Many businesses have figured out that sending greeting cards is a powerful way to enhance customer relations. The personal touch afforded by greeting cards lets customers know that you care about them and that you want to provide products and services that solve their problems or otherwise make their lives better. Greeting cards help establish trust and credibility.
Simply sending greeting cards can be enough to motivate customers to recall your business when they need what you sell – but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to get more mileage out of them. Using greeting cards as a branding and customer relations tool is one thing; but using greeting cards as marketing tools is quite another. There are several ways to turn your greeting cards into response-getting, sales-driving forces that increase profits. I've listed five of them below.
1. Invite customers to Facebook
Your business has a Facebook page (if not, it should), and when you work the social media angle correctly you can turn your “friends” into “customers” time and again. Send greeting cards that invite your customers to join your Facebook page and include a special incentive. For example, you might drop a hint that you'll be unveiling a hot deal only on Facebook in the weeks ahead. This time-limited offer can drive your Facebook fan numbers through the roof.
2. Invite customers to a conference or seminar
You can use greeting cards to invite your customers to a conference or seminar – or any other event, such as a golf outing or trade show – that you're either hosting or displaying in. The personal touch can help customers feel more welcome and they'll be sure to stop by your booth while they're there. Now you have the opportunity to close deals.
3. Include coupons and discounts
Some marketers shy away from using greeting cards to deliver coupons, but I say I'm happy to receive discount coupons from the companies I purchase from. It's like getting birthday cards as a kid – the ones with money in them mean the most.
4. “Any friend of yours is a friend of mine”
Send greeting cards with response card inserts asking your customers to suggest friends who might like to try your products and services. Explain that you value their business so much that any friend of theirs is a friend of yours. Offer your customers a freebie or other item of perceived value in exchange for a friend's name and address so you can pitch them as well. Magazine subscription companies have been doing this successfully for years – no reason you can't do the same with your greeting cards.
5. Ask them to join your team
Customers love it when you care about their opinions. Send a survey response card packaged inside your greeting cards that asks them to join your quality improvement team. All they have to do is fill out a quick survey about their experiences with you and pen in a few suggestions, and you'll send them something special in return. This is a great way to get customer feedback so you can better position your company for sales success. Image use Creative Commons license via Flickr.