Fight for Your Customers With Direct Mail

Business has never been more cutthroat. There’s always someone who can do what you do more cheaply. There’s always someone who can offer customers more. Every day, your competition tries to lure your customers away with a constant battery of ads and calls and direct mail.

What’s your counterattack? How are you working to keep the customers you have?

From a strictly dollars-and-cents perspective, it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one. How much you’ll save varies by industry, but general estimates say it costs 5-10 times more to woo that new customer than to keep your old customer happy and sell them additional services. This is particularly true with banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. With so many services, there are always ways to up-sell and cross-sell.

But you can’t do that if you’re losing customers left and right.

The trick to keeping existing customers is to treat them like new customers. It’s like the honeymoon phase in relationships, when you’re both trying so hard to impress each other. Eventually, that newness fades and you fall into a comfortable rut. Well, comfortable for you. Your customer is looking for you to rekindle that spark and go back to that same level of service and commitment.

Meanwhile, your competitor is wooing your customer with promises of lower prices, better customer service and a free toaster if they sign up now.

One of the simplest ways to keep customers happy is to stay in touch. And not just with offers to buy more stuff, either. Here are a few simple direct mail ideas you can (and should!) be using to keep the magic alive with your customers:

Send customer satisfaction surveys-then do something with the information you get. People want to feel like their voices are being heard, but make sure you use the information you gather from these surveys, or you’re wasting everyone’s time.
Remember their anniversaries. Make the milestones count. Whether that’s celebrating their birthday, two years with your company or a major purchase like a mortgage, send a simple letter thanking them for their business and looking forward to the future.
Surprise them. What would delight your customers? What would make them happy? Maybe it’s a coupon, but maybe it’s simpler than that-noticing some way they can save money, going above and beyond on a service. Whatever you do, send something to your customers out-of-the-blue. You might be surprised by their loyalty in return.

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