Marketing: Nurture customers, new and old

Q. How can a marketing automation program help me increase cash sales?
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A. Competitive bidding has changed the way you need to think about your sales process. It’s important to have a marketing automation program in place to nurture prospects who aren’t ready to buy, as well as to sell more products and services to current customers.

Here are five things to consider when setting up a program:

Set goals. Before you begin writing your message, decide what goal you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to win a new customer or nurture an existing one?

Content is king. Your message should provide value and deliver quality content. Don’t focus on closing the sale; you could lose the customer and the sale.

The right message at the right time. Target communications based on the prospect’s or customer’s needs. For example, remind customers that a prescription is due for refill; or send a price markdown to prospects who have shown interest in a particular scooter.

Customer satisfaction and retention. Your job isn’t done when you close the sale—it’s the first step to your next sale. A marketing automation program can help you send out tips on how to use CPAP equipment, or when accessories or a new model are available.

“No” doesn’t mean “never.” Reach out to not-so-ready prospects with timely,  personalized reminders that can renew their interest in your store and products you carry.

Remember—you can’t measure what you can’t see. Be sure to set up reporting that goes beyond how many people open your email. Capture the number of visits to your store or website, as well as the number of calls and emails you receive. Most importantly, you need to measure the impact on sales, then continue with campaigns that work and tweak or eliminate those that don’t.

Dennis Olsen is DME program/sales manager at ARI. Reach him at 888-581-9830 or