5 Strategies to Prepare for 2014 - Warm Thoughts Communications
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5 Strategies to Prepare for 2014

Posted on December 10, 2013

Five Strategies for 2014

Everybody’s busy with year-end activity. 2014 planning, wrapping up 2013, and hopefully you’re moving some product now that we have finally had some cold weather.

But are you looking at your marketing? What’s going to make next year different? If you’ve had a good year, how will you sustain that? If you aren’t so fortunate, what can you do to ensure success going forward?

With this in mind, I recommend 5 things Warm Thoughts can take care of for you—before year end!

  1. 1. Find out what your customers are thinking!

    Do your customers like doing business with you? Do they trust you when you make recommendations to them about their comfort? Are they happy with the way they are treated by your employees? Do they believe you care about them?

    A Warm Thoughts Customer Survey will not only answer those questions for you, but will help to make your customers believe that you care about what they have to say. Our surveys:

    • Give customers an opportunity to raise their hands about simmering issues.
    • Get tremendous response – as high as 10-20% in some cases.
    • Increase business by giving customers a way to request more services.
    • Provide positive feedback that you can use for testimonials.

    Ask us about creating a survey that you can mail to your customers or insert into your newsletter.

  2. 2. Start emailing your customers (stop wasting time).

    Are you sitting on a pile of email addresses that you do nothing with? If so, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage with your customers and sales leads in ways that can make a real difference to your business. The majority of small businesses today are using email to:

    • Build and personalize relationships
    • Reinforce their value as a preferred business
    • Increase sales conversions
    • Improve customer loyalty
    • Communicate with a broad and growing base

    The Warm Thoughts eContact™ program makes email marketing easy, affordable and effective. Read more here.

  3. End of Year Sale!
    $500 Off!

    Simply sign any new project agreement before the year’s end.

  4. 3. Spend more time talking to your peers to find out what works and what doesn’t.

    What’s your strategy to remain profitable in a shrinking market? How are you combatting gas conversions? Are you successfully fending off discounters who are trying to steal your customers? Are you thinking about home performance or other diversification strategies?

    And perhaps most importantly, would you like to know how other fuel dealers are addressing these same issues?

    Our market is changing as never before as we face higher energy prices, greater pressure from conversions, rampant volatility, changing customer behaviors, aggressive competition, fewer gallons per customer, and changes in the fuel itself. We need to find real breakthroughs that will allow us to thrive in a new world.

    Warm Thoughts Breakthrough Groups™ offer business owners the opportunity to learn from our industry’s leading strategists and from top fuel companies as well.

    Breakthrough Groups™ meet three times a year to share ideas, benchmark and explore new opportunities in an environment that is supportive, confidential and industry focused. Unlike other groups, participation is limited to nine non-competitors so that substantive discussion can occur and honest relationships can develop. Meetings run from 1 p.m. on the first day until 1 p.m. the next, supplemented by online and phone conversation throughout the year.

    Click here to learn more about Breakthrough Groups™.

  5. 4. Take a good look at your website.

    When was the last time you looked at your website? Is it an active part of your marketing strategy or does it just sit there, delivering nothing?

    If you’re not using your website to generate leads and engage with prospects, it’s time to make changes. While this can seem like a daunting task, it’s not going to get better by ignoring it. Plus, it’s not an all or nothing game. Some websites need to be updated, some need some specific attention around search engine optimization, and a few just need to start over from scratch.

    Call now and have the experts at Warm Thoughts take a look at your site. We’ll review the design, content, user experience and search engine ranking. No cost. No obligation. But if you think you need help, now is the time to get started.

  6. 5. Get service and install jobs from outside of your customer base.

    Are you looking to grow your HVAC business outside of your existing customers? Search marketing (or pay-per-click [PPC] advertising) is a sure way to get the phone to ring.

    Done correctly, PPC is the best way to:

    • Control your customer acquisition costs.
    • Generate new business from prospects who need your services.
    • Level the playing field with your competitors—no matter how big they are.
    • Measure your return on investment.

    Learn more about PPC here.

End of Year Sale!
$500 Off!

Simply sign any new project agreement before the year’s end.

Ben Gutkin
is VP Marketing Services for Warm Thoughts Communications. He has advised dozens of the nation’s leading energy companies and associations on improving their web presence, search capabilities, direct response advertising and return on investment during his 20+ years with Warm Thoughts. You can reach him bgutkin@warmthoughts.com or 201‑330‑9276 ext. 227

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