As her company name suggests, Signs Plus Marketing Director Kim Clark is an expert at supplying custom signs for businesses of all types. From retail stores to churches, schools to military facilities, the list of Signs Plus customers is long and diverse. So how does a company with such a wide client base and a customized product and service communicate effectively with its customers and prospects?
In the past, Signs Plus relied on telephone, email and direct mail to reach its target audience. More recently, however, Signs Plus launched an email newsletter, Profit Center News, as an additional tool for consistently keeping in touch with current and prospective sign dealers throughout the long sales cycle.
“We work with our dealers on an ongoing basis,” Clark says. “We wanted to be able to offer something of value to our existing dealers and to try to generate leads from other small sign companies. The sales cycle for one sign can be as long as six months — a year in some cases. It is important that we keep in contact throughout the cycle of that particular sale — and beyond so that we are considered for other sales that come up.”
Stretching the boundaries
While maintaining its relationship with its established sectors, Signs Plus is also beginning to move into additional markets. Convenience stores are one niche that Signs Plus specifically seeks to target, so the company launched a second eNewsletter, Sales Booster, to speak specifically to that audience.
“Convenience stores are a new market we are targeting because we have had some success with sales to convenience stores,” Clark explains. “Our primary reason for trying the newsletter in this market was to gain name recognition and ultimately to try to generate leads.”
Signs Plus selected Proven Systems to produce and manage all facets of both email newsletters — list purchase, newsletter design, content creation, distribution and tracking. Additionally, Proven Systems helps Signs Plus produce eFliers that are sent one week after each Sales Booster newsletter issue. The eFliers present special offers to convenience store owners.
Both the eNewsletter and the relationship with Proven Systems have yielded great results for Signs Plus.
Clark says, “Working with Proven Systems gives us a quick, easy, reliable method of communicating with our dealers. I especially like that we can track who opens the newsletter and follow up with those customers. Proven Systems staff members always follow up with me, complete what they say they will do, and have made many helpful suggestions about content.”
“Proven Systems has enabled us to present a professional quality newsletter to our customers that we were not able to manage on our own. I would recommend Proven Systems to anyone considering a professional newsletter.”