First, let’s establish two maxims: one classic, one new.
Classic: The cardinal rule of customer acquisition – it’s not your customer’s job to keep your business top-of-mind, it’s yours.
New: Your website is becoming less of a destination and more of a distribution center – develop a strategy that doesn’t depend upon prospects and customers returning to your homepage.
Every business owner knows it’s easier to keep a customer than find a new one. But with all of the online options and commercial clutter, keeping their attention is getting harder. The good news is for every example of how technology makes business more complicated, there is a corresponding tool or application that increases efficiency and productivity.
The best example for how to stay on the radar screen of people who already know you – users, prospects and customers – is to practice what I call the “Follow me home” strategy. Once someone determines they like your business, they’re increasingly willing to give permission for you to “Follow me home” with digital information and content, by email (newsletters), texting (updates), social media (useful content), etc.
“Follow me home” supports three critical elements in 21st century customer relationships.
Emotional: At the heart of “Follow me home” is trust that a business won’t abuse this privilege. This is a gift – value, protect and perform on this.
Practical: “Follow me home” conveys that you understand people have other options, are very busy and want help staying connected.
Technical: Elements on your website that make “Follow me home” easy (“Subscribe to our free newsletter”, “Follow us on Twitter, etc.), score the online hat trick: values, thought-leadership and technical capability.
“Follow me home” is good for your business in four ways:
1. You’ve been invited to connect with regular, useful content and appropriate marketing messages.
2. Since it’s a natural law that a prospect has to see several impressions before converting to a customer, “Follow me home” becomes an effective and efficient conversion practice.
3. “Follow me home” is one of the best ways a user pre-qualifies themselves as a prospect.
4. New technologies make delivering on “Follow me home” easier than ever.
Make it easy for users, prospects and customers to give you permission to, “Follow me home.”
Write this on a rock…“Follow me home” is a buying signal waiting to happen. Are you listening?
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.