No one likes to be pestered, especially when it is via repetitive communication. And I am sure we are all familiar with the brash junk mail flyers that cause the cluttering of our doormats to become a daily occurrence? And how many of you have wanted to be the customer who puts the cold caller on hold, just like in that advert, I think it was for tea or something? These examples strike a chord with customers but not one that will be music to the senders’ ears!

Every time you contact your customers, you are strengthening your relationship with them and it is crucial that your hard work is not jeopardised through weak, tacky, infrequent or too frequent communication.

Of course to establish a communication plan you must first decide on your means of communication. Being in the industry, Debut Marketing knows only too well that strategies must change and communication regularity be altered accordingly depending on whether you are a social media user, blogger, direct mail addict or a slightly more subdued marketer.

Most companies tend to ‘up’ the volume of their communication directly before, during and after the time of an offer, the impending renewal of a service, competitor activity and behaviour, a new product launch or a specific season. But nevertheless, nine times out of ten this is determined at the time of constructing your marketing activity and communication plan.

I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘learn by example’ and in this instance that is extremely achievable and actually very easy. Just take a look at the companies you use, be it your gas and electricity supplier, an online clothing company or even the chocolate or wine tasting club that is your reward for a hard week at the office. All these companies will operate in similar ways so pay attention to the the frequency of their contact and the reason behind it.

But like I said earlier, it all depends on the type of your chosen communication so perhaps if we look at each one separately it will help to clarify content specifics and when enough is definitely enough.

Offer and Promotions

Often when a company has a specific offer they tend to use either the postal or email communication channel. The benefit to this is two fold. The customer has easy access to the offer as a point of reference and also the customer has the physical means to share the offer with friends thus immediately increasing the effectiveness of the communication.

Reminders and Links

It is not uncommon when it comes to being reminded of an offer to be informed anything from a week to a day before the offer expires and in some cases reminders are even sent out with just hours to spare. Social media and email communication is best for this sort of marketing as it offers the option to add a link to more information and is current and up to the minute. Plus, it is quick, can be done on a daily basis as a reinforcement tactic and can be sent at the click of a button…quite literally.

Telephone communication is another means of reminding customers of something imminent but tends to be used more by companies who are selling renewals of products.

Upcoming Promotions

A popular way companies keep their customers up to date with their future activity is through writing a blog and/or newsletters. These tend to be done weekly, fortnightly or even monthly and contain a happy balance of information and promotion. You will find that as the date of the ‘event’ gets ever closer, the company will add email and social media marketing to their activity which is likely to occur more frequently, perhaps even daily.

Year round Advertising

When a company sells ‘constant’ products their best option to advertise their ‘wares’ and gain maximum exposure without too much cost is to produce a catalogue. These showcase the range of products they have available all the time and are designed to be kept and accompanied by letters and other forms of reminder contact should specific offers be available. Catalogues tend to be most affected by seasonality and are therefore normally a quarterly or annual form of marketing communication.

So there you have it, a basic, quick rundown of how, why and when to market using different channels. Of course, not every type of marketing will be in your company’s best interest which I have touched upon in the blog entitled how to start promoting your business or product, so next week we will look at the best ways for small or startup companies to make the biggest impact in their market.

How and when to contact customers

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