Rapport Office Management
If you’ve got a great product or service customers will beat a path to your door – right? Your competitors will pack up shop and you can sit back & count the profits…
"If you’ve got a great product or service customers will beat a path to your door – right? Your competitors will pack up shop and you can sit back & count the profits!"
Of course nobody believes this anymore. There are countless examples of inferior products outselling far superior ones.
Just think of video recorders – do you remember Betamax? I’m writing this using Microsoft Word - what happened to Word Perfect? And how come your competitors are doing so well with their products?
Marketing your product or service successfully is essential to increasing your sales. And providing a service to your customers that is truly amazing is the key to profitable growth.
Why Use A Database
For Mail Merge?
Before I answer your question let’s address the wider issue …If you’re just starting up you need to invest wisely in technology. Just get what you need & start with a PC, printer & a database. Used effectively it’ll be like an extra person – and cost a lot less too!
If you’ve been in business a while you’ll understand that keeping costs under control is vital. It’s absolutely essential to be efficient in every aspect of your admin - And in the marketing of your products & services too.
Can you track your leads and follow them up as you should? Or are you losing sales because it’s just too difficult?
Can you process orders, raise invoices & fulfilment documentation quickly? Or are you simply bogged down doing everything manually?
There is a better way – it’s using a database designed for direct response marketing.
But I’m Not Marketing!
Even if you’re simply using Mail Merge for regular customer communication you need to track everything you do. It’s the same too if you’re using it for Customer Service.
And the best database for tracking Email, Letters, Faxes … is a Direct Response Marketing Database.
So read on. You’ll find lots relevant to you.
It eats up your time, reduces your effectiveness and costs you money. So use a database to hold all your customer and prospect information.
Make sure that everything you need to know about a client or prospect is in your database. Including …
Details of Purchases, Offers & Enquiries
And as you get used to using it you’ll realise it can do much, much more for you.
Above all it will free up your time so you can spend more of it – working on your business and not in it.
Get Maximum Return On Every £ You Spend
Unless you have an unlimited budget - and I assume you don’t you’ll need to get maximum return on every £ you spend on marketing. This is true whether you’re just starting up or an established business.
So don’t waste your money on trying to establish your brand name through institutional style adverts.
It would take you a long time and a great deal of money and during this time you wouldn’t know whether it was working or not. And you need to know how effective each advert or mailer is - Because otherwise you could be wasting your money and a major opportunity.
If you’ve no way of knowing how much business a particular advert or mailer is bringing in then find out or if you can’t - stop doing it. Otherwise it’s like pouring your money into a black hole in space where everything goes in but nothing ever comes out!
Knowing if a mailer, advert … is working for you mean you can continue with those that are and stop doing those things that aren’t.
If you get more enquiries & sales from an advert in one publication than another then you know what to do.
Marketing "Smart" is the path to increasing your profits substantially. And to do this you need to track every marketing activity.
How do you do this?
Alternatively – you may decide not to contact these customers again but retain the information in your database for your marketing analysis. If so you’ll need a "do not contact" field in your database. And make sure you test for this whenever you do an extract for your mail merge.
And if someone asks to be removed from your mailing list it’s essential that you do so. Otherwise you risk causing offence and that’s not good for your image. And you’re also wasting money on postage & stationery.
This is particularly important with Email – otherwise you risk being treated as Spam. So never Email anyone without their permission unless of course they’re responding to an enquiry. Then you can offer them the opportunity to receive more information from you by Email and build up your list that way.
Marketing by Email to your list is the most economical method possible. However it’s not necessarily the most productive.
Testing has established that "snail mail" produces a greater response. But of course it costs more.
Even if a mailer is working well for you - possibly the results are amazing - don’t assume that this is the best you can do. Continue with it of course – it’s your "control" and at the same time try varying one thing.
You can extend the list concept to "what if scenarios".
Produce a list of customers or prospects that fit a particular profile. Then review the numbers and if they’re significant try and match a product to the list.
All too often you can be product orientated and forget that your customer is only interested in benefits. Their profile often determines what they’ll be interested in. And if you get really good at it you can even predict their needs before they realise it themselves!
Whenever a customer asks for a product or service that you don’t currently offer make a note of it in your database. Then if & when you do have such a product you can extract a list of customers who may have previously enquired about it.
Customers appreciate customised attention – it shows you care about them and the service you provide. So use your database to build a profile of every customer.
Once established you can use it over and over again – without effort. Provided you keep the database up to date of course.
So long as the information you reveal to your customers is interesting and relevant to them they won’t object. No matter how frequently you contact them. And the more often they hear from you the less likely they are to speak with your competitors.
Based upon the information in your database you can make sure it’s relevant and importantly you don’t repeat the same message inadvertently.
If your database is flexible it can be used for more than just marketing. You need though to be able to hold all the information that’s relevant to your business. Don’t buy a product that puts you in a straightjacket!
It needs to provide everything discussed in this report and the things that are important to you. A useful checklist is …
Ensure though that in addition to bringing the benefits described your chosen product is backed up by support from the software authors.