I have helped my youngest daughter move several times (sigh). From undergrad to two different grad schools and finally two post doctoral appointments. It seems like every move produces a large amount of junk-some more than others. Luckily, I found 1-800-GOT-JUNK. They're a reliable, inexpensive way to get rid of the stuff you don't want. I wish we had them in my hometown.
Having been a customer, I get their emails announcing seasonal specials, and also some pretty useful content to help my de-cluttering needs. Recently an email landed in my Inbox that is a superb example of how businesses can deliver helpful content that keeps customers coming back again and again.
Unfortunately, I've also hosted several garage sales. While burdensome, they can be a great precursor to getting some extra cash out of your unwanted possessions before calling in the junk man. And guess where I went when I wanted to find information on how to host a great garage sale? The 1-800-GOT-JUNK blog. So when it comes time to call someone to haul away my junk, who do you think I'm going to call? The brand that helps me solve my problems and honors my business. Their newsletter emails are part of a mix that keep my return business secure.
There are four key features about this email that helps 1-800-GOT-JUNK retain customers.
1. Give out information your customers need for free
In his latest book The Content Code, Mark Schaefer writes about the benefits of giving away content for free. Schaefer routinely blogs his books before publishing and despite the fact that he gives away much of his best information for free, his business continues to grow. His generosity, coupled with expertise, brings in new clients - this is the same formula of success that brands like 1-800-GOT-JUNK follow. As Jay Baer asks in his book Youtility:
"What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?"
2. When you demonstrate generosity, people are drawn to your brand
1-800-GOT-JUNK isn't an expert on garage sales because they haul away junk. Their franchises are known for holding charity yard sales, like this one for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. Their brand is also validated by their community service. Generosity is a magnetic characteristic.
3. Use social media to connect with your customer's needs
The vibrant 1-800-GOT-JUNK blog is a great source of information on everything from recycling, to yard sale information, to articles about weird junk (my fave). They also have an active Facebook presence and encourage their franchisees to do the same. You can also find them on Twitter @1800gotjunk where they highlight not only the mothership company, but also interesting tidbits about individual franchises.
4. Value your repeat customers
One thing that always bugged me about my old satellite TV provider was that they were always giving something away - to new customers. Loyal customers never got a break, and not only did we not get a break, but any upgrades in equipment were exorbitantly priced, while new customers were enticed with those same upgrades for free. Ugh. After 15 years of trying to hang on, I now have cable. The 1-800-GOT-JUNK newsletter is always accompanied by a coupon for something. I know they appreciate my business. Consequently, not only do I use 1-800-GOT-JUNK whenever I can, I encourage my friends and family to use them as well.
Newsletters can help produce customer loyalty and the 1-800-GOT-JUNK newsletter is a great example of how a company can be helpful, charitable, honor repeat customers, and have an active presence on social media that turns repeat customers into brand advocates.