Wouldn’t it be great if you could convince your customers you truly care about them? If you could demonstrate that you really want them to be completely satisfied with the quality of products or services you sell them, you could be rewarded with the type of long-term customer loyalty that leads to repeat business and priceless word-of-mouth marketing. Fortunately, there is a marketing tool designed to help you do just that: greeting cards. Greeting cards are about more than simply sending well-wishes; they represent your willingness to take the extra step to achieve customer satisfaction. Thus, your business challenge for today is to begin to develop a greeting card marketing campaign. Here’s how to do it right, detailed below in five steps.
1. Define your purpose and goal
All good marketing campaigns have well-defined purposes and goals, and your greeting card marketing campaign should be no different. The purpose of your greeting marketing campaign should be to thank your customers, and your primary goal should be to foster strong customer relationships. You can also have secondary goals. For example, you might want customers to follow up by responding to a special offer; or, you might want to solicit feedback so you can better serve your customers. Whatever your goals are, make sure you define them before you do anything else. Be specific about the response rate you’re trying to earn. Doing so will help you craft better greeting cards that help you achieve your goals – and let you measure the success of your greeting card marketing campaign.
2. Determine your gift (if applicable)
I don’t think “thank you for your business” greeting cards should be overt advertisements. Rather, I think they should be sincere and full of gratitude, with no expectation for the customer. However, I also think you can maximize your return on investment by offering your valued customers a gift: a special discount or offer, a VIP reservation, free event tickets, or other gift. Framing your offer as a gift is a great way to reinforce that your greeting cards are an expression of your appreciation, and it will also motivate more response from your customers.
3. Design and sign
I highly recommend custom design for your thank-you cards. A branded greeting card design will seem more official and important than generic, store-bought greeting cards. Moreover, you can control your message. Not only should you choose a custom design, you should include a personal note and personally sign greeting cards whenever possible. For some professionals, such as real estate agents, this is easy because you have a relatively small number of customers to thank at any given time. For professionals who have hundreds or even thousands of customers to thank, you can at least fake your signature by printing a copy of it in blue ink.
4. Print and mail
Print premium greeting cards at affordable prices to maximize your return on investment. You don’t want your greeting cards to look cheap, since they’ll cheapen your message. However, you can still print cheap greeting cards by taking advantage of online printing discounts. Finally, you can save time and money by having your printing company handle the envelope stuffing, addressing and mailing. Simply provide your mailing list and let your printer do the work.
5. Track your response
Even though your greeting cards shouldn’t be advertisements, they are marketing tools and should have a response mechanism built-in. Track your greeting card response to determine how effective your greeting card marketing campaign is at achieving your goals. If you hit y our mark, congratulations – your campaign is a success! If not, evaluate where you went wrong (even if your expectations are unrealistic), then tweak your next greeting card campaign to see if you can improve results. Over time, testing different versions of your greeting cards against your control will help you develop powerful greeting card marketing campaigns with predictable (and profitable) response rates.