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A rule of marketing is it that it “costs more to convert a new client than it does to get more sales from an existing one”.  Consider existing clients gold; work hard to retain them and get them to become repeat buyers.

Here is a six step roadmap to help with marketing to existing clients:

1. Keep in touch with them! It may sound simple, but you may need to remind them from whom they bought that item or service… and that you are here to service them again. Weekly emails WORK, so do them. Social media works (see roadmap tip #5). Think of this as long term marketing to enhance top of mind awareness. Set up emails to auto distribute weekly to existing clients. Schedule a time every month to write out 4 emails, program your emails into a service such as Constant Contact, and then get back to your other business needs.

2. Always, always, always have a new, next purchase offer available for them. In every shipment or service appointment, enclose the packing slip/receipt with a business card, plus a short term, enticing next purchase offer. Just like with email marketing or a social media post, you can sit down and create a short-term, dated weekly offer and either print them out or use your email system to auto send them.

3. Use the strongest word in the marketing world: FREE. Structure your offers to proffer something for free to entice a call to action, in this case, buying behavior. Free shipping is a current hot offer, particularly for online purchases. Use contingency language or restrictions to be able to economically offer something free, such as buy $100 of product within the next 20 days (insert expiration date) and we will ship yournext order free.

4. Look for more volume in each order. Offers such as the popular BOGO, but customized to be an economic yet attractive offer for our particular products or services.  These can take the form of Buy 1, Get 50% off the 2nd, or Buy 10, Get 2 Free. You need to see what you are able to offer with your own business model. The key is that offers do WORK. The goal is to generate more volume and more awareness from existing customers. Once you get this process working for you, you will find you work less and sell more. How do you learn how to construct these offers? Study the flyers from your local grocery stores for ideas on how you may craft an offer that is compelling and effective. The grocery industry is expert in selling more volume per order.

5. Social media WORKS and it also contains that magic four letter word; it is FREE. Monetizing and tracking the Return on Investment for social media can be a challenge as it may be difficult to connect your efforts to a specific sale.  Keep in mind that the name of the marketing game is awareness, awareness, awareness.  Start your social media program with a Facebook business page.  Research your clients (and prospects) names, find them on Facebook,  ‘like’ them and ask them to be ‘friends’. Many will ‘friend’ you back, building your business awareness. Get serious about your Facebook page.  Use some of the new features, such as timeline, to position your business.  Use it to announce specials, hold contents, solicit feedback.  Include your Facebook link on your flyers, email signature, website, etc.  Consider doing the same with LinkedIn, especially if you are in Business-to-Business (B2B) sales.

6. Measure your offers and see what drives your business success. Leverage tools like Google Analytics to track your online success.  If you are using physical coupons, code them in such a way so that you can track and develop metrics on which offer generated the most sales in volume or dollars.  As you develop metrics, you will begin to see what works. Take the time to record and analyze which offer brought more sales and profit. Continue with the strategies that are generating the behavior you want to see and tweak the ones that do not appear to be working as well.    Be aware of your business and its cycles.  If you are always slow in the summer, ramp up the offers to drive to more business during downturns.

Building awareness of your business and your brand can be challenging, but these 6 steps should help you on your journey.  SCORE counselors are here to help you navigate, so if we can be of assistance, please let us know.

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