Sales funnels. If you’re an entrepreneur or salesperson, you’ve heard the term enough to make your ears bleed. Yes, those YouTube ads by teenage sales “gurus” are torturous. (“Here’s how my 15-year old daughter made six figures in two months as an Amazon reseller,” she says. Ok, Karen.) But they’re right about one thing—you need a sales funnel, and well-defined tactics for every stage of the funnel, to succeed in your business.
But first, a quick refresher on sales funnels. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need them: customers discover our store or website, take a close look, decide to buy—no questions asked—and then tell their friends and family.
We don’t live in that world. We live in a world where companies go to war for the attention of their customers’ over-extended brains. And even when we get a flash of that attention, we have to get them interested enough to learn more. Then we need to convince them to buy something. Even when we’ve done that, we actually need them to click the “Confirm purchase” button to complete the sale.
That’s the traditional sales funnel: how we move a potential customer from awareness of our offering to interest in it, to making a decision to buy, to taking action.
Proven tactics for each stage of the sales funnel are helpful when you are putting one together. Handwritten letters—of the kind Postalgia can produce in spades—fit into any stage of an effective sales funnel. Here are just some examples to get you thinking creatively about how handwritten letters can build your business.
- Many companies use direct mail targeting through their postal service. Consider leveraging this tactic with a handwritten note to introduce yourself to potential customers. For instance: a realtor could send ageing homeowners in a local neighbourhood a handwritten introduction. It could include the realtor’s history selling houses in that neighbourhood, and how the realtor can help any family looking to downsize. It’s a friendly way to introduce yourself and build credibility in a new market with a targeted segment.
- Starting a new business? Why not send a letter to all your professional and personal contacts, letting them know you’re hanging your shingle? You’ll find no greater advocates than your closest friends and family. The human touch of a handwritten letter may inspire them to share your info with others.
- Mail your list of loyal and past customers, letting them know about a new line of products or a major sale you’re launching. Consider connecting your letter to their previous purchase. “Sarah, if you loved the fall scarf you purchased from us last year, you’ll adore the new fall scarves we’re releasing this October!”
- Many companies keep subscription lists for branded newsletters. Consider surprising subscribers with a handwritten letter. For instance: if a non-profit or charity offers a regular newsletter, that organization could mail their first edition to a new supporter with a special handwritten letter thanking them for their support.
- Consider sending a letter with a timely call-to-action related to a topical news event. For instance: Let’s say meteorologists are predicting a chilly winter. If you sell outerwear, send a letter to local residents, letting them know about the cold to come and offering a discount on coats. Connecting your product to a top-of-mind challenge is a great way to clinch a purchase decision.
- If you offer product samples, especially online, accompany those samples with a handwritten letter thanking the potential customer for their consideration and explaining the many benefits of your products. It’s a great way to create a personal connection right when a potential customer weighs whether they want to go further.
- There’s nothing an e-commerce entrepreneur dreads more than seeing a user with a full shopping cart, who hasn’t hit the “Checkout” button. Worry not—if you have their shipping information, send them a handwritten letter reminding them to complete their purchase. You can even offer a special discount as an incentive to finish.
- Do you host informative webinars for potential customers exploring your product or market? It’s easy to connect that experience to a handwritten letter. Whether you use EventBrite or another event management platform, require that attendees share their mailing information. Follow up with each attendee by letter after your webinar, thanking them for attending and providing your phone number if they’d like to learn more. That personal touch will take the sometimes-impersonal experience of a webinar and make an attendee feel valued.
- If you provide personal consultations to potential customers—say, the way a realtor will offer a free, no-obligation house appraisal—you can offer to follow up that consultation with a one-page summary of your recommendation for the customer. Helping customers for free—and encouraging them to purchase your services along the way—is a great method for building loyalty.
- We know the extraordinary effects of gratitude on the human psyche. It’s not surprising then how effective a simple thank-you letter for a new customer can be. Sending a thank-you letter with any product you ship, or after service you provide, will leave a memorable mark – particularly among new customers whom you hope to keep for the long-term.
- Handwritten letters are also a great way to upsell a customer in a non-pushy, friendly way. Let’s say you sell furniture. If a customer buys a new coffee table, you might attach a handwritten letter to their shipment, letting them know your recommendations for rugs, side tables, or chairs that would perfectly match. Connecting your helpful suggestions to their purchase shows that you are offering personalized advice tailored to their tastes—and may convince them to buy more.
- Show customers how much you care about their experience with your company. An appropriate period after their purchase, send them a follow-up letter asking about their use of the product. Are they fully satisfied? Do they have any questions? Are they enjoying the product as you hoped? Provide your email or phone number—show the customer you care deeply about their enjoyment of the product, long after they have paid you. It’s an excellent way to build a relationship and earn a customer’s loyalty in the long-term.
These are just a few ideas for every stage of the sales funnel. Handwritten letters are an effective tactic, no matter where your customer is at in their journey. And with the power of Postalgia’s robots, you can produce handwritten letters on mass for any sales campaign. Click here and learn how.
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