Do You Reignite Client Relationships?

You’ve been in business  a few years now. Met a lot of people, built relationships. Even grown your clientele through referrals. And with all that, you’ve served a lot of customers and exchanged a lot of information over that time. But are you nurturing current relationships to keep them loyal and returning, or trying to reignite client relationships from the past ?

Customers do come and go. It’s the nature of business. Circumstances change, people move, needs evolve, and sometimes they’ve had a negative experience. It’s now your job to pursue them and get them back.

Chances are you still have the contact information you’ve collected from past customers (hopefully in the form of mailing addresses). And hopefully your data allows you to know the reason for their departure.

Your Direct Way To Success

Why not take advantage of this great marketing opportunity?

And just how might you do this? Well, with a direct mail campaign of course. It’s an opportunity to make up lost revenue from customers who are inactive.

More people are reading the pieces that come to their door, especially when it’s from someone they already know. That makes direct mail an effective way to win back previous customers.

Direct mail can take the form of a physical package, or electronic. Either one works. I have to say though, I’m a big fan of a good sales letter with strong supporting material, including a great offer and call to action. It’s a cost-effective marketing tool with a pretty good ROI. (And for the purposes of this article, I’m speaking to mailing pieces through the post office.)

Facts Don’t Lie

Don’t let people convince you direct mail is dead. I know from my own experience the situation is quite the contrary. And this article posted by Eleventy Marketing Group in June 2015 cites encouraging data. (Data is from the Direct Marketing Association 2015 Statistical Fact Book). In fact direct mail is as strong as ever, offering you more of a chance to stand out than ever before.

Here are a just few tidbits from the above noted article to consider:

  • US organizations spent $46 billion on direct mail in 2014, compared to $44.8 billion in 2013.


  • 42% of recipients will read or scan direct mail pieces. ‘So what?’ you might ask.

As an example in the case of a sales letter piece: That means it’s important to have a fantastic outer envelope that captures immediate attention and gets recipients to open it. Once inside, entice them with a meaningful sales letter that has an outstanding headline and opening paragraph. That’s how you create more curiosity and engagement, and so on. But I digress…

What Should You Say to Reignite Client Relationships?

Well, since you presumably had a past business relationship with your recipient, why not tell them you miss them? Tell them you’re glad they were part of your growth in the past. Let them know you would love to count them among your current, valued and prized customers who have stuck with them all these years. Then offer them something if they return to you.

You don’t have to be extravagant either. Offer a one-time discount (10% will do) on their next transaction. Describe how they can to be part your appreciated loyalty group/club. Provide an ongoing discount if they buy X number of items in a specified period. If you can offer something exclusive to them, it’s even better.

Your offer depends on your desired strategy and the goals you set for your campaign. The possibilities are endless. The decision is yours.

Whether you chose to connect with a sales letter, postcard or special pamphlet, your message should be meaningful and related to their reason for leaving you. Always be sincere whatever the circumstance and whatever the specific message happens to be.

In essence though, you can tell your recipient

✓ *We understand you left unsatisfied and we want to make it up to you

✓ We’ve been thinking of you

✓ We miss you

✓ We’d love to have you back…and

✓ We’ll make it worth your while in doing so.

*Here’s where it’s important to know the reason for the customer’s departure. Use the following strategy if your data divulges this fact. In fact, for this circumstance, a separate, more sincere personal message asking

✓ What happened to cause you to leave

✓ How can we make it up to you

Subsequently, you will want to

✓ Acknowledge their situation,

✓ Apologize for the experience they endured, and

✓ Let them how you’ve corrected the issue…and so on.

Where To Start

In the end, if you’re not taking advantage of your existing (inactive) mailing list(s), you’re leaving a lot of potential revenue to gather dust. Why capture and keep customer data if not to nurture and continue the relationship, or recapture the magic of a lapsed relationship?

100% of the dormant customers you don’t go after, will never be awakened as customers again. And that represents lots of sleeping revenue to your business.

Your direct-mail campaign may incorporate several mailings and pieces to reactivate an inactive customer. Timing can play a key role, and specific messages and discounts can be tied to circumstances, holidays, new products, or events.

I know I can help you with your direct mail project. In fact, I’ve even written a complete (direct mail) how-to guide for my colleagues. They’re using it to coordinate their own campaigns, as well as those of their clients.

So if you’re not sure how to start your campaign or write a strong message that entices former customers back, connect with me. We’ll talk strategies and about how you can develop the best results from your own direct-mail campaign.

Of course direct mail works to find new customers, as well as reactivating lost ones. But that’s a whole other message and set of strategies for another article. For now, let’s work on recapturing and reigniting past relationships, shall we?


Your valued comments and questions are always welcome. Be sure to share this article with your business partners so they can boost their business relationships too. Thank you for your interest.

Published: January 13, 2016

Written by: Shelly Moreau