Scheduled/Event-Driven Reminder Programs
Customers often view well-crafted reminders as an effort to help, more than simply a way to increase sales. Any time that you can satisfy a need where the benefits exceed the costs, it provides real value for your customers – and they remember that.
Although many of our reminder programs focus on service reminders, or that it might be time to replace a key component in a piece of equipment, we commonly work on lapsed customer programs as well. To this end, we like the approach, “Haven’t seen you for a while. Hoping we didn’t disappoint or fall short of the mark!” We also see “first sale” follow-ups. For example, a seed vendor might send a letter to a new customer asking how the seed worked for them in their particular area. This demonstrates interest and, of course, customer feedback is always invaluable.
What sorts of businesses use these types of services? Here are just a few:
- Agricultural – crop inputs as well as equipment
- Lawn Care
- Chimney Sweep Services
- Home Cleaning
- Heating/Air Conditioning
Components of Scheduled Reminder Programs
For most scheduled reminders we key off of last service or sale date. Data analysis can be done by customers or we can analyze date to determine which customers should be followed up at which intervals. There can also be different intervals, for example, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months . . . . 18 months, etc.
Messages can be highly personalized or they might use less personalization. Regardless, all substitution fields must be vetted to ensure that they have valid data and fit in the intended space. Unfortunately, from time to time, we see instances where this is overlooked, causing embarrassing results.
The two messages below show how we can use a simple substitution of name only or provide more meaningful content by incorporating more extensive customer profile data into our message.
“Hi Sandra, After a summer of busy little feet tracking this and that across your carpets, it’s a perfect time to spruce things up before the colder weather approaches . . .”
“Hello Clarence, It’s that time again to think about spring planting. Our GroPro Soybean varieties of GP560, VT2001 and VT211 would be perfect for your 2700-2800 CHU zone up in Fergus . . .”
There are many different mediums to choose from including, but not limited to:
- Folded personalized card inside an invitation envelope
- Letter inside standard #10 business envelope
- Basic postcard
- Folded self-mailer
Both the invitation envelope and #10 envelope foster an element of curiosity, as the envelope has to be open to see what is inside. Plus, there are some interesting things that we can do with invitation envelopes. On the other hand, the postcard and self-mailer save on both envelope and insertion costs.
Of course, we can offer hand-addressed, stamped envelopes for special occasions as well.
Lastly, email is an option that can also work in some instances. Although it lacks the more personal and tangible aspects of direct mail, if you have the right kind of relationships with your customers and they are receptive to receiving your emails, it might be a viable alternative.
A Final Note
One of our customers reported that they are continuing to mail reminder cards, as this is one of the few things still working for them in a tough economic climate. That is a solid vote of confidence for scheduled reminder programs.
Always working to provide you with the best possible postage and mail prep costs!
If you are a Highland Marketing customer, we appreciate your business and the confidence that you place in us.
If you are not a Highland Marketing customer, we would welcome the opportunity to get to know you better and discuss our direct mail, direct communication and integrated website development services. Simply give us a call at 1-800-422-1309.