The No. 1 Strategy For Getting New Customers

I’m often asked that if I had only one method of getting new customers, what would it be.

My answer is that it would be using endorsed mailings.

Endorsed mailings work for any business on a local level, global level, or via the internet.  It should be at the forefront of almost any set of marketing strategies.

The concept really is quite simple.  You want to look for a company that has the customers that you would also like as your customers.  Naturally, you won’t be going to a competitor for their list.  It will always be a non-competitor, even though I’ve worked out endorsements with competitors in rare situations.

That said, the endorsing company would send out a letter, on their letterhead, to their customers.  The letter would be addressed from the principal of the company, if possible.   Or an endorsement letter could be sent out as a cover letter with your sales letter or literature along with it.   You want the mailing to be done, using the endorser’s identity on the outside of the envelope.

Because the endorser is known by the customers being mailed, there’s almost a 100% chance that the mailing will be opened and read by the receiver.

Of course the one variable is the quality of the relationship the endorser has with his/her list of customers.

If your letter is done properly, approval of your business by another business, almost always builds an understanding in the prospect’s mind of honesty and believablility.

There are two requirements that must be met in order for an endorsement situation to work.

  1. The customers of the endorser must need and want your product.

  2. They must trust the endorser. 

You might look at your present vendors to find a good endorser.  Here are some examples:

  1. A carpet retail store might look for a rug-shampoo and cleaning company.

  2. A florist might consider wedding planners, caterers or bridal stores.

  3. A bridal store could endorse a florist, a dry cleaner, decorator, or furniture store.

  4. A CPA could endorse a lawyer.

  5. A doctor could endorse a dentist, chiropractor or a veterinarian.

You get the idea, right?

Here are some phrasings I found effective when I sent out endorsements to my customers:

  1. “I value you as a customer, and I want to share with you the benefits I’ve received from (whatever)”

  2. Jimmy Smith of Smith and Company holds our relationship in very high esteem, and he felt you would want to know about our (whatever)”

  3. “Because you are a very good customer of mine, I have arranged for you to get two free hours with this very talented financial planner.  I’m giving you this in appreciation for being my customer.”

I feel that # 3 here is one of the best ones to test.

Do you use endorsed mailings as part of your marketing strategy?  If so, have you been pleased with your results?  If not, what do you think has not worked?

Also, if you have not used endorsed mailings as part of your marketing strategy, why not?


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17 Responses to “The No. 1 Strategy For Getting New Customers”

  1. Cynthia says:

    Hi Ken,
    I have been following you for only a short time and I find some of your information useful however it seems you are “stuck” on direct mailings as a major part of a companies marketing strategy. It has been my understanding, and research gives that understanding some teeth, that direct mail marketing has one of the lowest response rates of advertising campaigns. In our current economy many people, since my biz is retail directed, are shopping on the internet first and if they get free shipping a lot of the times they will buy on the internet. Many of my friends, people I meet when out shopping or enjoying an afternoon in the park have all subscribed to reducing their junk mail in order to be eco-friendly. I guess my question would be then, why are you so enamored with direct mail marketing campaigns?

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Cynthia,
    Hi Cynthia,
    Good question. As you are astutely implying, there are other ways to approach getting new customers. Using a website is one of them. However, if you only use a website, you miss the rest of the market you can reach offline. Using both online and offline marketing (direct mail) gives you the widest reach. In addition, if your website does not show up in the top 10 search results on Google, you are basically invisible. By that fact, most businesses are invisible if they are depending on being found by search engine marketing, since only 10 companies can be in that position on any search.

    So direct mail is a tried and true way to add to the power of your marketing reach, especially when using methods like endorsed mailings. I think it’s especially essential for offline businesses to use both online and offline methods in their marketing. In my businesses, I generated approximately 6,000,000 customers using direct mail.

    It all comes down to the numbers. Whether marketing online or offline, it all comes down to the return on your investment. If you are making a good profit with a 1% response using one method, that’s better than losing money with a method giving you 20% response. It all comes down to what works best in your situation.

    [Reply]

  2. Winston says:

    Hello Ken,

    I whole heartedly agree with you. “Endorsed Marketing” is probably the strongest approach available, short of an actual appointment. I’m sure that everyone will agree that word of mouth is the #1 way to get customers (or lose them).

    Endorsed marketing is none other than positive word of mouth from a powerfully credible source.

    And if you impress the new prospect, you end up with 2 sources of positive advertising, while at the same time reinforcing the value of the original endorser in the mind of the prospect. no matter how you look at it, it’s win/win.

    [Reply]

    Ken Varga Reply:

    @Winston,
    Winston, well said!

    [Reply]

  3. [...] you want to re-read the previous article I wrote on this subject, you can see the article here: http://www.kenvarga.com/news/the-no-1-strategy-for-getting-new-customers/ ShareSocial [...]

  4. Darren Ward says:

    An endorsed mail out from a JV Partner is really effective. I have used this strategy with a client who happens to be an Accountant with a size-able customer list. The endorsed mail out letter generated 15 appointments and 3 sales. Happy to share this letter template.

    Really good site, some fantastic information here for business growth and business success.
    Well Done Ken!
    Darren AKA theirishcoach

    [Reply]

    India Reply:

    @Darren Ward,
    Hello please share template….thanks in advance

    [Reply]

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