Kill Your Competition with Holiday Cheer

November 24, 2008

Kill Your Competition with Holiday Cheer
By Adams Hudson

Two marketing “truisms” are especially relevant for this time of year: 1) you cannot stand out by sameness; and 2) any sales message sent between December 10 and January 12 is a waste of money.

Holiday cards offer the best chance to address both issues while making an important Customer Retention contact. Holiday cards also get the right message at the right time to a very valuable group of people – your customer base – and in a way that lifts their spirits and expresses appreciation for their business. A good thing.
Some great holiday card tips:

• Come up with a holiday themed headline. The name of your company is not a headline. Sorry. Try contrasting the cold of the winter with the idea of staying warm inside.

• Chose an attractive graphic. I know there are some people who might think your company truck is a great graphic, but can it compare with a cute little kid building a snowman? We have many samples that you can view on our website.

• Don’t make any outright sales attempts. The point of this is to reinforce a relationship, not to print a pitch on a postcard. So, instead of promoting a special, wish them Happy Holidays and gently remind them that you can fix their problems that come with cold weather.

• Make yourself available to the customer. Remind them that you would love to hear from them and their family and friends anytime and that your Customer Service Representatives are standing by to take their calls.

• Turn the postcard into a coupon for $10 (or however much) off an air conditioning system check-up, or make it for a free home energy survey (depending on what kind of contractor you are, obviously). This promotes good will toward your company and even if the person who gets your card doesn’t want to use it, they might give it to a friend or neighbor who will.

It’s just as easy to damage your image with a poor quality card as it is to build it with a high quality card. A unique, creative oversized card that hits your customers at a time when they’re most receptive to thanks will get you remembered for client retention, referrals and rewards.

Adams Hudson
Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink “Creative Marketing that Works.” His company creates a full line of marketing tools for contractors including Customer Retention newsletters, Yellow Page ads, “turn-key” Marketing PowerPacks and custom copywriting. You can get a free subscription to his “Sales & Marketing Insider” by faxing your letterhead to 334-262-1115 with the request. Also check out on the web for free marketing tips or call 1-800-489-9099 for more info.

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