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A Forgotten Secret Marketing Tool
By Terry Williams
I have been marketing online for a couple of years and it never
ceases to amaze me that this one marketing tool is seldom used
and remains to be an effective Secret Marketing Tool. What am I
referring to you ask? Well let me tell you! I have received
hundreds of responses to my marketing efforts and many reply
with the same comments in regards to follow up. Yes FOLLOW UP!
This is the Secret Marketing Tool that many businesses forget
and don't use it to their potential.
Follow Up Marketing takes on two separate entities. First there
is follow up with your existing customers and second, there is
follow up with your potential customers. Many online marketers
out there do not use these two tools to their benefit and it
probably costs them thousands of dollars every year in sales and
profits. So lets take a look at these two methods of marketing
and find out how to use them to your benefit in your marketing
efforts. Follow Up With Existing Customers
There have been quite a few studies completed on this topic and
the underlying message they reveal is that many businesses do
not follow up with their existing customers. Take a moment with
a piece of paper and pencil and figure out your advertising and
marketing costs. Make a list of where you advertise your product
or service. Most of you will have on your list, newsgroups,
online classified sites (both free & paid), newsletters, web
sites, banner advertisements and also regular newspaper
Now just take one of these advertising mediums. For example,
newsgroups, since thousands currently advertise on them and they
are free. Well not necessarily! Even though it doesn't cost you
to place the ad, there are other costs you must consider. There
is your Internet Access, your time to write the advertisement
and sales letters and your time to access the newsgroup and
place the advertisement. So lets say, for example, that it costs
$19.95 for Internet Access and 10 hours to write your
advertisement and sales letters and 1 hour to access and place
your advertisement on the newsgroup. Bill your time at $20/hr.
That totals $239.95. That's quite a bit of money right!
Now lets say you make some sales and created $500 in profits
from those sales only considering the cost to produce and ship
your product. Now take out the advertising and marketing costs
of $239.95 and you made $260.05 in profits for those customers.
Not bad for one day! But don't forget about the $239.95 as it
cost you that amount to get those customers. The point here is
that it costs every business quite a bit of money to create a
sale and a customer.
Now you just added a new product to your product line and begin
to advertise it just as your other product. Those costs we just
discussed might be a bit lower as you don't have to spend as
much time on preparing advertisements and sales materials since
your getting better at advertising and marketing. But your
response might be lower, because it is a new product, increasing
the costs of advertising and marketing the new product.
Why not lower your costs and have a better than average chance
to produce more sales? How you ask, by FOLLOWING UP with your
current customers. Don't you like to shop at the same places?
Yes we all do because if we are treated right and received a
good product or service, then we will come back and buy again
and again and again. However, many online businesses seem to
forget to send out a mailing to their own customers! These are
people who determined that your initial product and company were
better than your competition and bought from YOU! So ask them to
buy again! You can make special offers to existing customers or
whatever marketing offer you want, but DO NOT FORGET THEM. You
increase your chances of repeat sales which will lower your
advertising costs and create more profits!
Simple, effective and powerful, following up with your
customers WILL produce results.
Follow Up With Potential Customers
Now the second piece of the secret, following up with
prospects. This is where I get quite a bit better closure ratio
than I do from my initial offer. I receive responses every day
telling me that they became my customers mainly because they
received some follow up. My customers go on to tell me that they
look at many different offers and many businesses just email the
information and they never hear from them again, while I take
the time to follow up a number of times. Many potential
customers like this type of carefully planned, understanding
marketing technique. It shows that you are concerned about your
business and want to create happy customers instead of looking
for the quick buck.
You need to take some time and make some initial decisions in
developing your follow up process as you don't want to make your
prospects feel as if they are being harassed or pushed into
making a decision. So let me give you a few tips to go about
following up with potential customers that I have found very
1. Determine the number of times you want to follow up with
each prospect. Base your decision on your pricing and degree of
difficulty in explaining your product or service. A general rule
of thumb is the higher the price and complexity of your product
or service the more times you will need to follow up.
2. Determine how often you want to follow up. The same rules
above apply here. You want your prospect not to forget about you
but you also want them to have some time to consider your offer.
3. Set up a follow up tracking system. Make a system of
exactly how you are going to set up your follow up system and
how to keep track of what your are doing and where you are at
with each prospect.
4. Develop your follow up letters. Take some time and
carefully write these letters. You want to pass along to your
prospects that you are only trying to ensure they fully
understand your product and offer so they can make an informed
buying decision. Don't use hype, just provide facts and possibly
add bonuses or special offers. Remind them they were interested
in your product or service and requested information in the
beginning of your letter and make your subject in the email
something that refreshes their memory of your product or
service. This will make sure they don't think you are sending
them unsolicited emails.
5. Your last follow up letter. In this letter make sure you
thank them for considering your product or service and let them
know it will be the last letter they receive from you and take
them out of your follow up files. If they want you to continue
they will let you know.
6. Always honor the prospects request. If they ask for more
information then by all means provide it and if they ask to be
removed then make sure you do just that. If you don't, you will
have just created some very bad press and they will let their
friends know about it. Remember a happy customers tells 3 and a
mad customer tells 10 and on the Internet you might even
multiply that by thousands.
So there you have it a simple and effective marketing technique
that is easily implemented and can produce incredible results.
Don't let this become "A Forgotten Secret Marketing Tool".
Terry Williams, President of Terry Williams & Associates, a
Glendale, Arizona based web site design and marketing firm that
specializes in home based and small businesses is also the
author of "Discover Online Marketing Success: Electronic
Marketing Success Secrets" which provides many other profit
making tools and techniques. To receive more details send a
blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Terry also publishes a
Free Bi-Monthly Newsletter "Internet Marketing Issues". To get
your free subscription visit:
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Tags: Sales and Marketing