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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Small Business Questions, Ideas and Advice

This is how I look after previous customers
They're gone, let's look for a new one
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
I have records, but don't really use them much
15%
 15%  [ 3 ]
I contact them all with the same information and offers
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I have plenty of information and use it cunningly, tailoring offers to select groups or individuals
47%
 47%  [ 9 ]
I hadn't thought about this. Wonder if I should?
10%
 10%  [ 2 ]
Oh, shut up. Have a weasel.
21%
 21%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 19

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 Message
Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10498
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 1:37 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Behemoth wrote:
Anybody use twitter? I can't stand it but for those who do it's a very quick and easy way to let people know that you have, meat or buttons available or a new exhbition/fair this weekend etc. Users opt in.


Yup - great way to keep in touch with previous guests and get (a few) new bookings. @ecogiteslenault
I encourage guests to like our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Ecogiteslenault and use this to keep in touch with them.

I send 3 or 4 emails a year to previous guests, reminding them we are here and of any updates or special offers etc we have. I usually find I get a repeat booking from that email 3 out of 4 times.

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Bodrighy wrote:
Nick, please shut up. My conscience is bad enough as it is without you throwing truth at me. Yes I ought to spend more time being proactive, reaching out etc but as you say it is much easier to disappear (in my case) into the workshop and make things. I have a record of each customer and could contact with new things I have made but feel pushy doing so, am never fully confident that my work is good enough etc etc etc.

Pete


But, aren't some of your things, the buttons, the craft supplies, the blanks consumable items? Or at least the kind of thing people will want to buy again?

If you get complaints, or stuff returned, it might not be good enough. Are you getting lots of complaints? Thought not.

Chase up button buyers with a mail with photos of some different ones. Maybe they've finished knitting the next cardigan. Maybe they forgot where they bought the last ones from.


I have only ever had one complaint (maybe my customers are very polite LOL) and that was due to the misuse of the object (leaving a goblet overnight full of red wine and complaining because it stained) I do get repeat orders from people but not as many as perhaps I could if I was more pushy. Not something I have ever been good at.

Pete

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our last two 'previous' customers died of natural causes.

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Personal, individual contact makes a huge difference.

I never send out a one-size-fits-all mailshot because they don't - I get them and they feel impersonal

If I'm exhibiting somewhere new, I'll generally know (or can check) if someone in that neck of the woods has bought my work previously and I make sure they're invited by the gallery to the PV but they'll also get a one-off email from me.

I find it doesn't really take that long to personalise a generic email. A few changes to the opening and final sentence is all it takes.

EV

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33978
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There is a line, but it's not always pushy to ask someone if they're interested, especially if it's a consumable item. A quick mail with relevant, interesting items is the answer, and allow people to opt out.

Of course, easy to say, much harder to accurately define the line, relevant and interesting.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

earthyvirgo wrote:
Personal, individual contact makes a huge difference.

EV


As does remembering someone when they ring up.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35904
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it's the difference between scatter-gun marketing and rifle-shot marketing. Knowing your customer base makes it so much easier.

I've opted to use the 'notes' bit of facebook as a newsletter, every couple of months. That gets seen by people who have opted to follow my fb page and twitter account. That suits me - I didn't like the idea of doing an actual 'sent to your inbox' newsletter for the reasons other people have set out upthread - if I get them business I've bought stuff from, I usually just delete them.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Knowing your customer and use yours and others imagination to find new ones.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4192
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good thread Nick,thanks.

I usually phone previous customers from my order book,3-6mths after initial order,depending on what and amount they ordered,repeat order`s is not my problem,
Its gaining new ones is the hard slog as you know.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33978
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It sort of linked to the business ethics one, and was prompted by an article I read this morning.

I don't have answers, or at least all of them, but discussing these things can't be bad.

Specifically for you, with your repeat orders, they're clearly happy. So, how do you drive them to work for you? Can you offer them 10% off their order for every friend of theirs that orders? Three for two options so they can get theirs free if their sister and mum orders too?

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Selling food products can be relatively easy I would have thought as far as getting repeat orders from satisfied customers is concerned. Getting the new ones is as said the hard part and for me is a sort of permanent dilemma. If my products wore out quick enough to need replacing or replenishing I doubt that people would come back to me for a new one, more likely to complain. I freely admit to being lousy at the selling side of things and always feel pushy promoting my work online. Suspect that I am never going to make my fortune being a wood turner LOL

Pete

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33978
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well, you can certainly be sure that people will eat again, yes.

When you ship an item to a customer, or hand it over on a stall, what else do you give them? Anything? What else could you give them?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 14 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodrighy wrote:
Selling food products can be relatively easy I would have thought as far as getting repeat orders from satisfied customers is concerned.


Yes, it can be, but it is adouble edged sword. There is a lot of competition out there and as soon as you produce it the clock starts ticking away, after which it can't be sold so planning how much you will sell in three years time is the hard bit. If you produce too much it's worthless, if you produce too little the customer will be forced to go elsewhere and there's always a chance that they won't come back, just out of habit.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6501
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 14 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Really good thread.

I went to a Social Media workshop the other day - 2 hours FULL of really useful stuff....done in a way that was relevent, punchy and made me think.
Im not into all this SM stuff, but I can appreciate how it really helps. They also helped me determine that different types of businesses need to market differently.
Facebook and a blog on the website are apparently good for what we do, but Twitter wouldnt be, but Twitter would be good for restaurants, bars, hairdressers etc.

Some notes I made:
What is the return on your investment? - how much is the marketing costing me and what return can I expoect from it? How am I measuring this? Google/facebook analytics?
People buy People - What is my online personality? Am I getting recommendations? Am I really networking to my full potential.
Content is King What are you saying & why? What is my key message? Is this making me sales?

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6501
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 14 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Im trying to get on a full day event, the speaker was excellent, and I can probably get funding for it, so Im keen to embrace what, to me, is a new area of techie stuff, but as the speaker said - this is the market place of the future - you'd better embrace it, cos its here to stay.

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