We all experience life’s big milestones in different ways— whether it’s a birthday, retirement, marriage, birth of a child, graduation, anniversary or another important event. These milestones represent the many exciting chapters of our lives, and each day our actions write the narrative of our very own autobiography.
As friends, family members, spouses and partners, many of us take celebrating these life events very seriously. Parties, celebrations, presents and cards are the usual suspects when a major life event is being recognized. But as a business, we can’t help but question—why don’t companies recognize their customers during major life moments as well?
Memorable moments create opportunities for businesses to engage their customers in new, highly effective ways by bringing forward the human side of their companies. This is what we call “life event marketing.”
What is Life Event Marketing?
Life event marketing is an effective technique designed to connect with a consumer using emotional intelligence—particularly during a unique life moment—in order to trigger a response that results in higher company profits and consumer loyalty.
Here at Hallmark Business Connections, we’ve learned that life event marketing can be especially impactful in the insurance and financial services industries where being connected by social media brings insight into when life events are happening.
To dive even deeper into this concept, let’s take a look at five life event marketing examples straight from Hallmark.
5 Hallmark Examples of How to Improve the Customer Experience with Life Event Marketing
1. Celebrate your customers’ birthdays.
One of the easiest ways to emotionally connect with your customers is by simply recognizing their birthday each year. Let your consumers know that you are thinking of them on their special day with a birthday card especially designed for them. Using programmatic direct mail techniques, execution can be easy, efficient and cost effective. When it comes to birthdays, it’s always nice to give a gift, too. By adding an insert into your Hallmark birthday card, you can offer a special birthday promo code, discount, free sample or special invitation. This not only makes the consumer feel like they’ve received a gift, but it also triggers a potential purchase response.
2. Be there for your customers during the tough times.
Not nearly as fun as birthdays—but equally as important—is being there when your customer hits a rough patch.Many businesses—especially those in the insurance and financial services industries—are aware when a loyal customer has suffered a death in the family, has become sick or has had to cope with a traumatic life-changing event. Bottom line: if your company knows about it, it’s time to be there for your customer.
Show your company’s compassionate side and let your customer know that you are thinking of them by simply sending a care and concern or sympathy card. A great way to connect on a human-to-human level is by empowering your associates to send cards to customers. Consumers can often feel like they are a number or dollar sign, and this helps to demonstrate otherwise.
QUICK TIP: When it comes to conveying empathy to your customers, make it about them, don’t make it about you. In other words, leave your company promotions out of this particular communication. Simply be there for them—they won’t forget it.
3. Celebrate service members.
Veteran’s Day, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day offer the perfect opportunity for your company to show its appreciation to service members who have proudly served and defended our country. And when your company’s associates, agents or advisors learn of customers who are formerly or currently in the military, it’s a great time to send them an individual card to thank them for their service. This small gesture can leave such a lasting impressions on a customer.
QUICK TIP: Ready to send a patriotic card but not sure what your inside message should be? Check out our online card shop where we’ve provided 30 card messages to use for patriotic holidays. Get inspired!
4. Use apologies as an opportunity to connect.
Although not a major life event, mistakes can happen, and they can trigger larger events down the road. Even companies with the best intentions can make mistakes. Perhaps a customer received the wrong order, their product was damaged, they were overcharged or customer service was less than stellar. No matter the reason, this is one event that can negatively impact a customer’s life and their view of your company. Show your customer that you regret the mishap and that you are genuinely sorry by sending a Hallmark apology card. Assure the customer that you value his or her business and that the problem won’t happen again.
For more tips on how to apologize to your customers, read our recent article: How to Sincerely Apologize to Customers.
5. Think of customer appreciation as a life event.
Customers, particularly loyal ones, are the backbone of any successful business. According to one study, acquiring new customers is actually five to 25 times more expensive than retaining new ones. Have your customers been utilizing your company’s services or products for at least a year? What about 5, 10, 15, 20 (or more!) years? Celebrate those milestones by showing them you appreciate their continued business.
How to Start a Life Event Marketing Campaign
Hallmark Business Connections is the go-to solution for companies looking to engage consumers through life event marketing. We can help your company effectively connect with your customers in any situation—but especially during your customers’ major life events. Is it time you started devoting marketing budget to connect with your customers in new, emotionally intelligent ways? Get in touch with us and learn how we can help grow your business with life event marketing.
Want more? Dive even deeper into life event marketing with this quick article: Life Event Marketing: An Effective Way to Attract and Keep Customers.