As the pandemic continues, and so many of us are stuck in our houses, it gets more and more challenging to stay in touch with our customers. Meanwhile our PCB and PCBA companies and their support companies are deemed essential and are being kept open. Actually, the companies that make up our interconnect industry are needed now more than ever. To drive this point home even further, on April 15 the DOD (Department of Defense) sent out a call for companies to build PCBs for ventilators for which there is of course an urgent need (for more information on this email [email protected]). So yes, there is business out there.
Those of us in sales and marketing have to find ways to help our already opened and staying open companies to get more business. If our companies are going to remain open, trying to conduct business as usual, then we have a responsibility to keep doing what we’re supposed to be doing and that of course is to stay in touch with current customers as well as to target potential target customers and convince them to buy from our companies.
One of the best ways to do this remotely is to send out what we are calling News Flashes. Not Newsletters, but News Flashes. These are shorter, informational messages letting the customers know that we are still in business, that we are up and running and accepting orders from current and new customers, and that we can offer them the same excellent products and services that we have in the past.
These news flashes should be short and to the point. They should not be longer than one screen on most computers and tablets. Each one should contain a short pertinent message; one key point about your company; a tip or a tool about your technology; a COVID 19 update from your company and finally a call to action. They have to be short, readable, and interesting. It would be good to add a personal touch to the news flash, maybe highlight one of your associates, or an update on how your company is faring in these challenging times.
The important thing is that you make sure that once you start, you keep it going. The best way to do that is to plan ahead and know what each news flash will be about. I recommend that you lay out five or six in advance, write a short bullet point outline for each and have them prepared and ready to go in advance. Once you get the hang of it becomes easier to do.
Please remember that the most important element of a successful email campaign is the subject line. The subject line is why people open an email in the first place. Make sure that your subject line is provocative and interesting enough to get people to open it. Something like “News from ABC Circuits” is not going to cut it. No, the subject line has to call out to the potential reader to get her to open the email to begin with and then read the contents
The emails should be sent to all of your customers both past and present. They should be sent to:
- Current customers
- Orphans (those you used to do business with)
- Familiar Prospects
- Strangers (companies you don’t know but have heard about and are targeting)
- And you should always be adding to this list:
- Potential accounts you find on Linkedin
- Companies you meet through networking
- Old trade show lists
- Companies you are reading about in the trades
The nice things about these newsflashes is that they keep you in touch with your entire network. And it lets your customers and potential customers know you are open for business.
News flashes are a great way to keep touching your customers and future customers while not being able to visit them.
They represent a great way to “warm up” your cold calling as well. If you send a company a series of news flashes they will certainly know who you are when you give them a call. This makes cold calling a little less daunting.
The experts say that out of all of the social media tools we have available to us from Linkedin to Twitter to Pinterest, Newsletters are eight times more effective that any of the others when it comes to reaching your target audience! That’s an amazing fact and it certainly makes a great case for using email news flashes during these times when it is so difficult to communicate with your customers and potential customers.
One last thing. I strongly recommend that you use a service like Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) or Mail Chimp (www.mailchimp.com) to send out your news flashes. These services offer design templates for you to use; they offer database management and they are telling the email spam police that you are not a spammer. Sending out mass emails on your own can lead to a lot of trouble, that’s why you need to use one of these services.
And remember, once you start sending out these news flashes, keep at it, the more you send out, the more you will connect with people and the more business you will get. It’s only common sense.