When my oldest son was born, the docs had barely scrubbed the ink off his tiny feet before the marketing started.
The beaming nurses handed us a “new parents kit”—a bag bulging with free goodies.
Mostly these were samples from companies like Huggies and Enfamil, eager to grab a new customer.
But a few sly marketers piggybacked off the formula and diaper companies, quietly slipping in postcards promoting their own offers.
One of them was from Shutterfly, an online photo printing company.
The offer was just too good for us to pass up: a free hardcover photo book, which normally goes for something like $35 + shipping.
Now that’s a LOT of money just to get a new lead. (Especially since most new parents would do what we did—order the photo book and nothing else. Shutterfly was basically mailing out free $20 bills by the thousands.)
It was brilliant.
See, Shutterfly knows the value of follow-up.
Once my wife ordered that free photo book, they added her to their email list. And then they started the drip drip drip of additional offers.
My son will be 5 in a few weeks, and she still gets an email from them almost every day.
Thanks to their consistent followup, I’m now the owner of two coffee mugs with my kids’ smiling faces… a fleece blanket with photos of our whole family… and a whole stack of paid-for photo books and prints.
There are a TON of great marketing lessons embedded in this story.
Like how it’s important to catch your prospect at a time of transition. (Many new parents spend like drunken politicians.)
But here’s the biggest takeaway—
It’s pretty expensive to get a new prospect onto your list.
I don’t doubt that Shutterfly blew $10 or more to ship us that first free book.
Where most businesses go wrong, though, is they stop there.
They don’t follow up enough.
The sad truth is, if your prospects—and your customers—don’t hear from you RELENTLESSLY, they’ll quickly forget you even exist.
And when that happens, the money and effort you invested to get their attention is wasted.
Shutterfly didn’t make this mistake, and it won them a longtime customer—and hundreds of dollars in additional sales.
P.S. Email is by far the most cost effective way to follow up with your customers. (A recent study by the Direct Marketing Association showed that $1 invested in email marketing can return $43 on average.)
With a good automated follow-up sequence, you can keep your name in front of your customers for months.
I can build an email sequence like this for your business.
I’ll warn you—it’s not cheap, but for the right business this investment can have a huge payoff.
Go here for details: