Monday, March 1, 2010

Clients for Life with Cards

Letter Carrier Collecting Mail

Many types of businesses use greeting cards as a way to build relationships with their clients. Some of these greeting cards simply go out on a regular basis and include coupons or discount vouchers, but some smaller businesses can really keep their clients happy with personalized greeting cards sent at just the right time. People who benefit most from greeting cards are those who depend on building up a client base or those who depend on word-of-mouth advertising, including insurance agents, real estate agents, and even small town hairdressers and tailors.

If you are an independent agent or if you own your own small business, the idea of sending greeting cards to all your clients at just the right time might seem completely overwhelming. After all, you have to take care of all your regular marketing needs, keep your business running, and deal with the clients who are in front of you now. However, you can’t afford to miss out on the way that regular greeting cards can keep you at the forefront of your clients’ minds and build you a client base for life.

There are many different ways that you can send greeting cards to your clients or potential clients, but it’s important that you connect with people during times that they’re open to the connection. During holidays and birthdays, people are likely to appreciate the fact that you took time to send a card. If you’re in a position to know about things like graduations and new births, you can even send greeting cards for these occasions. Your clients will be very impressed that you thought of them during these less typical  times, and they’ll certainly appreciate the fact that you know a bit about their lives beyond just the parts that you deal with directly.

If sending out a hundred Christmas cards to your clients each year seems overwhelming, consider sending cards at off times of the year and splitting your cards between different clients. For instance, send out fifty cards around the Fourth of July,Tucker Corporation Christmas Card, 1947 and send out fifty more before the holidays around Thanksgiving. At any rate, this can also help you avoid some of the “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” dilemma that confronts you during the month of December.

Also, you can easily set up a system for sending out birthday cards to clients at the beginning of each month. This has the advantage of splitting up your card sending responsibilities into manageable amounts, and you may even be able to write in personal messages if you only have to send ten or fifteen cards each month. Plus, your clients will love getting birthday cards since almost everyone is used to getting special attention around his or her birthday.

At any rate, greeting cards pose an affordable option for keeping in touch with many of your former clients. The relationships that you have with these people – whether they are ongoing or one-time – will be invaluable in keeping your client base solid and in getting the word out about your business to many other potential clients.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Keep Them Coming Back with Greeting Cards

If you’re in a networking business, real estate, or a financial firm, one of your main goals will be to maintain customer relationships. It’s not like you’re a grocery store where people will show up often because they always need a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs. You need to work harder to keep your clients thinking about your business so that they come back, and you need to work hard to build a sterling reputation so that word of mouth advertising expands your business more than anything else would. One way to maintain these close ties with your clients and to keep them coming back to your business time and time again is to use greeting cards.

Thanks from CNNThere are many different ways that you can use greeting cards, and there are many appropriate times to send them to your clients. Overall, though, the more personalized the cards are, the more likely your clients will be to sit up and take notice. Also, sending greeting cards in a timely fashion will help you make sure that your clients really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

One great time to send a greeting card is to a new client who has just switched his or her business to you. If a homeowner has listed her home with you, send her a card thanking her for the business. If an investor has started using your investment services over the services of another financial firm, send him a thank you note. The point of these cards isn’t, Thanks ;)of course, to point out how the client is much better off with you, anyway, but to show the client that you do appreciate his or her business and that you’re willing to work to make him or her happy.

You can also use greeting cards to alert clients of special deals. If you have a decent client base built up, maybe you could send greeting cards to everyone who has been with your business for several years, offering them a thank you for sticking by you for so long and some sort of discount or special deal as a way to thank them for their loyalty. Again, this will simply remind clients that you are thoughtful and that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them, which will easily turn five years of loyalty into several decades.

Merry Christmas from Your MilkmanOf course you can always send clients cards around the holidays, too. This is a prime time for sending out deals, thank you notes, and notes of encouragement or appreciation. You could send a traditional Christmas card or a more generic winter holiday card. Alternatively, you could get your cards in the mail early in November in time to arrive for Thanksgiving. This holiday is usually overlooked for card giving, but cards that come at this time are more likely to be noticed simply because the mailbox won’t be flooded with Christmas greetings from friends, family members, and other businesses. Sending your cards at a unique time is a great way to be sure your clients notice your thoughtfulness.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ways to Personalize Marketing Greeting Cards

Marketing greeting cards can be a great way to maintain contact with your clients, to form relationships with new and potential clients, and to make sure that people are speaking well of you and spreading word of your business in a wonderful way. However, many marketing greeting cards are pretty bland and predictable, and some people get more annoyed at the cards that stuff up their mailboxes than they are appreciative of the thoughtfulness of their banker, real estate agent, or whoever else.

dr steve If you really want to impress your clients, you should send greeting cards with a personal twist. There are many ways that you can do this, and most of them aren’t even too complicated. Just to get you started, here are a few ideas.

First off, try sending the greeting cards at unexpected times. Everyone gets an influx of cards in their boxes throughout the month of December, but consider sending cards for Thanksgiving or just after the New Year. These cards will be more appreciated simply because they’ll be more noticeable. They won’t end up getting lost in the shuffle, and they can also extract you from some of the politically correct awkwardness that comes around all the religious holidays at the end of the year.

Next, try creating greeting cards that really say something about you and your business. You might try putting a family picture on the front of the card or putting a picture of you and all your staff and coworkers inside. This way, if people don’t recognize your name off the bat, they’ll remember your face and understand why you’re sending them a card. Plus, letting people know that you have a lovely family or a good relationship with your coworkers and staff can help them form a positive image of you, which will only aide in your efforts to form good client junk

You can also personalize cards by put your own handwriting in them and including personal details of your clients and customers. For example, a real estate agent could comment on the new paint or front garden in a home she recently sold that she happened to drive by recently. You can also make inquiries about people’s family members, and using names will seriously help the relationship along. In fact, as often as you can, address each family member by first name. The fact that you even remember first names will be a big deal for your clients, let alone the fact that you took time to write to the family in a personalized card.

Finally, whenever you do a mailing, try to use the real cards that come in envelopes and don’t look like just another sales ad to be thrown into the recycling bin. Using pretty cards, even if you know that you bought them cheaply, can be a great way to make your business look good and to make your greeting card seem even more thoughtful. Plus, people are more likely to read a nice looking card that comes in a envelope.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Referral of a Lifetime

I came across a great book - "The Referral of a Lifetime" by Tim562 Templeton. He shares a system for building a business on continuing relationships with customers and "center of influence" referral sources, and referred customers.   A good portion of the book refers to using cards and gifts to build and maintain these relationships.

Every good salesperson knows the two best customers to work with are a customer who is happy with a previous purchase from you and a referred customer. If you work with these people properly, you will have overcome the huge hurdles of winning the customers trust and have at least the seeds of relationships. If you offer valuable products and services to people who like and trust you, the sale is vastly easier than making sales to cold leads.

The book is the story of Susie McCumber, a salesperson who is ready to quit from frustration with cold calling. Susie's friend, Chuck Krebbs, who owns the California Coffee Cafe and Bistro, introduces Susie to David Highground. David Highground becomes Susie's mentor in learning how to build a referral-based business. Other former students of David’s spend time with Susie showing her how they have adapted the system to their individual personalities and use the system to build successful businesses.

The system is built around the Golden Rule - doing good turns for others  and building relationships.

You build a database of people that you know or meet. Rank them ABC, according to how enthusiastic they are about you, especially how much they refer clients or customers. Provide excellent service and become known as a reliable, friendly person. Keep in touch consistently, personally and systematically. Express appreciation to your customers and contacts regularly through cards and gifts.

By building relationships and doing good turns for others, you earn the "hall pass" to ask for referrals.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Birthday Card System

If you rely on greeting cards as a marketing tool for your business, you may already send out thank you cards and holiday cards on a regular basis. Have you ever thought of expanding your card marketing system by adding in birthday cards? People love to get cards around their birthdays, no matter who they’re from, and you can easily add in little birthday extras that will bring your clients back again and again. The key to sending birthday cards to all your clients, though, is to have a system set up to make it all easier.

birthday cards from my coworkers

First off, start by organizing your client’s birthdays. This is pretty easily done using some sort of contact manager. All you need is the client’s name, birthday, and address. An easy way to collect birthdays (besides simply asking for them) is to have a sign up sheet. It is always easier to get the birthday if you don’t ask for the year.

Once you have this set up, you need to get your card system ready. It will be easier for you if you just pick out one card format for each year and create a campaign for it, but if you want to make them a little more personal for special clients, you can always pick up smaller campaigns of more individualized cards. Set aside a little time to work on the birthday cards. Messages with a personalized font will always make a bigger impression. At the very least, you should include your own signature.

Then, simply set up your card system to send out cards in large groups on the first of the month or near the middle of the month. Over time, sending out greeting cards for birthdays will become automatic, and with the right system you can computerize it to do most of the work for you. Don’t forget to add new clients to your birthday card list as your business grows because all of your clients will very much appreciate being thought of around their birthdays.

For special clients include a gift.  A good card system will allow you to send gift cards and other gifts automatically with the cards.

Eventually, you’ll get a system down pat that works for you, and you’ll be able to send out birthday cards on time every month. This will keep your clients coming back for more, and it will help your business grow.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Network Marketing Greeting Cards

New: greeting cards!Network marketing is really less about selling a product than it is about building and maintaining relationships with a whole lot of people. While it’s impossible to have truly close relationships with twenty, fifty, or a hundred people, it is possible to maintain some level of connection. If you’re moving up in the network marketing world, you’ll have more and more people underneath you in the marketing scheme, and greeting cards can be a great way to stay in touch with those who are essentially helping you make money. If you need to get more leads for your marketing campaign, you can also go with greeting cards.

Essentially, sending out greeting cards presents you as a person who truly cares about the people he or she works with. In network marketing, your image is everything because it’s what sells the idea behind the product that you’re selling. If you can improve the image of you that those who are below you in the network marketing scheme hold, you’ll do a better job of forming solid relationships and contacts that last a lifetime. Besides this, if you make yourself seem more accessible, those who are working with you will be more likely to come to you with questions, which means they’ll be less likely to drop out of the network marketing company.

Obviously you can’t send cards to everyone for every single thing that happens in their lives. You need to prioritize. Maybe you send out holiday cards to all of your contacts in December but focus on sending birthday cards, anniversary cards, and congratulations cards to those who are closest to you in the network marketing scheme. These people, after all, are the ones upon whom you are most depending, so you should definitely focus on maintaining relationships with them.

Each time you send out a card to your network marketing contacts, be sure that it’s personal without being overly pushy. If you have a small enough group of contacts, write a personal note in each greeting card, and try to focus on praising your contacts for what they’ve done over the past year, six months, or whatever. You may even want to include a picture of your family or the workers at your office, which will give people faces to go with the names that they’ve been hearing. This is especially useful for contacts that you’ve never actually met.

When you’re giving cards to your closer contacts, be sure to step it up a notch. Maybe instead of simple postcards with a one-line note from you, you should send a beautiful card in an envelope with a longer note about what you’ve appreciated about that person over the past year or so. Kind words – as long as they are heartfelt and true – will serve to build up relationships more than almost anything else, so you can definitely keep your most important network marketing relationships going by thoughtfully using greeting cards and words that actually mean something. Focusing on other people is really how network marketing ends up bringing benefits back to you, anyway.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Below is a nice essay about why don't businesses invest just a little in their customers and create raving fans. A card on a customer's birthday could create a person that directs thousands of dollars of new business to a company.

As I write this, all day long, it’s my birthday. I’ve gotten emails and tweets and Facebook wishes from friends. And I’m grateful to know they’re all thinking of me.

But what about the companies and products and services I have relationships with? Why aren’t they taking this perfect, regular, anticipated, ego-full chance to single me out from the crowd and make me think of them on my birthday? (Tactics aside…)

Why doesn’t iTunes send you a code for 1 free 99cent song on your birthday?

What if Dunkin Donuts gave you free coffee on your birthday, in a special birthday cup that people will notice (and remark on) when you walk in to the office?

Imagine if GoDaddy offered you, Birthday Girl, any 1 of these 10 available variations of your name, today only, for 1 year, free.

What if Twitter put a cupcake icon on your profile. lick and see a live list of everyone who said “Happy Birthday @neilhimself !” that day.

It’s not just about free stuff and attention from followers. It’s about a business making up their minds to have an ongoing relationship with you, to invent fun ways to delight you, and mostly about following through in a way you’ll tell your friends about.

Happy birthday.

Megan Casey is Editor in Chief of