ICS Magazine

How Newsletter Marketing Can Stop the Bleeding - Part II

June 5, 2007
Use photography in your materials; clip art looks cheap.


Last month I shared how not marketing to your existing clients is the biggest marketing mistake of all (other than doing absolutely nothing, of course).

We discussed how clients who were thrilled with your work will not remember you because they are busy like everyone else. They have ongoing cleaning needs, and you want them to use you again and again. Plus, you want to get referrals from them.

We talked about the fact that it costs 500 percent more to gain a new client than to keep an existing one. And finally, we talked about the huge returns your business can realize if you consistently market to your existing clients.

Let me add something else that may get your attention. Have you ever thought about how much your client is worth? No, I am not talking about how much they spent on their cleaning job. I am not talking about a “sixty-five dollar customer” or a “thousand dollar job.” I am talking about the Potential Lifetime Value (PLV) of a client. I think the answer will surprise you.

Here’s an easy worksheet to figure it out. Take your average job amount (ours is $327, so let’s use that). Multiply that by the number of times a client may use you during a year. Let’s say they use our service every other year on average. That would be 0.5 times per year. $327 x 0.5 = $163.50. Now, multiply that by 20 years (the estimated number of years a potential lifetime client may stay with you.) That equals $3,270. But that is not the PLV.

You see, if you market to your existing clients on a regular basis, you will get more referrals (especially if you have a strong referral reward program). Let’s say that your client sends you one job per year and each one of those clients stay with you over a lifetime. $3,270 x 20 clients = $65,400! Plus the original client value of $3,270, making the total PLV $68,670! And get this: that does not even include what we call second-generation referrals. Wow. Can you really afford not to market to your existing, potentially lifetime clients? I think not. As soon as they start using someone else, the whole process comes to a halt until you win them back. If you aren’t marketing to your existing clients, someone else is.

Okay, so off my soapbox and back to the Do’s and Don’ts of newsletter marketing. Last month we learned that you:

Don’t do your newsletter yourself. Unless you are very unique, you won’t do it consistently.

Don’t use cheap, one-color materials. Remember, your goal is to position yourself as the “textile care consultant.”

Do have your newsletters professionally printed. Unless you have a Xerox Phaser 850 or something like that, they will come out looking cheap. And…

Don’t use newsletters that aren’t carpet-cleaning related. Anyone can send out trivia. Position yourself as the “textile care consultant” by giving them valuable information that will make them aware of their need for your services.

And now, without further ado…

Do Be Consistent

Remember that you are mailing to your client base to keep from losing them first and foremost. Everything else is a bonus. You will get a tremendous return, but don’t put too much stock in your first mailer. Offering a time-sensitive, well-written offer will help your return tremendously. However, consistent mailings over a period of time will net the best results. Your clients will receive your first mailer and may be ready for cleaning, or they may not. In either case, they may set your mailer aside and fail to call. If several months go by before they “hear” from you again, you have lost momentum. Each mailer builds on the previous mailer.

Do Systemize the Process

Don’t make your mailing program a huge chore. You can outsource the whole program by having a mail house send it for you. Or, delegate someone in your office to do it by putting it on their job description and having the database and labels available to them. Get a newsletter that is already done. You only have to add your offer and personal message. Delegate the rest.

Do Use Photographs

Clip art looks cheap. This is not what you want to convey. Am I saying that you are going just for image? No. You want to have great copy. Just don’t cheapen your look with clip art. It doesn’t attract the high-end client. As an independent, you must compete on quality, not price. Price advertising is not just having a low price. It is also how people perceive your business. Your materials should be of the highest quality to attract the highest quality client. I am not saying they have to be four-color, but they just need to be professional.