One of the things that always seems to come up when we are working with a company, especially when we are sending out their newsletters is this, “We want new customers, so why are we sending the newsletter out to our current customers? We have their business already.”
This is one of the most serious misconceptions you can have. In many ways marketing to your current customers is the most important form of marketing you can do. And to emphasize this point, here are seven reasons why you have to market to your own customers:
- To keep them informed about your company. To let them know what you are up to. To tell them about any new innovations you have come up with. Any new equipment you have purchased, Any, new people you have hired. Any new technologies you have learned and now offer and what new Quality specifications, registrations, and qualifications you have earned.
- To remind them that you are alive and kicking. There are customers you talk to every day while others only once in a while. It is good to remind them that you are still around and open for business.
- To automatically stay in touch with them. Yes, I know, you’ll say that you talk to your customers all the time. But often you talk to them and they don’t hear what you are saying. Years ago, I was the director of sales and marketing for a high-tech board shop. We were fabricating cutting edge technology PCBs out of Kevlar, Copper Molybdenum, Thermount, and Copper-Invar-Copper. The problem was that our largest customer, a very large defense and aerospace customer, did not know it. When they had started buying from us years before they had qualified us for simple epoxy single, double sided and six-layer PCBs. It was only after an extensive site visit that they finally realized our true capabilities and yes, started giving us the right type of technology business. Meanwhile we had lost literally millions of dollars of business over the years because, and here is the important part, they had never heard our poor sales guy who had been telling this for years.
- You make them feel good about buying from you. It’s a known fact in advertising that one of the most important aspects of advertising messaging is to make current customers feel good about using your product or service. Speaking from personal experience. I not only love those great Jeep commercials, but they make me feel like I am part of the Jeep family. And oh yeah, they also make me drool when the new models come out. I have promised my wife that I would keep my brand new looking four door 2012 Wrangler, but I almost caved when I saw the new truck version!
- Speaking of making you feel like part of the family, that is a great reason to market to your own customers. It’s to make them feel like they are part of your “tribe” as Seth Godin calls it. You want them constantly reminded of what a great thing it is to be part of your tribe. That is probably the most important reason to send newsletters to your own customers. It gives you the constant opportunity to solidify your relationships with your customers. This is especially true when you are dealing with a very specific technology or service. Something your customers actually want to be kept abreast of.
- To establish your position as the experts in your technology. To create the feeling among your customers that you are their expert partner when it comes to the products that you are selling to them.
- To continually have your customers’ attention. By having a regular newsletter that your customers can count on, you assure yourself that you have their attention, that they are reading and listening and most importantly hearing you. During the recession of 2008 I was working with several companies that literally survived through their newsletters, which in a way actually became “sales flashes” which we would send out to increase our sales. These were filled with very focused merchandising offers to get them to place orders sooner than they would have normally. We actually saved these companies by doing this.
And one more in the spirit of under promising and over delivering…
8. A newsletter amongst other marketing is an excellent way to stay in front of your customers, to let them know you are alive and well during a crisis, or shall we say a Pandemic. Newsletters and other forms of marketing from webinars to columns, to white papers and interviews have been vital for staying in front of customers when you cannot visit them in person. If that is not the most important reason to market to your current customers, then I don’t know what is. It’s only common sense.