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Follow-up Marketing

When you think about it, follow-up marketing is the one business tactic that sounds easy to implement—yet 90% of small business owners don't do it. Many don't have the resources or the staff, others don't want to seem "pushy" or abrasive, and still others don't even consider it. When developing your business plan, follow-up marketing should be a strong and vital aspect of your company.

You want to turn regular people into prospects and then customers and then referral customers. There are several ways you can increase the worth of each customer. There are also several methods you can outline in your business plan to make sure each customer stays loyal and refers his or her friends. First, don't make the mistake of many eager businesspeople just discovering the usefulness of follow-up marketing—don't immediately follow-up using the telephone. Your business plan should reflect a gradual build-up with your new prospect. This build-up can be implemented in a variety of ways, such as email, mail-ins, and special offers.

You should be careful, however, how you write this follow-up material and/or how you present it in your business plan. Don't write "2nd notice" on mailers for instance—it denotes impatience. Also, be sure that items such as videocassettes, CDs, or DVDs are affordable for you. Otherwise, email is a cheap and easy method to get your message across. All you need is autoresponder software and the will to entice your potential customers with offers that they will be hard pressed to refuse.

If you successfully lure them with your pitch, they will call you for more information. The key is that they will be an educated prospect ready to believe in your product or service. After all, that's why you have a business (or are starting one)—you want to identify a need in the market and satisfy it. So make sure that a follow-up marketing component is in your business plan. It will enable you to build a loyal customer base and assure the solvency of your business.

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