If you’ve been in business for a while, odds are good that there are a lot of customers you’ve not been in contact with who have done business with you in the past. Maybe several months have already passed or perhaps it was many years ago. Time doesn’t slow down, does it? How should you go about reconnecting with them?
Don’t be nervous about reaching out to these valuable contacts. They already know you, and hopefully, they ike you too! Also, you’ve got a leg up because they’re already familiar with your products and services. It would be awkward and potentially annoying if you reconnected by asking for an order, so don’t do that. Instead, do something good for them that will cause them to think, “Wow, that was really thoughtful.” That’s called being “client-focused”. Then you can outshine the competition by starting to re-engage with them on a more regular basis.
A CRM can really help a lot with reducing churn and increasing customer retention. If you’re not using a CRM yet, then it’s about time you do. CRMs are steadily becoming as common as email clients or web browsers. Make an effort to get all of your old customers’ basic contact info into a CRM if you haven’t already. Once you get up to speed with a CRM that meets your needs, you’ll be wondering how you ever survived without one.
If you’re already using a CRM, then you should be regularly running a Report of Contacts you have not been in contact with for the last 3, 6, or 9 months. This would be a good time to check and see if links to their social media accounts are part of their contact record in your CRM.
First Things First
- Get a headcount
How many names of old customers can you find that you’d like to reconnect with?
- Get their contact info entered into your CRM
Hopefully, you can do this by importing the data and not having to type it in, but do whatever it takes. You can start with the basics; Name, Company Name, Email, Phone, and mark them as ‘Inactive’. If you have a stack of business cards then you might use an app that scans the info right into your CRM. (Hubspot offers one of these that works great.)Remember, you already decided that these are people you want to reconnect with…just pass on the others.
- Research Your Contacts
While you’re at it, on a case-by-case basis, you might as well lookup links for their LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account and add it to their contact record as well. Look for opportunities. Has anything changed since you last made contact? What are they most interested in? What do they care about? Add a note or two in your CRM. This info will help you get to know and nurture your contacts.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
If you have their birth date, add it to their Contact record your CRM so you can send them a Happy Birthday email or even better yet, a real birthday card. Why? Because your competition probably isn’t doing this and people like to be treated like people.
- Define Your Goal
Ok, good. Now you can set a goal. Let’s say you’ve come up with 60 customers you’ve not been in touch with for some time.
Your goal could be to reach out to everyone on this list in the next month. That breaks down to 3 contacts per day. Sounds doable, right?
- Segment Your List
Look for common themes in this list. How should the list be segmented? By product interest? By which social media platforms they’re most active on?
- Create your campaign
Let’s assume that you choose to send an email. While you are creating your draft and think of a unique, compelling, valuable piece of content that you might be able to share with each segment of your list. This could be something like a relevant and interesting article or the results of an industry survey.
Yes, include a Call-to-Action…You do want them to re-engage, so tell them what you want them to do. Include a clear Call-to-Action that isn’t too promotional in tone.
- Be Truly Sorry
Be prepared to apologize for having not been in touch and make sure you have a good reason prepared. Acknowledge that you have been remiss in your communication and that they will be hearing from you more often with helpful business tips and ideas.
- Get Permission
Invite them to subscribe to your updated Newsletter or Blog that regularly includes additional information that you think would be of value and interest to them. Set clear expectations for often they should expect to hear from you.
Did they previously Unsubscribe from one of your email lists? If they unsubscribed some time ago just invite them to re-subscribe to your new and improved newsletter or blog, assuming it is new and improved.
You should regularly request feedback. Add a task to your Content Calendar to email a survey requesting your customers’ feedback on a quarterly schedule. It’s one more way to stay in touch and the results can help you to improve your products and service.
- Social Shares
Share their content on Social Media when it’s relevant and interesting. First, you have to be following them on social media. If you’re not, get busy.
- Be More Social
In addition to sharing their content be sure to interact with them on Social Media. Invite them to Follow your company. Like and comment on their posts. Ask open-ended questions to engage them.
- Call them with a clear purpose
When it’s time to call them about a new offering, a special deal, etc., be sure that your offer solves a problem, fills a need, or addresses a pain point. Open with “I thought you might find this useful,”
- Thank You
Remember to say, ‘Thank You’. A sincere ‘thank you’ is appreciated and remembered. After you complete a job for a customer be sure to say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity to serve them.
- One Last Try
Now you might be wondering what to do about those old customers who have not re-engaged after several attempts. You might consider making one last try by sending a ‘Breakup Email’ before you decide to either archive their record or even purge it.
Hubspot claims that their version of a Breakup Email has generated very favorable results, (look for the example down below.)
- Track Your Progress
Run a report to baseline this number and add a date to your calendar to run the report again in 3 or 6 months to track your progress. Have you reconnected with everyone you intended to? Are they re-engaged? Opening your email? Clicking on your Call-to-Actions? Filling out forms?
Chances are good that many of these revived contacts will actually appreciate your taking an interest in them again, assuming you are sincere and authentic in your “client-focused” approach in being attentive to their needs by offering value and solutions that work.
We hope you found this article on how to reconnect with old customers to be useful. If we’re on target then we would like to invite you to subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know when our next article is published.
Digital Marketing Manager
Image Market Inc.
Hubspot’s Sample Breakup Email
Dear Old Contact,
I’ve tried to reach you a few times to go over suggestions on improving ___, but haven’t heard back which tells me one of three things:
1) You’re all set with ____ and I should stop bothering you.
2) You’re still interested but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet.
3) You’ve fallen and can’t get up, in which case you should let me know so I can call someone to help you.
Please let me know which one as I’m starting to worry!
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