It’s true that your best customers are regular buyers. However, customers have a shelf life, too. People stop buying from a business for all sorts of reasons:
- They moved out of your target lifecycle, perhaps through marriage or kids.
- They went broke and can’t afford your products, or made money and can afford better.
- Something newer came along and made your offer less relevant.
There’s only so much new revenue you can generate from old customers, so outreach has to be part of any marketing strategy.
Outreach is similar to any other marketing campaign, except you’re approaching people you’ve never tried to contact before. Since you haven’t been tracking their movements, they’re as unfamiliar to you as you are to them, so you have to focus more on your offer than their needs. You can succeed, though, if you follow these steps to a successful outreach campaign.
Create the Best Offer
People are bombarded with marketing messages every day. They tend to ignore most of them, usually because the message doesn’t promise anything for them. Potential customers don’t care that your business exists—they care that it can give them something of value. Determine the most important priority for prospects and build an offer around that.
The right offer depends on the goal you want to achieve. Prospective customers respond to discounts or new products. Potential followers want reliable information. Influencers want to know your offer is credible. Pick the offer that’s right for your strategy, and then make it basic enough that people know exactly what they’ll get.
Answer a Common Question
No matter how great your offer, it can’t succeed on its own. It has to meet a need or solve a problem. Prospects usually tell you what this is when they ask specific questions. Identify these questions and frame your offer around the answers.
Let’s say you want to broaden your reach among construction lawyers. These people have very targeted questions, such as “Where can I get updates on zoning laws?” or “How can I market my services to construction firms?” Refer to this question in your introductory message and position your offer as a way to meet their needs.
Show Why Your Business Stands Out
Your offer is a great solution to your prospects’ issues. The problem is, dozens of other businesses can make the same claim. If one of them reached out before you did, you may have lost that prospect’s interest. Keep potential customers’ attention by telling them what makes your business better, or at least different.
Are your prices lower? Do you have a niche in the market? Are your staffers more experienced? Talk about all the strengths of your company, including credentials, professional affiliations and years of experience. However, avoid calling yourself the best at anything unless you can prove it. Making an unsubstantiated claim hurts credibility, and that can hurt your business.
Make a Great Call to Action
So, you’ve told your prospects all about your business. What now? What do you want them to do next? You need a good call to action, even when marketing to regular customers. That makes having a great one particularly important.
You don’t have to stray from the usual favorites—a landing page can be very effective. However, some calls to action may need a more personal touch. For instance, if your offer takes a long sales cycle, or is meant to form a deep relationship, add a name and contact information. Prospects will feel more comfortable about a heavy investment if they know someone is personally responsible for it.
Outreach to new markets can feel like cold calling, and the wrong message can result in the same harsh dismissal. Follow the steps above and get a second glance from prospects.
Published: January 21, 2014