, web and social prospecting.
  22. Ryan Bonnici Head of #Marketing @Salesforce Marketing Cloud // Passion: #digital #transformation // Writes: @MarketingMag // Loves: #kitesurfing
  23. Kelly McCormick Biz Growth & Marketing Wiz! You get creative ways to increase revenues. Plus marketing methods for social media & beyond. For small to mid-sized biz & orgs.
  24. Tiffany Hsu social media, marketing, technology, community-building. Community manager @salesforce.
  25. Zachary Jeans Strategist Facilitating Conversations Around Leadership, Social, Mobile, Salesforce & Cloud w a passion for NonProfits #LeadWithGiants Co-Host.
  26. Sasha Pasulka Product marketing @tableau. Seattle is my Mothership.
  27. Ryan Cox Digital Marketing Specialist at J.C. Hart Company. I do things ontheline. Marketing nerd. Hustle type. I #hashtag in real life. #feedthekids http://t.co/JEemtbwrzL
  28. Christine Crandell Creator of Sellers’ Compass, author, blogger, advisor and speaker on #B2B customer success. #customerexperience #customerengagement #marketing
  29. Marin Perez Writer at @bluenoseinc, helping SaaS companies master #customersuccess and fight churn. Tweets are inescapably mine. Love hoops, mobile, startups and media.
  30. Robert Alexander #digitalmarketing, #socialselling, #cx, hunting, golf, competitive shooting, #cx #saas #crm #idpa #reloading. Love Helping Others
  31. Kathy O’Reilly TV Producer for 15+ years, made the move to online in 1999. PR/Social Media/Digital Content by day for Philips Healthcare. Wife & Mom 24/7. Tweets are my own.
  32. Casey Cheshire Marketing 24/7 | Connector | Future of the Web Ponderer | Speaker | iOS Dev | Mountaineer | Skydiver | Marine
  33. Mick Hollison Chief Marketing Officer at @insidesales – Sales Acceleration Technology. Contributing author for Inc
  34. Hugo Sarrazin Senior Partner – , McK Digital Labs, Business Technology, and TMT practices – interested in cloud, data, and innovation. Tweets are my own
  35. Robert J. MoreauExecutive  Sales, #BusinessDevelopment, #Consultant, Corp Advisor, #Speaker, Gym Rat, Passionate about #Sales, #Marketing, #Fitness #BI and #Technology!
  36. Robert Mahowald Vice President @ IDC, covering SaaS and Cloud services

This is MailLift’s second year attending Dreamforce, and Brian (MailLift’s CEO) is definitely going to be there! If you haven’t met Brian yet, I would say he is a person you don’t want to miss. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this..

16 Valuable Facts On Changing Sales Process

sales trenThe average length of the sales cycle has increased by over 24% in past two years. With changes in technology in the past decade, how people buy has changed, significantly changing the sale process. For example, 2014 has become of the year of mindfulness. As Hazel Barkworth puts it,

“In a world full of buzz and surface interactions, people are seeking more depth and meaning… People are craving time away from the stimulus of the internet, and are severing their connection to technology.”

That means super personalization and personal touch have also taken hold. No doubt, it’s here to stay. And since the buyers are more and more in control of the beginning of the sales cycle, it is becoming ever important to keep up with consumer trends. Here 16 facts from sales and marketing experts that will affect your sales and marketing team’s performance:

  1. 5.4 people are involved in the average B2B buying decision” (Source: @kokaSexton) 1salessummit
  2. Social buyers have higher influence, larger budgets, and purchase more. (Source: @kokasexton)
  3. You have a 5x more likelihood of people engaging with you if you’re a thought leader. (Source: @kokasexton)
  4. Close five times more sales by cold calling prospects who are thinking of changing NOT those already searching. (Source: @CraigElias)
  5. 3% of population change jobs each month. 4 things you need to know when they change. (Source: @CraigElias)6salessummit
  6. Executive buyers say salespeople aren’t prepared. (Source: @MarkLindwall)
  7. People are more willing to answer calls from a local phone number than out of town number (Source: @mickhollison via Doug Devitre @dougdevitre)
  8. Email is the preferred communications channel (Source: @mickhollison)9salessummit
  9. Firmographics, demographics, geographics, psychographics, & histographics are five heuristics of neuralytics (Powerball of sales) (Source: via @dougdevitre)
  10. Early morning or late afternoon on Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to contact. (Source: @mickhollison)
  11. Salespeople spend 59% of their time not selling. (Source: @JoinMe)
  12. 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make decisions and choose between vendors. (Source: @kokasexton)
  13. Four out of five sales organizations closed 60% or less of forecasted deals! That’s “MUDA”. (Source:  @sellingtools)16salessummit
  14. What sales reps spend their time on most. (Source: @sellingtools18salessummit
  15. The real cost of every transaction (Source: @sbarmmer17salessummit
  16. The real ROI of CPQ: 105% larger deal size. – @Apttus ROI of CPQ

What does all this mean for you and your sales team? Buyers are extremely knowledgeable and are looking for sales to be a lot more than just “product pusher”. If you want to shorten your sales cycle or revive dead leads in your sales team’s pipeline, you have to stand and add value. But, if you are struggling to get your prospect’s attention, check out how Granite MEDSystems did it after emails, calls and even gift boxes failed to activate dead leads.

Don’t Let Your Direct Mail be Mistaken for Junk Mail: Use Postmark Perfect

There’s a reason so many businesses use direct mail as part of their marketing strategy. Sending direct mail has its benefits: targeted recipient lists, customized messages, and measurable results. Direct mail also has advantages over email:

Businesses that send handwritten notes for B2B and B2C communication are also reaping the benefits. 

Unfortunately, with the pure abundance of perceived “junk mail” in the average American’s mailbox (both work and personal), a lot of direct mail gets tossed in the trash without even being opened. 44 percent of mail recipients throw away their “junk mail” without even reading it (epa.gov)Consumers are becoming savvy to handwritten fonts and metered mail, so you have to make sure your direct mail is personal and authentic. You don’t want your direct mail mistaken for junk mail.

Use these strategies, including Postmark Perfect, to assure your mail gets opened.

An Accurate Postmark Helps Outsourced Handwritten Direct Mail Appear More Authentic:

In a past post, we pondered about whether or not it’s misleading to have someone else write handwritten notes for you (i.e. outsourcing handwritten mail).

The conclusion: the real heart of the message lies in the intent, not who carried out the action.

Just because you’re having someone else write the notes doesn’t mean you don’t want them to be as authentic as possible, right?

After all, the authenticity of the letter impacts how sincere it feels. Your sincerity in turn is part of what builds stronger, more trusting relationships with your business partners, customers and clients. As you know, those relationships are extremely valuable and often key to your success.

So, since a lot of stock lies in your handwritten letters, every component of the letter should be true to you and your business. The stationery, the writing style and the content should reflect YOU!

The following strategies can make your outsourced direct mail look as genuine as possible AND they’ll impress your customers:

1. Personalize the letter

Personalization can enhance a consumer’s inclination to read your direct mail piece by creating a sense of familiarity. It also emphasizes their importance to your business. For example, are you more likely to open an envelope that says “Current Resident” or “[Your Name]”? Most likely, you’ll feel important to the second business and choose to open that mail first. (Entrepreneur.com)

2. Customize the stationery

The first impression you make with a client should be the best impression. If you can’t meet a potential client in person and give them a handshake and a smile, let your stationery make that visual handshake. High-quality, customized business stationery will give you an edge over your competitors. (123print.com)

3. Use real handwriting

In 3 separate studies listed on kiteletter.com

4. Use a third-party mailer such as Postmark Perfect, to have the letter sent from your location.

What is Postmark Perfect?

Postmark Perfect (PMP) is a MailLift specific service. With Postmark Perfect (PMP), MailLift is able to send your letters from your location instead of our offices in Milwaukee or Austin. This way, when the recipient receives the letter, it will have a postmark from a post office near you!

MailLift actually ships the letters from your location. We have distribution all across America. The USPS marks each stamped letter with your local post mark. Other services may offer you the option of shipping the letters yourself, but MailLift has that covered for you. This is some of what makes us the best option for businesses. postmark mail, handwritten letters, handwritten direct mail

Why should I use Postmark Perfect?

The letters are from you. MailLift is acting as your hands, but it’s you at the very core of the letter. PMP allows your letter more authenticity because it’s mailed from YOUR location, not ours.

Plus, assure your mail doesn’t get tossed in the trash because someone noticed the return address and the postmark don’t match up.

How do I request Postmark Perfect?

postmark mail, handwritten direct mail, handwritten letters

Orders of 100 letters or More:

MailLift offers complimentary PMP to one location on orders of 100 letters or more. It’s an additional $5 per location for each additional location.

Orders of 1-99 letters:

You can choose to add PMP to any order of 99 letters or less for $5 per location. Even single letters can be PMP for the $5 add-on charge.

 *MailLift is now offering free PMP for letters being postmarked in Austin, TX; Milwaukee, WI; and San Francisco, CA!

Increase authenticity and go above and beyond to assure your handwritten direct mail is perfect down to the very last detail.

Try Postmark Perfect with your next order of handwritten letters.

Why handwritten direct mail marketing should be added to your email marketing strategy (+ 5 ways to start today)

direct mail marketing, email marketing, marketing strategy, handwritten letters

Macaroni & cheese. Cake & ice cream. Cookies & milk. Peanut butter &well, anything!

Some things are just better together.

Handwritten direct mail marketing and email marketing strategies are two of those things (though I think we can agree they’re not nearly as edible as the rest of that list!)

Adding handwritten letters to your current email marketing efforts increases your response rate, adds a personal touch to your communication, nurtures your leads and boosts your ROI.

But before we jump in to combine these marketing strategies, let’s look at each of them separately.

Email Marketing

Automated email marketing strategies are fantastic tools for B2B and B2C communication. Emails can be personalized, set to go out with certain triggers, and they’re quick and virtually effortless once you have your email marketing plan in place.

Research shows email marketing works:

  • For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment. (Experian 2013)
  • 95% of online consumers use email.(ExactTarget)
  • According to a recent study published by Target Marketing Magazine, the highest scoring form of marketing for B2C and B2B marketers was direct mail. (Truth be told, this may in part be on account of the fact that digital marketing forms are evolving along with the best way to measure ROI, but the power of direct mail cannot be ignored).

But, email has it’s downfalls….

handwritten letters, direct mail marketing, email marketing, marketing strategy

  • 69% of subscribers say that too many emails is the number one reason they unsubscribe from email. (Chadwick Martin Bailey)
  • On average, subscribers receive 416 commercial messages a month. (ExactTarget) With all these emails, your messages can too easily be ignored.
  • 18- to 34-year-olds prefer direct mail (TMR Direct)

 

Direct Mail Marketing

Handwritten direct mail marketing is an effective way to communicate as well as to nurture your leads. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (Hubspot), and companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost (Hubspot).

It’s clear that as a marketer, it is important for you to nurture, nurture, nurture! Where emails can seem impersonal and mass-produced, a handwritten letter offers a personal touch.

An earlier post,6 Clever Ways To Nurture Leads With Your Handwritten Letters” has more on this subject.

The stats support direct mail marketing too:

  • If direct mail is optimized, response rates typically average around 6.5 percent. (TMR Direct)
  • Findings from 2013 show that four-fifths (79 per cent) of consumers act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45 per cent who say they deal with email right away. (CMO Council)
  • Traditional direct mail has an average success or response rate of about 4.4 percent according to the Direct Marketing Association.

 

For Best Results, Use Email Marketing And Direct Mail Marketing Together:direct mail marketing, email marketing, handwritten letters, marketing strategy

Don’t use just email marketing or just direct mail marketing. Use them both!

Integrating handwritten direct mail and email marketing throughout the sales and marketing funnels gets you the best ROI.

In Making direct mail and email work together, Greg Grdodian, EVP of the list management-data solutions group Infogroup/Edith Roman Associates-ePostDirect, says,

“Response increases across the board when direct mail and e-mail are combined in a multichannel campaign. If executed well, it should more than double! This two-ply marketing will strengthen your brand, especially if your marketing campaigns maintain a consistent look or theme across channels. You’ll gain mindshare, and that will lead to greater ROI.”

Additionally, in an article by Katie Smith, Communications Manager at thomsonlocal, she points out:

“Numerous studies have shown that combining email with other communication channels, such as direct mail, increases response rates.  A multi-channel approach can also help increase customer spend by almost 25%, according to research carried out by Royal Mail.”

The tendency in today’s technology driven world could be to put all your marketing efforts into email, but don’t limit yourself to one form of communication.

Try  incorporating these 5 strategies with your current email marketing strategy to add a personal touch and nurture your leads with handwritten letters.

 

5 Ways to Use Handwritten Letters With Your Email Marketing Strategy

1. Re-engage Qualified Leads You Haven’t Heard From In A While:

It’s important to re-engage qualified leads to stay top of mind, so that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll come to you. A carefully crafted letter focussing on how the lead can benefit from your product or services is essential. The letter shouldn’t be about YOU, but rather it should focus on the potential customer. Explain how your product or service would benefit them. A well-timed, well-written letter could be the touch needed to re-engage leads that would otherwise have been lost.

Ideas:

  • Send a time sensitive offer as an incentive to order.
  • Send a letter showing you haven’t forgotten about them and you want to offer your services to help them succeed or solve a problem they might have.

Why this works: Going out of your way to send a handwritten letter shows the qualified lead you care and you are going to show them personal attention. If they haven’t purchased or committed quite yet, use a handwritten note to close the deal.

2. Promotion (Product/Event)

Nobody would show up to your party if you didn’t send them an invite, and the same is true of new products or promotional events. Use a handwritten letter to spread the word. If you have a new product you know the customer would love, or if you are throwing an event from which she will benefit, be sure to let her know! The customer will appreciate the fact that you thought of her. This is a great way to nurture leads and show some love to current customers as well.

Ideas:

  • Handwritten invite to a promotional event
  • Note telling customer about a new product or service you are offering.

Why this works: In a 2012 study, “59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, ‘I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products'” (Epsilon’s 2012 Channel Preference Study). Give the people what they want. Let them know when you have new products or events you’re excited about.

3. Cart Abandonment Stage

Send handwritten letters to valued customers who abandon their carts.Don’t let huge order just sit in a cart! Get them to purchase. An email can be a quick way to followup up, but a handwritten letter offers a different medium. A multi-channel approach touches customers in two ways to remind them about their carts AND to show them some personal attention.

 Ideas:

  • Send a reminder card personalized with information about the customer’s cart.
  • Offer a loyalty program to recover a cart abandoner

Why this works: One of the reasons people abandon their carts is because they start searching for a better price. Tommy Walker, Editor-in-Chief of ConversionXL says,

If a low price cart abandoner starts searching for a bargain, but instead finds a quick win and repeat value through your loyalty program, you’re greatly improving your chances for repeat purchases in the futureAccording to Forrester Research, loyalty program members also spend an average of up to 13% more  and increase shopper annual visits up to 20%.

4. Loyalty Offer

It is important to retain your best customers, so it is smart to offer them something for their loyalty. An email might not be enough to show your gratitude, but a handwritten letter can express your appreciation.

Ideas:

  • Send a thank-you card with a discount offer on the next purchase.
  • Offer loyal customers something only they have access to. For example, a 2-day sale only for loyal customers, or a sneak-peak at new products and the opportunity to purchase before the general public.

Why this works: Loyal customers want to feel appreciated. Offering them something special builds the relationship and lets them know you haven’t forgotten about them in the pursuit for new customers.  

“A handwritten note is worth more than a $100 gift card but probably not more than a $200 gift card.”
Ross McCammon

5. Special Occasions

Show personal attention by acknowledging an important occasion. Sending a handwritten note or card is just another effective way to build a relationship with your customers. People work with and buy from people they like and trust, so acknowledge special occasions and let your customers know you care about them.

Ideas:

  • Send a card after a big life event such as a wedding, buying a new home, or the birth of a child.
  • Send a card a few days before Valentine’s Day reminding them not to forget to get something for their significant other. (Include a gift card for a massage or mani/pedi to really go above and beyond.)

Why this works: Special occasions mean a lot to your customers, so they should mean a lot to you too. Acknowledging important moments in a customer’s life not only shows you care, but it also shows you pay attention and really know your customer. 

These 5 ideas are a great way to start incorporating handwritten letters into your current email marketing strategy. Email is quick and convenient, but handwritten letters are an awesome way to go above and beyond to nurture your leads and your customers.

Use these 5 strategies and start reaping the benefits of incorporating direct mail marketing with your current email marketing strategy.

Nurture your leads and improve B2B and B2C communication by making it more personal with handwritten letters. And, with so many companies relying on email marketing alone, handwritten direct mail can help you stand out among your competitors.

 

For more info about direct mail and email marketing, check out the following links:

Drip Marketing: 8 Infographics That Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know

7 Steps to Effective Direct Mail

Direct Mail Plus Email Improves ROI

 

How To Use Tech To Build Relationships With Clients: 6 Useful Resources For Realtors

building relationships, client relationshipsBuilding relationships with clients is important to success in real estate. But, it can be an overwhelming job to keep tabs on leads, get to know new clients, communicate with existing buyers and sellers and maintain relationships with past clients. These technologies help make that job easier.

1. Refresh

Refresh gives you information about the person you are meeting with or clients with whom you need to communicate.

The Refresh app pulls information from social data as well as info and notes you input after meetings. As a realtor, you know people appreciate making a connection with an agent.

People also like when you remember things about them and show interest. You can improve in both of these areas using the Refresh app. You can have Refresh send messages to your phone so you get fresh reminders right before meeting with a client, new or existing. Building relationships is easier with Refresh.

Download the free app in the iTunes store

2. MailLift

Show clients you care about them by sending a personalized handwritten letter. MailLift, a handwritten letter service, lets you take the credit for thoughtful notes and you can continue building relationships without any hassle.

Send introduction letters to prospective buyers and sellers. Write notes to follow-up and maintain relationships with past clients. Even send a letter to request referrals.

MailLift’s API, CRM integrations and other ordering options make it quick and easy to show prospects and clients personalized attention.

A variety of purchase options are available.

3. Tempo AI

As a realtor, you are often traveling, on the go, meeting with buyers, sellers, brokers and agents anywhere and anytime. Keep yourself informed with Tempo AI.

According to the Tempo AI website, this smart calendar can find directions, drive time, insights about people and companies, or the latest email. You can find a client’s phone number, your flight status, or dial into a conference call.

Tempo AI connects your existing calendars, contacts, emails, documents, and apps to help you succeed even when your schedule gets busy.

Download the free app in the iTunes store.

4. Contactually

Contactually says it is “built with you, the user, in mind, from an engaging user experience, to automatically gather and harvest information, to surfacing the right actions every day that you can use to help grow your business.”

Contactually helps you manage customer relationships with the following features:

  • daily follow-up reminders
  • relationship building progress tracking (weekly stats and relationship grades)
  • email templates
  • article sharing
  • introduction capabilities
  • pipelines
  • contact management

These features can help you land clients, keep strong relationships with existing clients and communicate with other realtors and brokers.

Monthly Plans are available for individuals and teams. Contactually also offers a mobile version for iOS and Android.

5. Sitegeist

Although Sitegeist isn’t directly a customer relationship app, it can be useful when building relationships with buyers.

This mobile app draws on publicly available info to give you an at-a-glance look into your surroundings. The app taps into your location and then provides information ranging from demographics about people and housing to area sports teams and weather.

Buyers want to learn about an area before buying a home. Using this app can show your clients you’re knowledgeable about the location and that you’re interested about their happiness in a new neighborhood. This will do wonders to building a closer relationship.

Download for free in the iTunes store or download in the Google Play Store.

6. FiveStreet

Your leads might be coming in from Zillow, HomeFinder, Trulia, or a number of other online sources. As a busy realtor, keeping them organized can be difficult.

FiveStreet’s website says, “FiveStreet works with your existing lead sources and turns your phone into a virtual command center. Automatically broadcast leads to your team, keep track of who is working a lead, and grow your business.” Not only can the app help you organize lead sources, but it can help you act fast when a new lead comes in.

Features include:

  • automatic emails and/or texts to leads
  • team sharing
  • instant notifications when a lead is claimed
  • reviews of prospect details to keep you informed

FiveStreet has plans for solo agents as well as teams/brokerages.

 

Check out these tech tools to help you build your own client relationships and let us know what you think! If you know other useful apps for realtors, share them with us on Twitter (@Maillift) or on our Facebook page!

 

Additional Posts on Useful Apps and Tech Tools:

http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/01/9-crm-apps-small-business.html

http://www.scribd.com/doc/215101628/App-thology-A-compendium-of-the-best-app-for-today-s-real-estate-professionals

 

 

Is it Misleading to Have Someone Else Write Your Handwritten Notes?

handwritten letters, handwritten notes,

It is generally accepted that telling the truth is good and lying is bad. But, I’m going to pose a moral question: are handwritten notes authentic if you’ve not actually written them?

Ok, before you get out your torches and pitchforks to start roaming the streets looking for some maniac who says it’s ok not to write your own letters, let me explain my position: The meaning of a letter lies in the intent, so even handwritten letters written by another hand are meaningful.

It wasn’t long ago I was confronted with this quandary myself. My husband has the handwriting of a drunken gorilla and he needs to write handwritten letters often for work. He’s a good salesman, can fix and fly airplanes and on and on, but his handwriting is impossible to read.

So, he really has three options: forget handwritten letters altogether, send notes that no one can read or have someone else write them. The first two aren’t really options and the third, well, that might seem like cheating on your 1st grade spelling test (It’s not).

He isn’t the only one either.

There are many who have seen the bright side of  getting someone else to pen their letters for them. Andrew DumontMoz’s super smart Business Development Director, by his own admission doesn’t have the best handwriting. So, while he writes his own content for the notes, he has his partner, pen them for him just because her handwriting is better than his.

Not convinced yet? Here’s another question for you: Is your car any less washed if you don’t wash it yourself? Well the answer is obvious, but let’s start with the person’s intention. In the above example, your intention is to have a clean car. But, you are busy and might not be the best at it, so you hire someone to carry out your intention to wash your car.  

Another way to think about this is dictating a letter to an assistant. You have a message and you picked someone to convey it. You hired out someone to pen the message. The message isn’t any less sincere or any less of your own just as your car isn’t any less clean because you didn’t personally wash it. That all makes logical sense, but it could be argued that you’re tricking someone into believing you took the time to write out a note yourself, making them feel delighted that you, a busy person, took time out of your schedule to write a handwritten note.

Remember the famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet? Romeo feels his love, but he can’t find the words to express them. At night, he recites the words whispered in his ear by his friend to Juliet. Juliet’s heart pounds for every word that falls out of Romeo’s mouth. Though the words were not his own, it didn’t affect his true feelings for Juliet nor did it change Juliet’s affections for Romeo.  

So, why would a handwritten note, with your words, your feelings and your sincerity penned by another human being be any less a truthful and honest connection?

Wow, this is deep for an article that started off about drunken gorillas writing handwritten letters!

But, hopefully you’ve put away the pitchforks and extinguished the torches because the real meaning of a handwritten letter lies in the intent, not in who wrote it.

 

 

Three Strategies to Increase Customer Lifetime Value (Including Many Tips and Tactics)

customer lifetime value, customer retention, upsell

Increasing customer lifetime value is one of the largest priorities for any business since it increases revenues, decreases marketing costs and shortens the sales cycle.

In one of 500.co Distrosnack emails, they sent a quick list of three strategies on how to increase customer lifetime value.

So each of the three strategies is listed below with tips you can put into action today.

Strategy 1: Decrease per customer expenses

Companies that have lowest customer acquisition costs are also ones that have word-of-mouth working for them.

As much as word-of-mouth sounds like “can’t be controlled” or generated, it is very much a deliberate exercise. Companies do spend their time and effort generating and controlling word-of-mouth.

As Renee Warren of Onboardly says, you need to keep an investment mindset. It means you have to invest in your customers, your partners, and your allies. This will help you tap into your customers network, and your partners and allies audience. Here is how you can execute.

Customers:
Just ask them for a referral. You don’t need to set up a complicated referral or an affiliate program.

You can just do something as simple as sending them a feedback email after their purchase or call them. If they are happy or satisfied, you can ask them for a recommendation. Most customers are happy to give recommendations, but very few companies ask for it.

You can mention your customers and their business on your blog, twitter, facebook wherever they are. For example, you can use facebook as a platform to share your customers stories.

You can also mimic what Human’s of New York on facebook is doing. They share one person’s story of struggle and triumph to put a human face to steel and concrete new york.

You can do the same for your customers. You could just share their stories of struggle and triumph. Everybody can relate to those.

Alternatively, share customer stories that relate to your product’s overall philosophy. Showcase customers similar to your target customers. For example, at MailLift we aim to allow people to provide personal experience irrespective of the size of their business.

So, we can showcase customers whose values match ours i.e., customers who believe in building relationships and providing personal experience to their customers.

It can be anybody in sales, marketing, customer support. Create a mix of these stories. Titles and departments don’t matter as much as themes. Stories featuring your products and clients talking about how they are overcoming their challenges can be helpful to others.

Allies and partners:
Write posts on each others blog, promote each other’s products or services. Lots of companies do this. GrooveHQ reached more than 1 million people by guest blogging on Buffer’s blog.

You can also provide special deals. Moz did this early on. They provided customers within partner channels an extended trial of their product. Their standard trial was 30 days, but customers within partner channels received a 90-day trial.

Even better, build a tool that helps their customers and turn them into your customers. This is also a good way to generate buzz for your product.

If you don’t have in-house developer teams who can spare some time to do this, then go ahead and try to do it manually.

It’s okay if you can’t scale the process right now. Just get it to work it successfully. If it generates qualified leads, then you can spend the money to automate the process or turn it into an app or tool too.

Strategy 2: Improve retention

Good customer contact can build good relationships and keep them warm more importantly.

Just like it is easier to grow your revenues from your existing customers than acquiring new customers, it is easier to keep a relationship warm rather than warming them up every time.

Some of the obvious ways of staying in touch with customers in today’s world means email marketing, offers to bring them back, tweets, facebook etc. It’s all about touchy-feely discussions when it comes to taking care of customers.

But Gregory Ciotti of HelpScout has better ideas on increasing customer retention. He shows us that customers do not care how much you engage with them and I agree.

Instead customer loyalty is based on shared values and communication is the key here. Because if your customers are not paying attention to you, then some of your best retention tactics will fail.

Here are my 6 favorite tips from Greg (with my comments and a bonus 7th tip from me) that goes beyond just taking care of customers:

1. Stand for something.

These are the things you believe in how something should be done or not done.

MailLift believes that you should be able to take advantage of adding personal touch to your sales and marketing even if you have become too big for it.

Everlane believes is not over-charging customers for quality and transparency.

Warby Parker believes in providing people glasses at an affordable price and still do good for others.

2. Utilize positive social proof.

Who does this better than facebook.

Have you seen notifications about a friend, or friends who have liked a post just above it in your feed? Or even when you are a blog page, you see X,000 subscribers just above the box.

These are all examples of social proof at work.

3. Utilize surprise reciprocity.

Surprise and delight your customers. Have you ever gotten a second surprise mint from your waiter or put your order on the house because they screwed it up?

Were you surprised? Did it make you smile? Do that for your customers. Make them feel happy. Make them smile.

We had a similar experience with Unbounce.

unbounceservice.png

This can beat any of your expensive customer retention campaigns.

4. Customers enjoy businesses who know them.

If you are talking to customers make it personal. This is when knowing your customers really helps.

If you know your customers, you will be able to talk to them in their language. For example, our customers are usually realtors, people in sales, and people in marketing.

They use direct mail and handwritten letters quite differently. Their everyday jargon is different as well.

While there might be more in common with sales and marketing, their problems and goals are completely different.

This is a 10,000 mile view of your customers. It helps to know whom you are selling to but you also want to know who your influencers, buyers and end users are. Again each of these people will have different problems they are trying to solve and will have different perceptions of the problem even if it is the same problem.

The more granular you can get, the more personal you conversations and communications will be.

5. Get people started.

This one is so simple and yet most businesses miss this. Get people started on a referral program. Sign them up as soon as they purchase your product.

Mike Filsaime of WebinarJam did this really well. He generated 3 million dollars in sales between December 2013 and April 2014.

When people subscribed to his webinar tool, he automatically signed them up to referral program. This is just a minor variation in Dropbox’s now famous growth tool… free space for inviting your friends.

This is so simple and people keep harping on finding ways to grow. Yet people often overlook these tools.

6. Get ideal customers to VIPs/Label your customers.

Make customers feel special. American Express did this really well when they first came out with their Gold cards until everybody in the neighborhood had one.

Another good example is one Greg talked about… Buffer. They call their premium customers “Awesome” members.

Give them a positive name and make them feel like part of the community. While the first one might be easy, the latter takes consistent and persistent work but it’s not hard. It’s definitely not rocket science.

And finally, I would like to add my customer retention tip to this list:

7. Bonus: It starts even before you sell.
This one starts way before your customers already buy from you.

Make sure when you or your sales team makes a pitch to the prospect, you have researched the prospect. You should know who they are both on your website and outside of it.

Your goal is to know their hopes, fears, and dreams as Ramit Sethi would say it. This could be totally specific to this person or you could borrow some from your understanding or customer personas similar to this prospect.

Now craft your pitch for them. As Greg says, “Make it personal.”

A pitch that is personal with value-add specific to their problems will make them use your product longer, or at least avoid feeling buyers remorse and abandoning it.

You don’t need to follow everything. Pick your top 3 to focus on. Even if you are limited on resources, pick one and start doing it today. More resources will open up.

You also want to make sure you provide good support to your customers. Two things to plan for:

  • How you are going to stay in touch with them for the rest of their lifecycle
  • How you are going to communicate with them during a time of crisis. Who is responsible for updating them and how open is your interaction going to be with them.

There are plenty of tools to stay in touch with your customers. Here are few tools and resources you might not have heard of yet or maybe just forgot:

Newsle: You can find where they published, what they are doing etc

MailLift: Yes this is us and while you think we may be biased, sending handwritten notes has definitely shown to improve loyalty and reciprocation. We are not the only ones to believe in this, customer appreciation has earned a lot of word of mouth for companies like buffer and grasshopper.

Really Good Emails: While this is not a tool in the traditional sense, it is really useful to find examples of every type of emails including retention. Alternatively, sign up to Chris Hexton’s Vero blog, he is one of the best in the business will teach you everything you need to know about email marketing.

LinkedIn Recommendations: This tip is from Jeff Haden with a twist. Instead of asking for recommendations, provide your customer with testimonials. This will keep both you and your brand connected and top of mind.

Strategy 3: Upsell.

Everybody knows how to upsell so I am not going to state the obvious and bore you to death. But here are few things that even the most experienced businesses and up-sellers miss.

  1. Don’t try to sell them too many things at once, and customize the upsell based on their past purchases. If you can’t customize the product because of limited tiers in your product, at least customize your pitch.
  2. Don’t constantly bombard them with upsell offers. Use the same principle as you would when you are sharing on social media… one promotional tweet for every 3-7 helpful tweets.
  3. Do not talk about your features. Talk about their problems in the form of a story. Here is a great tip that all copywriters use – AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action). Learn this and memorize it.
  4. If they can’t afford your upsell offer, use payment plan options but don’t give discounts.
  5. If nothing else works, use survey.io to get feedback or just pick up a phone. Here is a tip, if people don’t respond to your upsell emails, send them a handwritten card appreciating their business to warm them up. Then call them.

“Increasing LTV lets you spend on $$ per customer acquisition -> outbid competition -> rule the world.” – Distrosnack.

As you have seen from all the tips, one common key to increasing customer lifetime value is know your customers.

Always focus on your customers no matter how young your business is and how strapped you are for resources. There is always a way to implement these tips on a negligible budget. You are only limited by your creative problem solving.

If you liked this, share this with others too.

Tweet:  Customers do not care how much you engage with them http://ctt.ec/a07xd+ “Customers do not care how much you engage with them.”

Customer Satisfaction: Show gratitude during these 5 critical customer lifecycle stages

Untitled design

Customer appreciation is key to customer satisfaction

Feeling under-appreciated can be a real bummer! You wouldn’t want to hold the door open for someone and have them walk by without a quick thank you. You wouldn’t want to buy a birthday gift for your friend only to have him open it, say nothing, and move on to the next present in the stack. We appreciate gratitude. We appreciate a “thank you ” now and again.

Your customers are no different. Customers want to be appreciated. 

Showing appreciation is an awesome marketing effort. It facilitates communication with your customers and provides a personal touch to the customer experience. Give some gratitude in the form of a handwritten thank you note: boost customer satisfaction and turn customers into loyal fans and evangelists.
Check out how these 5 companies showed customer gratitude at 5 critical customer stages:

1. Engagement – After a Customer Received Tech Support

iContact, customer satisfaction, customer appreciation, handwritten thank you, handwritten letter

iContact realized that tech problems can be frustrating, but some appreciation in the form of a followup thank you just might be the ticket to winning a customer over. 

2. New Customer – After a Customer Signed Up Online

Formspring, customer satisfaction, customer appreciation, handwritten letter                                 

formspring didn’t let a new signup go unnoticed! They let customers know right away that they appreciate them and will go above and beyond to provide a personal customer experience. First impressions are important!

3. New Customer – After a Customer Made a Purchase

Lands End, Customer Appreciation, Customer Satisfaction, handwritten letter, handwritten thank you

Not only did Lands’ End say thank you, but this personalized note also compliments the customer and gives her an idea of what she can buy next. Well done Lands’ End! 

4. Advocacy – After a Customer Gave a Shout Out on a Blog

Grasshopper, customer appreciation, customer satisfaction, customer engagement, handwritten thank you

If someone takes the time to give you a shout out on a blog or on twitter, don’t let that act of evangelism go unnoticed! Say thank you just like Grasshopper did. They showed appreciation for expanding their social media presence.

5. Loyalty – After a Customer Showed Loyalty

Yield Software, customer appreciation, customer satisfaction, handwritten letter, handwritten thank you

Yield Software realized long time customers deserve thanks the most. By telling these customers how much they are appreciated, Yield Software makes the effort to turn a satisfied customer into a loyal fan and evangelist! 

 

A customer who feels appreciated is…

  • more likely to patronize your business again

  • more likely to spread your word as a fan and evangelist

  • more likely to become a loyal, satisfied customer

 

Maybe you’ve never thanked your customers before, or maybe you have but only after they’ve made a purchase. Regardless of past customer appreciation practices, we can all show a little more gratitude.

Pick up a pen and show your customers how much they mean to you wherever they are in the customer cycle. Make gratitude one of your most successful marketing tools for customer relationship management.

Do you have a tip to help increase customer satisfaction? Share it with us @maillift.

Further reading on customer satisfaction