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In every small business, attracting new customers is the number one priority, however the cost for marketing and advertising is often more than they can afford

Unfortunately, most small companies lack the sales and marketing experience and make costly mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes of a small business is overlooking their most valuable resource they have available for new customers – their past or present customers.

It can cost as much as five times more to reach prospective customers than to contact existing customers to ask for referrals or to even up-sale additional products or services. With that said, it obviously makes sense to do some creative marketing to your existing customers and their contacts.

Consider your customers needs and your other products and services. Couldn’t your marketing team persuade your customers to do any of the following:

  • Purchase additional products or services;
  • Purchase a different line of products or services;
  • Purchase products or services more often;
  • Purchase accessories, add-ons or upgrade to premium products;
  • Purchase follow-up services or products;
  • Recommend or promote your company to their friends or customers?

If any of  the above option are viable, 0r even a remote possibility, you need to create a promotional campaign in which you a.) continue to remind your customers of all your products and services and b.) keep you company name in front of your customers and finally c.) motivate your customers to buy additional products or services, recommend your products or services or refer new customers to your company.

Now that you have a new direct marketing advertising campaign, make complete communications you focus by continually promoting your company, your products and services and asking for referrals. One of the most powerful tools in this campaign is having the owner or President of your company make a personal phone call or an actual sales call on your current customers, past customers and your highly targeted prospects.

Now compare that strategy to the standard direct mail or email campaign with a canned message to a mass audience in the hope that some prospects may become customers. An obvious caveat is the cost to a small business for a direct mail campaign to prospective customers can be expensive and may not produce results desired.

This direct marketing advertising campaign strategy will work for every type of business from the smallest home-based company, to the major big box stores. Consider the amazing amount of money that is spent on mailing catalogues to previous purchasers by the major companies such as Sears. These companies have the money to research strategies and determine which ones work and which ones fail. It is obvious that they have determined that previous and current customers are the most cost-effective prospects to contact for future purchases.

The cost to small business using the direct marketing advertising campaign to 100, or even 1,000 past customers is very small, and the benefits in terms of your return on investment can be huge.

Even though you should be constantly thinking of reasons to contact your customers, you must have a valid reason to make that contact. If you offer sage and valuable advice, tips or information of value to your prospective or current customers you can assume that the contact is viable and welcome. In addition, advance notice of sales, special offers, staff changes or new products are viable reasons for contact. In those messages you can create an interesting story and combine incentives for additional purchases.

Remember, a message to your previous or present customers with something as simple as ideas for new ways to use your product, a timely holiday greeting, or birthday card will imbed your company name in the minds of valuable customers and prospects.

Relationships are one of the most valuable assets your company can have and cannot be bought with money. You should make the direct marketing advertising campaign one of the most important aspects of your business operations.

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