Welcome back! If you’re just joining us in this email series, we’re learning how to grow existing print buyer accounts and what questions you can ask yourself to ensure that happens.
Last week, the question asked was, “How can we better understand the needs of our print buyers?” We unpacked 16 types of buyer needs, broke them down by product or service, and then explored three ways to better understand them for mutual success.
Today, you’ll discover how to stay top-of-mind with your buyers. Staying top-of-mind means you’re the first company that comes to mind when buyers need their print needs met.
The #1 Goal of Customer Retention: Getting Buyers to Remember You
Have you ever stopped to consider how many print customers you’ve had that were pleased with your work but shortly after working with you forgot about you?
Failing to stay in touch with your clients can be one of the most expensive mistakes your business can make. Relationships with customers shouldn’t stop as soon as you’ve finished working together. Rather, you need to nurture those relationships so you can leverage those previous positive experiences into repeat (and even ongoing) business and referrals.
In short, it means ensuring your buyers remember you. After all, if your customers don’t remember you, they won’t continue to order from you.
So, how do you make that happen? Keep reading to find out.
5 Tips to Stay Top-of-Mind with Your Print Buyers
1. Make the First Move
In the business relationship between you and your clients, is it their job or your job to regularly stay in touch? If you owned up to that responsibility, you’d be correct in doing so.
If you want to keep your customer pipeline full and your business healthy, you need to recognize that your print buyers are busy. It’s highly likely that they might not remember to seek you out when they need print marketing services.
By initiating contact and staying in touch regularly through direct mail, social media, or an email marketing newsletter, you’ll be able to keep your name front and center in their minds and have your contact information right at their fingertips.
2. Make Yourself Useful
Remember wandering aimlessly around the house as a kid? Mom or Dad would hand you a basket of laundry or a dishcloth and say something like, “Here, make yourself useful.” (This was also known as the worst cure for boredom ever!)
But, Mom and Dad were onto something. Usefulness is important and effective in a relationship. And, that same idea applies when it comes to your company’s relationships with your print buyers.
Whatever touchpoint or communication format you decide to use to stay in touch with your clients, make sure it’s useful to them. This means your informational content is heavy on benefits and light on the “salesy talk.” The frequency of those communications is also important. If you communicate too little, they’ll forget about you, and if you communicate too much, your buyers will start to feel overwhelmed and begin looking for that unsubscribed button.
3. Find a Rhythm
Have you ever heard of the “Marketing Rule of 7”?
Basically, the rule states that buyers need at least seven touchpoints before making a purchase decision. When you’re trying to grow your existing accounts, repeat customers aren’t magically exempt from that rule. In fact, like any relationship, it takes continual nurturing, pursuing, and wooing to keep them interested.
The easiest way to do that is to set a touchpoint goal and then find your rhythm. For example, let’s say you set a goal for X touchpoints for each customer. Your rhythm might look something like this:
- Daily: You keep clients updated and start conversations online through social media postings about things that are of interest to them.
- Bi-Weekly: You offer useful information by sending a bi-weekly email newsletter, letting customers know they’re on your mind and here to help them.
- Monthly: You notify your print buyers about new print, design, tech, and marketing tips available to them on your website and send them a direct mail piece.
- Quarterly: Each quarter, your reach out and send them a link to your latest white paper and check up on how they’re doing.
- Yearly: You evaluate their purchase history and see if you can better meet their needs. Perhaps they would benefit from a private online ordering portal or would save time and money by designing their print projects online with you.
Remember, as Jonah Sachs says, “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints.”
4. Embrace a Little Creativity
What are the things you remember most?
If you’re like the rest of us, you remember the things that stand out — the things that caught you off guard because they were outside of the norm.
Being remembered is your goal, so work to find creative ways that will keep you connected to your buyers both online and offline. This is a great exercise to get your team involved with. Get your team together and have a brainstorming session about how you can stay in touch with your clients in unexpected ways. Tell them that every idea will be considered. Once you’ve got a list of ideas, review them to see if any of them have legs that will help you stand out from your competitors, meet the needs of your buyers, and have a fairly decent return on investment.
5. Consider Offering Subscription Services
A subscription model business is a great way to grow existing accounts.
Subscriptions have a unique way of nurturing continuing relationships with your buyer and help to eliminate the one-job-and-then-they‘re-done mentality. Subscriptions also offer predictability for both your business and your consumer, they create a longer client lifetime value and loyalty, and subscriptions can ultimately change your appreciation of your customers.
If you haven’t considered providing subscription services at your printing firm before, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the idea.
Join us again next week when we’ll tackle the question,
“How can we build trust and credibility with our print buyers?”