If someone asks you the way to the high street do you give them directions or suggest that Acacia Avenue is nearer?
It is hard not to be prescriptive when something seems self-evident. But let me give it a go.
It can be useful to use information you have on a customer or email prospect for other purposes. No, that’s a bit too woolly. How about: it is unlikely that your customers have exhausted their needs? Well, perhaps not.
It seems to me the least prescriptive I can be is: You must use every bit of information on your customers to promote your goods or services. That is, I’m afraid, about as open-ended as I can get.
There is a reluctance, an understandable one, to share personal details with a faceless company. And one of the few disadvantages to email marketing sales campaigns is the fact that there is limited personal contact. It has advantages of course, the main one being that every word or phrase is controlled so a fraught and wordy across-the-counter encounter is impossible.
As you know, information is everything, but what to do whilst you are building your email list?
Some relevant information is already available. Say you have just sold a 30 metre yacht and you are in the process of building it. Do not be overwhelmed by the profits of that one sale – if there are any nowadays. Go for more. Wring every bit of advantage from it.
Think of what such a yacht owner needs, apart from a reality check of course. At a discrete time before delivery, both his and your attention should be turned towards chandlery. You’ve built the thing so presumably know where he’s going to steer it. With that information you should be able to work out what he will want to fill the empty cupboards with. Offer a discount on some aspect. Or even the Champagne to launch the thing.
If you have an arrangement with a specialist insurance company, why not an offer of a free month. The on-costs of yacht ownership might well be coming as a shock so think of ways to save him money. And to make some for yourself.
Put a ‘trigger’ in your email marketing list to segment it for the annual renewals. Make sure you organise the GPS and include the date the contract expires. Record what level of service they have and then push for an upgrade. Given the seasonal nature of sailing as a hobby, a number of your contacts might have contracts up for renewal around the same time. Why not use this as a trigger for a specific email marketing campaign.
If this customer buys some object that is only required for competition then you might consider offering your servicing facilities before the racing season starts. When the end draws nigh, your repair dock could well be just the thing.
The lifestyle, needs and desires of the yachting fraternity are a closed book to me but I’ve done a bit of crewing so I know that if they ask for charts of the Scottish Islands, there might well be a yellow Post-It label on their fridge with ‘extreme wet-weather gear’ written on it. Not only should you mention the offer on your specially selected range of protective clothing but should include a virtual Post-It in your email database.
If they buy a cocktail shaker then it is the shirt option: T, polo and rugby. With, of course, seasonal reminders of this year’s fashions.
Be open and above board when making your email offers. Do not spook them with the appearance of knowing what they are going to do before they do. Take the shock away with a prefix to any email offer along the lines of: Thank-you for your recent purchase of Advanced Racing Tactics. We wondered if you were aware of our special offer on approved safety devices.
Remember: one sale is not enough.