In today’s world, maintaining contact with customers and partners and demonstrating presence from a distance are more crucial than ever. Not only behind the shop front is personal communication pivotal; it’s essential for establishing one’s brand, raising awareness of new offers, and imparting a sense of value to the consumer. Those who actively approach their target groups beyond the storefront are the ones who will be remembered. Contrary to popular belief, silence, in times like these, is not golden; it risks losing valuable potential in securing customer loyalty. In the first part of our series, we introduce alternatives to traditional face-to-face communication to prevent any lapse in communication between you and your customers.
The current situation is unprecedented for us all, posing new challenges almost daily. Everyone’s mind is preoccupied, and the prevailing uncertainty is stressful. Thus, it’s vital to actively remind your customers of your presence and consistently send signs of life. Whether through direct mailing or an email newsletter, present yourself as a reliable partner in all situations and address your customers’ individual needs.
Anything concerning your brand and services is contextually relevant. Always consider your customers’ potential questions and adjust your perspective accordingly. Compile concise information packages with updates on altered opening hours and ensure you keep your customers informed about ongoing or new services such as delivery services, To-Go offers, or online ordering options. This approach makes it effortless for your customers to utilise your services despite the altered conditions, preventing your regular customers from becoming casual ones and exploring the competition.
Points for Direct Mailings
While direct mailings are more laborious to dispatch than newsletters, when executed skillfully, they can outshine their digital counterparts. Their primary advantage is tangibility—they allow customers to quite literally get a feel for them. The weight, structure, and tactile quality of the paper invite exploration. When combined with attractive print enhancements like hot foil embossing, UV varnish, or blind embossing, mailings become a sensory delight, offering far more value than an email in a digital mailbox.
When considering the duration of impact, email is also at a disadvantage. Whereas it is removed from the inbox after a few days, the printed mailing usually remains with the recipient for several weeks. A visually striking mailing in an otherwise empty letterbox automatically arouses curiosity and prompts closer examination. Moreover, the implementation of a direct mailing is practically limitless, ranging from classic letter paper to personalised folding cards, to sophisticated packaging with small giveaways like custom-designed photo mugs or notebooks in corporate design. Modern finishing techniques enable even complex folding types for pamphlets, encouraging interaction with the recipient and providing variety.
Currently, employees also particularly appreciate a small token of attention received by post. In times when the majority of company communication occurs digitally and many employees in home offices have minimal contact with colleagues, personal messages are a solace. Therefore, consider expressing your gratitude to your employees with a thoughtful business letter, thanking them for their dedication, whether they are working on-site or from their home desk.
However, the newsletter need not concede defeat entirely. As a cost-effective marketing tool, it harbours significant untapped potential. The immediate dispatch via email ensures your information is consistently up to date. Text adjustments can be made until the last moment, and good news, such as a reopening, can be shared instantly, without significant time loss. Furthermore, customers can be redirected with a single click to new products in the shop, social media channels, or the website through embedded links, simplifying interaction with your brand and encouraging further exploration.
Before your newsletter lands in the digital mailbox, here are a few refined pointers:
- Keep the subject line short and concise (no more than 50 characters) and make the theme of the newsletter clear. Avoid generic statements and opt instead for intriguing questions, bold propositions, or clever wordplay. Only then will your email pique interest and be opened.
- Position the core messages of your topics at the beginning of each paragraph. Prolonged circumlocution may lose readers at worst, and the actual message may go unnoticed.
- A call-to-action at the end of your newsletter directs your customers’ attention to new products or services. This so-called Call-to-Action can be realised with a coloured button or prominently highlighted links to the product page (e.g., “Try now!”, “Register now!”, “Order here!”).
- Maintain clarity. Well-structured paragraphs, images, and graphics help in clearly differentiating your topics, facilitating reading for your customers and increasing the chance that they will read your content until the end.