Tag Archives: keeping in touch with your customers

Keeping In Touch With Your Customers

It’s all well and good getting people to find your website but what happens next?

Ideally, assuming you’re in business, you’d like them to buy something from you. But that doesn’t often happen with a first time visitor. It’s a bit like window shopping – unless they have a pressing need that must be met now, chances are your potential customer will want to mull things over first.

So, unless you’re solving an immediate problem such as a burst pipe, failed electrics, toothache or whatever, you need to find some kind of way of keeping in touch with potential customers and wooing them.

Before the internet came along, the main way you had of keeping in touch with your customers was through the post. A newsletter or something similar, delivered by post on a regular or irregular basis. Some companies still do this because it still works as a method. But the internet makes it a lot cheaper to contact current or potential customers on a “personal basis”.

If you only have a handful of customers, you could do this with your email program, sending each email indidivually. But once you get even a few dozen customers, this gets impractical.

Fortunately, there are services out there that allow you to send personalised emails to your customers for a monthly fee.

Don’t be tempted to install a program on your own web host. Sending emails on a regular basis isn’t that simple and it’s just not worth the time and effort making sure they all get delivered to your customer’s inbox rather than their spam folder. And it’s definitely not worth the time and effort dealing with spam complaints which, in some cases, could even get your website hosting shut down. Web hosts are on such slim profit margins that they usually take the view that you’re guilty of spamming until you can prove your innocence. Not good if you want your website up and running to get custom.

The same goes for free email services. Because they’re free, they will attract spammers like moths to a light, regardless of anything they might try to tell you to the contrary.

Treat customer contact as a business expense the same way as you rent your telephone, pay the post office to deliver your mail, etc.

Fortunately, customer contact is a service that can pay for itself. Done correctly, it will pay its way over and over again.

These services are called autoresponders.

They allow you to send out messages to your customers, either on a predetermined schedule or on demand.

Most of them will allow you to set up more than one message sequence. This makes them ideal for customer support after they’ve bought something from you. Chances are you know the after sales questions your customers come up with. These can be written once and sent out on a schedule starting as soon as your customer has bought a particular product.

The messages can be made personal, so you can include the customer’s name and other details. Unless you knew otherwise, they look as though you’ve sent the message personally.

The other main use of autoresponders is to send out a “broadcast” message. This works by sending out a new email to your customers either immediately or scheduled for a specific time and date. So if you’re going to have a sale starting next week, you can set a broadcast message to go out a day or two ahead to let your customers know.

If you run a business that peaks and troughs in demand – maybe a restaurant or maybe just regular seasonality – then this kind of service can be a great way to bring in more customers at an otherwise slack time. Maybe by offering a discount, something free or a bonus of some sort when customers spend more than a certain amount.

You can also use it to encourage your customers to recommend a friend – you’ve almost certainly had offers of a voucher when you introduce a friend to a service you’re using but they aren’t. Pick these offers apart and re-work them for your business.

Used correctly, an email autoresponder service is worth its weight in gold for keeping in touch with your customers. You’re in control of the contacts and can make them as often as you like. That said, make sure you don’t hassle them too often – there can be too much of a good thing.

To my mind, there’s only one company worth using to keep in touch with your customers: Aweber. They’re based in America but deliver emails worldwide and work with all the different email services to ensure your mail gets delivered. They also take care of the spam side of things, unsubscribes (when people change direction and no longer want to receive your messages) and all sorts of other behind the scenes details like the sign up form you use – see the one on this site for an example.

And if you need help with your email campaigns, we’d be happy to help with that. Just contact us and we’ll help you with your email campaign.