OK, this sounds a bit competitive, and maybe a tad aggressive – it is not however as brutal as it sounds.
If you are an MMA fighter (aren’t we all), the advantage happens when you have your competitor in exactly the position you want them to be. In sales and marketing, it’s the same, except that your advantage moment happens when you have established a relationship with your customer and they are buying from you.
One of the easiest ways of maintaining your position is to offer your customers more than what they expect. You see this strategy everywhere, the less you notice it at the time, the more effective the strategy is.
Regardless if a sale has been concluded or not, offering your customers (or potential customers) free business related information will (re)establish you in their frontline consciousness. Business related information might be as simple as a recipe using raw ingredients that you retail, or it might be some cost saving hints and tips for a product that you retail. These are all strategies that elevate you and your business in your client’s psyche.
Remember that everything has a cost, and your free give-aways will incur a cost to the customer. The cost is not a monetary cost, instead it is something that they have that becomes valuable to you. It’s always easier to create analogies with food, and this article will not deviate from that path :-).
Food outlets, especially outlets that trade in raw or semi-prepared ingredients can offer recipes that utilise offered products, You can do this at the store level or online via any of the social media platforms that you are a member of (facebook, twitter) or more directly via your own web presence. Collecting information about your customers before handing over the freebie is easy when done online. “Enter your email address to download our unique recipe for Osso Bucco”.
I personally have downloaded hundreds of ebooks, and every single time, without fail, I have handed over an email address.
Of course, there is always the chance that your freebies are being obtained by the customer using a bogus email address. This will happen, and the only real consequence is that your email list will become peppered with invalid email addresses. Customers that use these techniques are probably customers that would not have purchased from you anyway, so you haven’t lost too much (besides copies of ones and zeros).
This still leaves the problem of an email list that is full of errors, and these errors need to be corrected. Which brings me to the main point of this article. Test the collected email addresses. This is the process of hammering home an advantage. Every verified email address is a marketing opportunity that you will be able to leverage specials, events, announcements, etc in the future.
Oh yeah, before I forget, when collecting the customer email address, make sure thay acknowledge that you are collecting this email address for future marketing campaigns. This will protect you from prosecution from crimes against the Spam Act.