The key is to keep it simple, and stay focused. Execution is everything.
SPONSOR A SOFTBALL TEAMAdmit it. This has got to be the dumbest way in the world to spend your marketing money. I have played for three different softball teams over the years, and I still can’t tell you the name of even one of the sponsors - there was never a memorable association with any of them.
So, why do you sponsor teams? Because you’re a nice guy; and you will continue to do so because it is one of the ways that you contribute to the community. God bless you. However, next year host an awards banquet for the team. They don’t have a banquet? Buy some trophies. Have a banquet!
Invite all of your employees, the players, and their families to your office. It’s like an open house. You’ll meet some nice people and they will walk away understanding what the people in your company actually do for a living. They will remember you.
MARRY DIRECT MAIL AND TELEMARKETINGThis tidbit isn’t as specific as some other tips, but very important in my estimation. An effective direct mail campaign is enhanced when it is married to a telephone effort. You can increase the leads by up to three times if you focus on just the number of direct mailings on which you can actually perform telephone follow-up within three days. In other words, if you can only call 20 people per night, why bother to send out 1,000 direct mail offers? Sure the direct mailing by itself will create some activity, but couple it with effective telemarketing and your results will be more rewarding.
SERVICE AGREEMENTSTwo weeks ago I received a holiday gift certificate from Midas Muffler because I am one of their best customers. I really am one of their favorites because I buy all my tires, shocks, brakes, etc. from Ed (if you know the Midas guy on a first name basis, you spend a lot of money there). So, the gift of an oil change, filter change, tire rotation, etc., is not just a come-on. Sure, I’ll probably get the timing belt changed while I’m there, but I planned for that anyway. Basically, I am getting a free tune-up from Ed.
Put together a list of which customers purchased the most stuff from you last year - that don’t already have a service agreement with your company. Give them a free tune-up, and while you are there doing the work, explain to the customer how a service agreement will keep their equipment running more efficiently which saves energy. Let me know what develops.
BIRTHDAY CARDSI am often asked for my birthday when filling out some type of subscription or registering on a Website. I often wonder why my insurance agent thinks that sending me a birthday card is so important. He is hard to get a hold of, and if I ever should have a claim, he is instructed to make my life more complicated. How can a shallow, cheap birthday card with pre-printed signatures make a difference? I really can’t see the other side of the coin on this one, so my vote is to can the birthday cards.
But, here is something I do like …
BIRTHDAY CARDS… for the heating or cooling system. About two years after a new installation, start sending birthday postcards to the furnace or a/c unit. The card should have a chart that indicates normal degradation of efficiency for equipment that is not maintained. The saying, ‘You’re not getting older, you’re getting better,’ doesn’t apply to HVAC systems. At some point, no matter how well a unit is maintained, it will become so old that it’s not efficient to operate compared to other alternatives.
More to come …