Creating Customer Loyalty when Customer Loyalty Seems to be Dying…

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Customer loyalty seems to be dying. I hear it from every business owner I talk to. Relationships they once counted on are disappearing as everyone goes on the web looking for a better deal or better service or better product.

And yet, there’s actually a trend that is creating amazing levels of customer loyalty and relationships that seem almost bullet-proof.

So {FIRST_NAME}, want to know how companies are doing it? Read on…

I've recently noticed life insurance companies running commercials on TV that don't sell anything. Instead, they bring up concerns people interested in life insurance might have and offer a free ebook or report on their website to answer those questions.

I've noticed the same trend in some drug company commercials. Rather than tell you to ask your doctor about so & so drug, they offer you a downloadable ebook on their website with answers to your questions or more information about how the drug can help with a certain disease.

A better use of an ebook…

However, {FIRST_NAME}, I think this is short sighted. A better use of this tactic would be offering a free ebook they could download off the site with helpful information, recommendations and resources (links) for a particular disease or health issue. You could almost guarantee they will go to the site and download the ebook.

When they download the ebook, you now have a “brochure” in their “hands” that will not wind up in the “circular file.” What’s more, rather than seeing you as a “money-grubbing corporation" out to “fleece widows and orphans,” their perception of your company will be an organization that actually cares about them and is trying to help.

A great ebook example...

A great example is an ebook I created for a client of mine, San Diego Divorce. You can go to their website and download the free "downloadable report" to see an example of what can be created and how it can promote your business WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE you're promoting your business.

Get 17 Free AdWords Cheat Sheets, MP3s, and Videos from someone with a proven track record of AdWords success.

This can work for B2B also…

This tactic can work for almost any industry whether you market B2C or B2B. B2C is usually pretty easy to find something to create a helpful ebook about. But what about B2B?

Let’s look at an example ebook title:

“How to Find & Remove Cavitation Losses that are Costing Your Company Thousands of Dollars a Year.”

Now that may not sound glamorous or even vaguely interesting to most “consumers.” But to a plant manager who is always on the lookout for ways to cut his costs, an ebook like this might be pure gold. Just avoid the temptation of “the shortcut” and trying to turn it into a sales piece for your product. That will just blow up in your face. Yes, mention your product and how it can help with the problem. But don't sound like that's the only reason you created the ebook. Cram it full of solid information and show that your company is the expert on the subject.

Believe me, they’ll remember the company that really helped them out more than the company that just tried to sell them something. What’s more, if you have a forum on your website that the ebook directs them to where they can sign up and ask for help with other issues, you’ll be in front of them regularly.

This is great “branding” that actually has value in creating positive perceptions and enthusiasm about your firm. And most importantly, loyalty in a day and time when relationships and loyalty seem to be eroding every day.

If you're looking for an ebook consultant, you should talk to Syble Smith of Smith House Press.

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What else can you do to increase “participation” and customer loyalty?

As I said, forums can be a great way to increase loyalty. My wife is a website designer and she participates on forums a lot. Every time she has a question, the first thing she does is go to the forums.

Another popular option that I’ve seen work again and again is getting involved in a local group, not as just a member but as a manager or host.

A case in point, Advantage Labs.

They host the TC Web Pros meetings every week, of which I’m a member and vice-president. Advantage Labs has positioned themselves as the “goto” resource for all things Drupal. Drupal is a content management web design software.

What better way to stay front of mind than to have web developers and designers meeting at your offices every month? And I’ve seen the fruits of their labors. A lot of the designers in TC Web Pros are now Drupal designers taking training classes and participating in forums with Advantage Labs. And it didn’t happen by accident.

Advantage Labs also stays front of mind with a newsletter. Which brings me to another question:

How many touch-points do you have with the public or potential customers or clients?

Here’s a list of my touch-points:

My newsletter (which you are reading) - 312 readers

My blog - as of today November 24, 2009, I had 1776 unique visitors in the last 30 days and 8,517 page views. I also have several other blogs that I post on infrequently (just enough to keep them fresh and add new incoming links to my website.)

I am a regular guest blogger on for Website Copywriting.

My 2 free downloadable ebooks – my 38 page Online Marketing Primer and if you sign up for my newsletter, you get to download my $9.99 report Website Promotion for free.

I sub at two different BNI groups regularly – I worked with consultant Roshini Rajkumar to develop my speaking skills, polish my appearance, and train my voice so people want me to substitute for them.

And I have over twenty different Social Media sites where I promote my business including LinkedIn, Twitter, BizNik and Merchant Circle.

Lastly, I’ve invested my time in organic search engine optimization and am now neck and neck with another firm fighting for first place in Google for the keyword phrase Online Marketing Minneapolis.

So make a list and see how many touch-points you have with potential customers. And then look at my list and see how many touch-points you could potentially add.

And then get to work!

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Internet Marketing expert WordsmithBob helps small to mid-size businesses DOMINATE the Net! WordsmithBob combines organic search engine optimization, strategic link building, social media marketing and pay per click advertising to double or triple your business. Download our FREE 38 page Online Marketing Primer to learn about the most effective online marketing methods available today.


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