Here’s an “Automatic Follow-up System”
that ANYONE can afford….
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
I’ve offered many tidbits of advice through these newsletters over the years, in an effort to help you improve your marketing. By now, I hope you’ve at least picked up on the “top three core fundamentals” that every pool builder needs to tackle to stay ahead of the next guy:
- “Have Something Good to Say”
- “Say it Well”
- “Say it Often”
Translating these into “marketing speak,” I might say it more like this:
- Create / define your “Unique Selling Proposition” (a.k.a., your “USP”)
- Write your Web content, brochures and advertisements with passion and creativity, structured in an “Interrupt/Engage/Educate/Offer” format that is interesting and compelling in nature.
- Put into place an “Automated Follow-Up System” that will reach out and nurture the “future buyers”, so that when they’re finally ready to buy, they’re more likely to buy from you.
Either way, these three items are critical if you want to separate yourself from your competition. And while items #1 and #2 are admittedly tedious and time-consuming (and quite challenging if you’re not a practiced and experienced copywriter), “Secret Core Marketing Fundamental #3,” a.k.a. “Say It Often” a.k.a. “Automated Follow-Up System,” is really not so difficult at all.
And now, fortunately, it’s not so expensive either.
But before we get into that, let me reiterate why “automated follow-up” is so important. Last year, I had fun talking about “Lions and Antelope,“ and how a smart lion had better get a follow-up system in place, since there aren’t near as many antelope to go around.
In another newsletter, I put it more succinctly:
CONSISTENT FOLLOW-UP: Many a homeowner has decided “Now is not the time,” and then a year or two later decided to proceed. They almost always zero-in on whoever has reached out to them most recently. (Which has absolutely nothing to do with the quality or value of the product they build.) Most sales reps are too busy chasing current leads to also continually reach out to past prospects that won’t return phone calls. And admittedly, the return rate on these prospects is generally low.
So the solution is not to beat up the sales reps. The solution is to set up a system that reaches out to “cold leads” automatically at least once, preferably twice a year. A postcard system is best, because if they’re still thinking about a pool, your postcard will get their attention. Custom greeting cards from SendOutCards.com/mymaustin are good too. A low-cost e-mail system such as Constant Contact or Vertical Response can work too, but only if you have their email addresses.
You COULD Pay $2000 for a system like this…
Now, about the expense. (BLOG UPDATE: I originally charged $3000 when I first rolled out this program. I then managed to drive the cost down to $2000, and now just $997, plus $79 per month) to implement a full-blown, custom-designed multi-postcard, multi-e-mail automated follow-up system for pool builders. And I think every client that has ever used my system will agree, it’s worth every penny they ever paid, and 100 times more.
But NOW I’m talking about a price ANYONE can afford.
It’s easy to find an “auto responder” e-mail system for well under 50 bucks a month. The challenge has always been to find a system like this that can also handle postcards. The ridiculously overpriced and over-complicated system that I use (Infusionsoft) handles postcards, but it cost me $5,000 up front, plus $300 a month, just for the software! Not exactly what I would call “affordable” for the average small business.
So you can bet I was thrilled when I discovered eSentAll. They are that rare bird that not only provides an “e-mail auto responder” system, but they also handle postcards. Of course, these guys have a unique industry advantage, in that they are “an e-mail auto responder company” that is owned by a printing company.
And here’s the big Bonus — they’ve already created a series of postcards specifically for the swimming pool industry.
No wait- that’s not the BIG bonus….
The BIG bonus is that it only costs $15 a month!
And because I’ve started sending a lot of my business over to eSentAll, the owner has agreed to offer a special discount to anyone that I refer over to them. The “special discount” is that his team will design a custom e-mail template for you (with your name, address, logo, etc.) for FREE if you mention “MYM Austin” in the promotional code field at the bottom of the form.
By the way – they have a variety of pricing levels for their e-mail system but unless you’re running multiple locations all over the country, I can’t imagine that you would need anything more than the base level program of $15 / 500 e-mails a month. (There is also a nominal charge for every postcard that goes out, but that’s standard for ALL printing houses, and well under a dollar each.)
So go check it out. It’s quick, easy and cheap, and it’s also the ever-so-important “third leg” of the proverbial “three-legged marketing milk stool.” And that’s what will keep you full and fed, while all the other lions go hungry.
To your success,
2010 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin Inc.