The goal of any business using the Internet to compete for a potential customer’s dollars, is to create a message that resonates strong enough with that consumer that they actually hand that money over. That message of course varies from company to company based on the product they offer, as well as what a customer is looking for. Hopefully, ever company has its own niche figure out, with its own differentiating factors that are going to resonate with someone out there, otherwise you won’t be in business long.
Any good business person knows that its significantly cheaper to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. So in a tough economy, what are you doing to keep your customers spending money? PPC advertising is great at driving new customers, and can be pretty cost effective, if managed correctly. How about email marketing? Anytime you purchase something online, those business collect your email and then bombard you with email newsletters featuring the next sale or incentive to buy.
My personal email inbox is flooded with business newsletters that I rarely read. They are typically sent to frequently and their message is rarely compelling enough for me to make another purchase, solely because they’ve sent me an email. (Warning, I do have some bias with this upcoming example of a successful online marketing campaign)
However, the other day, I first received a piece of direct mail from a company, promoting a new fundraising campaign. Several days latter I received an email with a direct subject line “Help Gonzaga Students” with a brief call to action to visit a site. Well, alright, you have my attention, I’ll hear you out. What followed was a brief video featuring the president of the school who is really the face of the University, touting how great a school Gonzaga is, and reinforcing a message to alumni and past donors that we are all too familiar with, because we lived that “brand” for 4 (or more) years of our lives. Once the video is complete, you are given the option to donate, learn about the school’s annual campaign
While some companies may have a message that is more easily defined than others, and a “customer” base that may be easier to convince than others (Most people have very strong affiliations for their colleges, making them easier to convert when looking for donations, volunteer assistance, etc.) the bottom line is that every company should try to build some sort of engagement with their current customers. Based on the number of emails that go straight to my delete bucket, few I see as a company trying to speak to me as a valued customer. Do the research, figure out why people buy from you, and then hit that message home.
I’m interested in hearing your opinions on other companies out there that do a great job with this, and maybe those that fail miserably.