Do Your Clients Get What They Pay For?

This week, we'll explore the answer to "What do they pay you for?". If you recall from last week, our client, "D.M.C." (short for Direct Mail Company) had answered the first of these three questions:

  1. Who pays you for the work you do?
  2. What do they pay you for?
  3. Why do they choose you over a competitor?

The answer to #1 for D.M.C. was "local businesses who want to sell products/services to homeowners" (we'll refer to these businesses as "Happy Home Inc."). While this answer was clear, part of their actual strategy wasn't in line with it.

So let's look at the next question, "What do "Happy Home, Inc" companies pay D.M.C. for?". D.M.C.'s answers were:

  1. "mail postcards to high-earning homeowners"
  2. "put the postcards online so prospects can print them" and
  3. "put 'Happy Home, Inc' in our visitor survey that sends an email to Happy Home Inc. if a visitor would consider using them

A related question to this one is "Why do people stop doing business with you?". In D.M.C.'s case, the common theme was that Happy Home Inc. wasn't getting any or enough business from the postcards to justify the cost. If you look at answers A and B above, Happy Home Inc. wasn't actually paying for the activities listed (although it feels like that when you are doing the work). Happy Home Inc. wants leads from the postcards, and that's what they are paying D.M.C. for. Answer C above is the most related to that goal.

So the answer to "What do they pay you for?" becomes "leads that become customers for my business". When you open it up like that, then there may be additional activities that D.M.C. can do to generate leads for Happy Home Inc. This answer also clarifies what D.M.C. should measure to see what success looks like.

From a tracking perspective, D.M.C. does offer a free call tracking phone number, but many Happy Home Inc. owners are so attached to their own phone number that they don't want to use the tracking number. This is improving, and we can help it by showing results for other owners. We will also begin using tracking links unique to each campaign to measure how many people click through to print the postcards and to the Happy Home Inc. website.

D.M.C. can now get a report of this activity and help the Happy Home Inc.'s of the world to improve their postcard and other advertising to be more effective over time. And, with D.M.C. adding email marketing and Facebook promotion to their mix of services on behalf of Happy Home Inc., there are even more ways to test which advertising works best (such as A/B testing).

So far, the raw answers to the first two questions have produced: "D.M.C. helps local businesses that want to sell products and services to homeowners to generate leads that will become customers."

I'm going to leave this in its raw, somewhat wordy, form until next week. This helps to show the way our messages evolve as we take time to listen to our answers. We'll play with the words in the next post when we look at a question that sometimes doesn't get answered by small businesses: "Why do your clients choose you over a competitor?". You can check back next week or sign up via email or RSS feeds using the links on the top of the right column.

What are some of your answers to "What do your clients pay you for?" and "Why do they stop paying you?". Check to see if the answers to the two different questions line up with each other. And, as always, you can email your answers to us and we'll respond with our thoughts on them.