#6 – The power of “I miss you”

One of the most successful, staple marketing strategies for Piranha Members has been the “I Miss You” letter.

If you were to add up each member’s revenue collectively from this one strategy to their own lists over the years, I think you could safely say this has generated MILLIONS in jobs over the past decade.

One Platinum Plus member told Joe and I a year ago that it took them FOUR years of hearing about the “I Miss You” letter before they actually implemented it…and now they are generating thousands in jobs every month from it.

So…if you have a list of clients, this is one of the simplest, most successful strategies to get into motion. Let’s talk about the why and the how.

Reminders are VALUABLE.

How many times do you thank others for reminding you about something in your day?

You have dozens of ideas shooting in and out of your ears every single day, right? And inevitably some get lost from your radar.

Things you forgot at the store. A client you forgot to call. A message you forgot to send to your team.

Unless you are like Sarah Palin, and can write it on your palm in Sharpie pen to remember (which actually IS a good idea…), it’s tough to remember everything…

…especially something like cleaning your carpets.

My most successful marketing campaign in our rug cleaning shop is…drumroll please…bbbrrrbbbrrrbbbrrrbbbrrr!!!  (sounds like drums, right?) :-)

Our REMINDER POSTCARDS!!!!

Seriously, these generate an average of $10K a month in regular revenue for us from our past clients.

People just need to be REMINDED to call, because especially with wool rugs, they end up looking okay even when they are VERY dirty (because the soil hides in the fibers very easily).

My doctor sends me reminder cards. So does my dentist. So does my car mechanic.

And… I call as a result, because I didn’t know it was time again already! Sheesh!

Is it surprising that a client would NOT remember the last time you cleaned their carpet? Of course not. You think they marked it on their calendars like a birthday? LOL!

So, the “I Miss You” letter is a reminder on steroids. It is a letter you can send to clients who are 12 or 18 months since their last cleaning. And the letter offers them a free room of cleaning because you miss them.

It’s a very well-written, friendly letter. Take a look:

What I like about this letter is its simplicity.

It’s only two pages long. You can print it from your computer. Just personalize the opening, adjust the sections you need to (company name, etc.) – and SHAZAM! It’s a money maker.

To boost response, I hand address the envelopes and use REAL stamps, never bulk mail. (By the way, ALWAYS seed your list if you are mailing hundreds of letters, adding your own address at home, so you can make sure your campaigns are delivered – and how long they take. Sometimes bundles that look like “marketing” can find their way to the garbage bin instead of being delivered, so using real 1st class stamps helps keep that from happening.)

By the way, when we went from pre-printed reminder postcards (that simply said “hey, time to clean your rugs!”) to HAND-WRITTEN cards, the response in calls went up by FIVE times.

In fact, I hired a part-time person to only write reminder cards for me, sending 200 out a week, and it was WAY worth the investment. (She also did hand written thank you cards for me, because once I got to doing 150+ a month with every new client, I just couldn’t do it anymore with everything else on my plate.)

When was the last time you received a really nice hand written thank you?

I get some from Piranha Members because we teach them to do it (and they are GREAT students) – but what about outside of this group?

Heck… even on my birthday, which EVERY company I pay money to monthly has my birthday in their records – nothing except one card from Southwest Airlines, with some free drink coupons. Which actually, was super nice. They always remember my birthday. And they are interestingly enough the only profitable airline in the US right now. Hmmmm.

It may not be because of birthday cards – but they certainly are VERY adept at marketing to past customers to get them to use them again and again.

Look at all of the service companies YOU have done business with, and ask yourself how many take the time to personally follow-up with you and reward you with a gift to use them again?

If you were to get a nice, personal letter, with an offer (and a deadline) to encourage you to use them… and they were a nice business to work with in the past… would you use them again?

Of course you would.

And look at the comments here on this blog where your fellow business owners have said “Lisa, thanks for reminding me about that strategy… it used to work great for us but for some reason we stopped… so thanks for the reminder!”

Everyone needs a reminder sometimes. You do.  Your clients do.

So remind them you are here. Remind them it’s time to see you again. And REWARD them with a gift, and some kind words that tell them you miss them.

If you truly do great work – then that free room of cleaning will become a house of cleaning, and if you give any other specials to add upholstery or rugs or hard floors, it may be a BIG day of cleaning.

If you are looking for a jolt to your business – give this a shot. And let me know how you do!

- Lisa

P.S. If you do not clean carpets, this does NOT mean the letter will not work for you. Several years ago we converted the “I Miss You” letter to be sent out by several Interlink Supply distributors (a products company in our industry) – and they sent a Gift Card with an expiration date. It worked great for those locations, and they sent it to customers who had not done business with them for a LOOOONG time – so it got them back some customers they had lost. So don’t gloss over this if you do not do cleaning.  And if you are already using this strategy, then share your results here and how you are implementing it (how often you mail, etc.) – and I can add some additional ideas for you to enhance what you are already doing. Happy Marketing!!!!

7 responses to “#6 – The power of “I miss you”

  1. More TIPS for the “I Miss You” strategy:

    1) Target homes who have not contacted you in 12 months (versus 18) if you want to encourage them to get to you sooner. For rugs we do 18 months, but for installed carpet, based on EPA guidelines, they should be cleaning at least annually.

    2) Always SEQUENCE your campaigns. This means do not only mail once and stop. Do a 2nd and 3rd letter. And if they still do not call you, then YOU call them – and here’s a great reason for the call “I’ve sent you several letters, offering you a free room of cleaning, and you have not called so we must have done something wrong the last time we were there… can you let me know so I can make sure it never happens again?” (Shows you care AND let’s you know if indeed there is something wrong you should know about.)

    3) Send a CONFIRMATION LETTER for the Free Room cleaning. Reinforce that they are not required to have any other work done, this truly is a gift, but if they want any other services you can list them and share any offer you’d like to make them while you are there.

    4) If you want to include a plastic gift card (rather than a voucher or gift certificate) then one website to order them is 4 Color Print for Plastic Cards – just remember, this campaign works best with a DEADLINE, so if you order cards to use, don’t order too many with an expiration date if you don’t think you will get through them in time. Sometimes the printed voucher is best, and there are many templates on Microsoft and Mac to pretty up a standard simple voucher.

    – Lisa

  2. Lisa,
    After years of hearing this strategy we did it in my photography studio. Offering a free session and a free 8×10. I know you may hear this alot but I was surprised at the number of people who called as well as the amount of money they spent with us. Although we did send 3 letters I can specifically remember that one client alone purchased enough that it covered the cost of all three mailings: including our time, postage, and printing costs. Unbelievable. We are going to do this every year without fail. It’s on the calendar. Thanks!

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  4. I sent a card on a regular basis year right after a while it gets to be old hat.
    I am going to try in writing cards and track the difference thanks for getting me back on track

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