Keeping your Customer

Keeping your customer, once you’ve won his business, is most effective when you bring up the subject right away.

This concept is well-known in the direct-mail industry.

Any marketer worthy of the title should be familiar with and have great respect for the direct-mail industry.


Well, picture this: You open your letter box, and it’s crammed full of ‘junk-mail’. So you toss out most of it, keeping what looks important. Then somehow, a direct-mail ad-piece has slipped through and you find yourself reading a letter from someone you’ve never even heard of.

Despite the fact that you are in a rush, the letter entices you to keep reading – it’s caught your interest. By now you are sitting down, reading a fascinating a story, and how this magical new product will help you “lose weight / look sexier / make more money / …”

The letter now manages to get you to respond! You look for a pen, fill out the order form, put it in an envelope and mail it! Do you see what that direct-mail marketer has had to overcome to get this far? And to do this with many people, to make a profit. Now compare that to some of those huge billboard ads you see made by the big Ad-agencies. Some ads just leave you clueless as to what they are about!

No message, no offer, no sense.

You get the idea. This is why one of David Ogilvy’s practices was to make new hires work in exactly that style of direct-response advertising for at least a year to learn sales techniques that work.

So back to the purpose of this article: How to keep your customer once you’ve won his business. It’s really very simple. As soon as you receive notice that he’s bought, send him a letter. Known as a “Stick letter” in the trade. Make him stick to you. Doing this can literally increase your profits tremendously, because finding new customers to replace the ones that drop-off is too costly.

Also, how common is it receive a nice Thank You letter from the CEO? Not very. Which is exactly why you should make time for this. Just get your secretary to print it out, and you sign it. Easy. How long does a signature take? all of 3 seconds? Yes, but you say: “I’m the CEO, I can;t be seen doing such menial jobs.” Hmmm.

Here’s a sample stick letter that has been used with very good success:

Thank You, «Firstname»!
I really mean it.
You know, it seems to me not enough business owners
appreciate their customers. Im different. I do appreciate
my customers. Very, very much.
You may not know it yet, but your decision to become
one of my customers is, from a financial point of view, one
of the smartest decisions youve ever made.
Because now that youre a preferred customer, youre
going to get the best deals and biggest discounts I never
make available to the general public.
The very best deals, discounts and special
introductory offers of just-released products are reserved
only for preferred customers like you, «Firstname».
Also enclosed with this letter is another letter that
I think will be of great interest to you.
At the beginning of this year I made an incredible
offer to a handful of my very best customers. I gave them
the opportunity to

You see what happened there at the end? That’s right: you move right into an up-sell!

Even the most basic version of Microsoft Word has a mail-merge feature, so there is literally no excuse to send out personalised Stick-letters.

Marketing doesn’t take a genius a lot of the time, if you remember to do the little things along the way.

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