Last year I bought a Columbia jacket online. It was a great experience. The seller was very professional and a pleasure to deal with.
Now I need another jacket and I’d like to buy it from the same guy. The problem is that I don’t know how to find him and get in touch with him. I don’t remember his website and I lost the receipt. In my defense, it’s his job (not mine) to make sure I know how to contact him when I need to buy something from him again.
On the other hand, if he had been emailing specials to me every couple of weeks for the last year, I would’ve blocked his emails. I don’t like spam. Nobody does.
So, how can you make sure your customers can order from you whenever they want without constantly spamming them? Here are a few ideas:

  • If you’re a consultant or a specialist, subscribe your clients and prospects to your blog. That way you can stay in touch by sending very valuable content. This is what I do. When someone inquiries about my services and ends up not hiring me, I send them one article per week every time I post to my blog. Most people love this because they truly enjoy my articles. If they don’t, they can always unsubscribe. When someone doesn’t hire you, most of the time it is because the timing isn’t right. Stay in touch so they can contact you when they’re ready to buy from you. If you finish a project with a client, keep sending them your content. You never know when they’ll need you again.
  • Refrigerator magnets and brochures can be effective, but you need to give people a reason not to throw them away. Some magnets have calendars or blank to-do lists that you can fill out. Some brochures offer $50 off your next purchase. Be creative and give people a reason to keep your literature.
  • If you can predict when people will need your products again, contact them then. For example, a chiropractor can remind their patients it’s time for their monthly adjustment. If you sell contact lenses that last 90 days, contact your customers a few days before they need contacts again.
  • Give your customer a small gift. A restaurant once invited me to have a glass of wine on the house. I ended up having dinner there and I’m sure that’s what most people do. Gifts have value and are rarely perceived as spam.

I’m interested in hearing your ideas. How do you stay in touch with your customers?