January is a good time for reflection on the past year and making adjustments to your business strategies for the upcoming year. The following are four items for your consideration.
When you’re feeling stuck with your business and like you don’t know which way to turn to seek out new customers, look to partners. With each year I am in business, I believe more and more that partner relationships are a huge key in running a successful business. No matter how small in scale the partnership is, it can reap huge benefits for your (and their) business. Even if the two of you simply swap blog posts once a month, your businesses are introduced to entirely new audiences that you both might not have otherwise been introduced to were you not cross-blogging. Besides gaining a new blogging audience, you’re also gaining new, unique content for your blog that you don’t have to write!
2. Spend more time out on the floor.
Though I always practice an open-door policy welcoming any of my employees into my office whenever they need me (unless I’m in a meeting), I realize that there is a separation between us, simply because I’m not in the same physical room as most of them on a regular basis. Being in a different office, I miss out on the little day-to-day interactions and getting a first-hand look at how everyone interacts. So lately I’ve been working out on the floor for a good part of the day. I’ve also found that my employees will ask me questions, ask for my help or opinions more often when I sit out on the floor — which is something I enjoy. I definitely plan on making a habit of it in 2015.
3. Be adventurous with your marketing strategies.
With something as ever-changing as marketing, you have to have an adventurous attitude towards the whole thing. Since no one really knows the best formula (as it is constantly changing), you just have to keep trying different marketing strategies until something works for your business. Recently we’ve been experimenting more with things like paid Facebook advertising, billboard advertising, call tracking and trying different press release distribution options. We’re starting to figure out what really works for us in terms of getting clicks and request for quotes at the lowest possible cost. But I’ve realized that you have to experiment and throw some money around to find a good fit.
Remind, Renew, Restart
The goal of reactivation is simple–to remind dormant or inactive customers of why they once preferred you (value, price, service, selection); then persuade them, through targeted messaging and offers to rejoin the fold and buy from you again.
A proven way to restart the dialogue is through integrated marketing–reaching out through online and offline channels like these with a clear, consistent and unified appeal.
• Direct mail–make it a colorful postcard or simple, old-school sales letter; to increase reader interest, include a QR code, promo item and/or targeted “win-back” offer based on previous purchase or behavioral data. Remember to purge your list prior to the drop to save postage and minimize bounces.
• Text-based marketing–do you have dormant customers’ cell phone numbers on file? Consider an SMS or MMS campaign to support reactivation in other channels.
• eMail-still consumers’ preferred channel for receiving promotional messages.
Customers come and go, no matter what business you’re in. But if your timing is right and your message rings true, many will welcome you back, with open arms.