Nothing grabs a prospect’s attention like seeing his own name printed in a hand-written letter from a friend.
When a business customer feels like he is appreciated, singled out by the owner for some personal attention, and given the opportunity to join in the membership of a group of “insiders,” he will likely commit to being personally involved in the niche with this business.
Personal involvement invites activity in forums, registration as a member of a community of serious like-minded folks (either free or paid), and status as a preferred customer (one most likely to buy products from the business.)
Think of all the junk mail you get and how easy it is to discard generic mass mailings that begin with “Dear resident” or “Occupant.”
It takes less than two seconds to look at a piece of mail and determine that it’s not personal; hence, not worth giving personal attention to whatever is inside.
But it isn’t so easy to trash a letter from someone you know.
If the envelope is addressed to your name, or the return address suggests this is a personal letter from a friend, you will most likely open the mail and see what’s there for you.
Have you ever considered sending a personal letter to a customer or even a potential prospect for your business?
Word processing software makes it easy to personalize a letter to a large group of names on a customer list.
“Mass personalization” (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?) it’s called (done by merging a list of names into a letter); the effort and time it takes will be well worth the expense.
Here’s how to do it:
Use the mail merge function in your word processor.
You’ll create “fields” in your letter that will be filled with text based data file names, addresses, email addresses, etc.
Type the body of the letter just as you would any other, but be sure to make it very “down home” and friendly.
Keep all the paragraphs to just 2-4 lines of text and the sentences short. Use “everyday” language and familiar terms.
You want this letter to provide some valuable incentive for the reader to immediately visit your business web site.
Offer a rare freebie, a valuable product that is time constrained, or a special for “the first 50 customers that mention this offer.”
You want this letter to be a personal invitation from you, the owner, to one of your most valued customers for an extra special something that very few others will ever see.
Sign your letter as if it were coming from the next-door neighbor.
Keep everything very informal, friendly, and fun. Avoid any reference to buying or purchasing anything.
Include a “P.S.” after your signature that reviews again what you are trying to get the reader to do.
Hand address the envelope just as if it were a letter to your cousin Vinnie and attach a regular first class stamp.
When you consider the life-time value of a paying customer, a personal letter or two are very cost-effective ways to make your business stand out from the crowd of all the other businesses that won’t take the time to do this.
To your online business success!