If you’re writing marketing materials, such as an e-mail to sell a service or product, you may believe your sales copy is about generating sales. It is and it isn’t. You hope, in the end, you will get sales from your marketing materials; the purpose is to build a relationship between you and the potential buyer. We call this “relationship marketing.” You don’t want to hard-sell, because a direct, pushy sell usually alienates potential buyers. You want to build a relationship first, at which point sales will flow (if you do your relationship marketing the right way).
Relationship marketing puts the “CUSTOM” back in customer. You would think this would be logical, but many copywriters think this approach is a radical idea. Inexperienced copywriters focus on attracting potential buyers for a single transaction, rather than providing excellent service and support. If you want to turn buyers into long-term customers, then you will do the service and support, because the bottom line is making money long-term.
Relationship marketing evolved from direct response marketing in the 1960’s. In the 1980’s it evolved into building long-term (relationship) customers rather than relying on just single transactions. This marketing philosophy is called your customers’ “life cycle,” meaning, you offer a range of products/services, as people need them. To do this successfully, you need to write good, compelling copy, among other things.
Why would focusing on existing customers be more profitable? If you’re constantly spending money and resources to attract new customers, your profitability suffers. You aren’t building a loyal base of people who stay with you. Called “churn,” these people won’t come back to you. Another term to keep long-term customers and increase their loyalty is called “defensive marketing.” Customers who have already opened their wallets will continue to spend money on future services and products. If you write compelling sales copy for your website or other marketing tools, then those wallets are going to open often.
You can also view your customer lifetime value as a long-term asset. You value assets and treat them accordingly. Keep your customers (assets) happy and they will remain loyal. Loyalty is worth money to your business, since the cost of keeping an existing customer is only about 10 percent of the cost of getting a new one.
No one person is the same when they come to you for a product, service or opportunity. Everyone needs something specifically for THEM. If you’re marketing online, first communicate and build a relationship with people. You can use many methods, such as: e-mail, instant messaging, community forums, blogging and websites. You want to show them what you have to offer and get them to your website. That takes work. Once they’re on your website (and reading your great copy), get their e-mail address by giving something away instantly. The instant reward keeps them interested.
Provide quality information, well-written and properly researched copy. This adds credibility. If the copy is good, and it motivates people, this will often translate into program registrations, or sign ups for a newsletter, or requests for product information — even orders. THIS is the beginning of your relationship, NOT the end. This is where you start your long-term relationship with your customer and offer value added extras. Show them how to get the best value and use out of their purchase(s). This more than anything will set you apart from your competition. This step will reward you with word-of-mouth referrals and customer retention.