Sending American Lifestyle magazine is a great way to thank your clients for their continued business. Although they will appreciate the gesture, you can’t guarantee you’ll build brand advocates by just sending the magazine. To really engage recipients, you’ll have to take a more proactive approach.
Whether you’re mailing for the first time or you’ve been using the magazine for years to connect with your professional network, here are a few ways you can leverage ALM to earn more referrals:
1. Design your mailing list to connect with each of your target markets
Mailing only to your most valuable clients is not enough, and sending to your entire database may be too much. Craft a balanced and powerful contact list to include groups like past clients, centers of influence, or contacts that may not necessarily be clients, but that have given a good referral in the past.
2. Ask recipients about their personal lives; learn their hobbies and interests, and take note of them
With each issue, make it a goal to connect with at least seven clients—one client for each of the articles. You may find that you can connect with more than seven contacts, since each ALM contains articles on design, travel, art, and recipes. Many times, all you need is an icebreaker. American Lifestyle is that icebreaker.
3. Pair up with someone from your professional network to create a strategic partnership
Invite your vendor partners, referral partners, and other business owners with whom you are friendly to include an ad in your next ALM. If they don’t have an ad available, leverage the ReminderMedia design team to create a custom ad for them. When your ALM goes to print, be sure to order additional copies for both you and your partner, and ask them to pass a few along to their own network. This will extend your reach and theirs.
4. Don’t be afraid to encourage your recipients to make referrals
Let them know that this is how you grow your business. Often times, when you give a referral, others feel more inclined to return the favor. If you’re too shy to ask outright, try saying at the end of your custom letter, “Thank you for your continued support through referrals and recommendations,” or “With each issue you receive, please think of me if any referral opportunities exist.”
5. Skip the business cards
Although useful, business cards only provide contact information, and little else. There is no reminder for you to follow up, and there is no incentive for a client to actually call you. ALM not only makes a more memorable impression, but it provides an icebreaker to a follow-up conversation.
6. At your next networking event, try taking a few additional copies with you, and hand them out to people with whom you’ve had a great conversation.
You’ll instantly create a stronger connection, and the follow-up conversation will be more natural for the both of you.
7. When clients rave about the magazine, offer to add their friends, family, or neighbors to your mailing list.
It’s important to remember that when socializing, people rarely want to talk about business. Give your contacts an opportunity to talk about something they enjoy, with a subtle reminder of the service that you provide. Chances are, if you give recipients something to talk about, you’ll get more introductions and ultimately more referrals.
Remember, referrals don’t always come with the turn of a tap. People don’t often make recommendations unless they feel a personal connection to you or your business. Take a proactive approach, and understand that by taking action, you’ll be well on your way to more repeat and referral business.