GS Logo
The Green Sheet, Inc

Please Log in

Banner Ad
View Archives

View PDF of this issue

Care to Share?


Table of Contents

Lead Story

The road ahead for mobile payments

News

Industry Update

Interchange in federal sights - again

Will Merrick's lawsuit affect PCI auditors?

Respect sought for MLSs

Pulse touts positive debit trends

Features

A bad man gone good

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

nFinanSe lowers already 'lowest' activation fee

Franchise that closed-loop

Prepaid, quite an opportunity

Views

Interchange debate rages on

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Mobile payments gaining traction - finally

Ben Goretsky
USA ePay

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Raising the networking bar

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
888QuikRate.com

Negotiate to get your way

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Fallout from the Great Recession

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Stand alone or marry up

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

Want a long-lasting relationship? Snail away

Nancy Drexler
SignaPay Ltd.

Company Profile

Authorize.Net

Clearent LLC

New Products

Processing in a matrix

Multiple Merchant Account Matrix
Ezic Inc.

Don't kick the machine - call a number

ePort EDGE
USA Technologies Inc.

Inspiration

Welcome your inner dingbat

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 22, 2009  •  Issue 09:06:02

previous next

Marketing 101
Want a long-lasting relationship? Snail away

By Nancy Drexler

New relationships are great; sustained ones are better; long-term, committed relationships are the most satisfying of all - if you're looking for profits, that is. Such is the premise of relationship marketing: The best customers are those with whom you have relationships; the best way to build said relationships is to customize marketing, based on how far your relationship with each customer or prospect has progressed.

In short, stop viewing your customers as leads or prospects, but rather as relationships in formation.

Relationships can be initiated easily via e-mail, "click here" links on Web sites or tweets on Twitter. But while these vehicles are fast and relatively inexpensive, they don't always generate high-quality relationships that make for a long and profitable future. I believe the best way to do that is to cultivate leads the old-fashioned way: through the mail.

Regardless of the opportunities the Web offers, snail mail is still one of the most effective ways to get noticed and to engage your prospects.

Consider these truths:

The trick, of course, is to create a well-executed program.

Don't start cold

Direct mail should generate warm prospects for long-term relationships. To accomplish that, your first mailing should not be "cold." If you are working off standard, purchased lists, your results will be diluted unless you have had some kind of prior contact with those receiving your mailing. Call prospects first to introduce yourself and tell them to expect a package. You will see the results improve dramatically. Direct mail will also work better if you target people who've attended the same events as you or members of groups you are in. Chances are you've already interacted with many individuals on such lists. Even if you haven't, you have common ground.

There is another way to turn cold prospects hot with direct mail: Have the material come from a third party. Consider your sales introduction letter. If you send it to names on a purchased list, it is probably not going to yield a tremendous response. But if your letter is sent from a recognized, satisfied merchant, you'll certainly see some interest.

Choose a format

A simple letter in a No. 10 envelope is considered direct mail. Postcards and FedEx packages are also considered to be direct mail. Even an expensive gift in a large box hand-delivered by someone in a bathing suit is deemed direct mail. So how do you know which way to go?

Interestingly, format alone does not determine success. Advantages and disadvantages exist for each method, not the least of which is cost.

Direct mail is successful when it achieves your goals. It is most effective when these goals are simple and direct: drive recipients to your Web site, get an appointment set up or generate webinar attendance, for example. The goal of direct mail is to move prospects one step further along in their relationships with you. It is not to close sales.

Repeat again and again

With direct mail, one mailing is not enough. No single postcard, letter or package will be successful on its own. You need to make a minimum of three impressions. With postcards, that is relatively simple: You create a campaign with a common look or copy approach, and mail them every five to 15 days.

That may be harder to do with an expensive package, but repetition doesn't require the same medium. Take the example of my company's box. The mailing is followed by a telephone call. If that doesn't lead to an appointment and the prospect is still considered viable, our next step is to send a letter with the key to the box enclosed.

Alternatively, we could send two or three postcards before mailing the package to generate interest and instill anticipation. Regardless of which vehicles you use, strive to "touch" the prospect at least three times. And remember, failing to close is not a failure. Keep prospects with potential in a separate database, and include them in future direct mail campaigns. These prospects are no longer cold; your effectiveness with them will only increase each time you remind them of your interest.

Nancy Drexler is Vice President, Marketing for SignaPay Ltd., an ISO headquartered in Dallas. Reach her at nancyd@signapay.net.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

previous next

Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services