Where I live, if you visit the Treasurer's Office website in the state of Illinois, they have a section for unclaimed property. You can put in your name and your business and search and see if maybe there is something of yours that's unclaimed. I can almost guarantee you, you probably have some unclaimed property somewhere. It might be in the form of your business, but it may not be money – at least directly.
Relationships can become unclaimed property. I want to show you an example of that. Every week I send out an email about my podcast, blogs, and upcoming presentations. Every single week, a few people tend to fall off the list. Some are unsubscribing and some are email bounces. With those email bounces, I can download a list of them and trace them back to people who I may want to stay in touch with. If I don't pay attention and take some action, they become unclaimed property.
Follow The Bouncing Customers
In 2019, the average person was holding a job for about five years, but younger people tended to change jobs every 2.7 years. Depending on the age of your client, every three to five years they're changing jobs. In this most recent environment, I have a feeling, people are going to be changing jobs a lot more.
This may be because some people asked to work from home don't like it, or maybe they aren't good at it. Or the company they're working for has outsourced their job. They may be moving from company to company. As you send your emails, you may find that email bounces. Now there's a big difference between somebody unsubscribing from your list and an email bouncing. It could mean that the person no longer works there, or their email has changed, but in some way, shape, or form, you've lost contact with that person.
I want to share with you a system that I use to stay in contact with bouncing contacts that includes LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is the best way to follow these bouncing customers. So here's what you can do.
Compile The List
First, you can compile a list of all of your current and past customers, especially the ones you want to work with and put them into a spreadsheet. The simplest way to do this is to use QuickBooks and export it. With Quickbooks, you can export a current or past customer list to a CSV file. That CSV file should contain their emails so it can be used to send people emails,
An even better way to do this is to use a tool. I suggest a CRM. My CRM of choice is Nimble, but there are tons of CRMs to choose from. You can use something like HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, or whatever you like. I like Nimble specifically because Nimble integrates with LinkedIn. This gives me another connection tool to use with bouncing customers.
Connect The Bouncing Emails
Next, you can send somebody an email and see if it bounces in your regular email account. There's a slight difference between broadcast email and say Gmail or another email program you may be using like Outlook or Mac Mail. The broadcast email has a higher chance of bouncing because of spam filters. There is a better chance that a single personal email will get through. If that email bounces, you know that address is no longer working. If they don't answer, that may be a completely different issue, but at least you can tell if the email address is still active.
Get Them Into A CRM
Once you've made contact with the person on the other side of that email address, import them into your CRM and make a note that you got an email confirmation. With Nimble, not only can you go in and add their email address, but you can also add their social media platform links as well. You can add their LinkedIn account (their profile). You can also add their personal or business Facebook links. You can do that directly while working on LinkedIn with Nimble using their Chrome extension. If you search and find your customer, make a connection request (if you are not already connected). Connection or not, you can find most of that information on their profile account using the Contact Info link.
Now with the contact saved in Nimble, you can start to update all of their information to help you stay in contact with those people.
Now we've taken the information about your bouncing customers from QuickBooks, put it into a spreadsheet, sent them an email, and then verified that email is working. Then make sure that you're connected with them on LinkedIn. If you're not, I suggest you send them a connection request, because they may have a Gmail account or other personal account you may not be aware of associated with their LinkedIn account. That's the one place where you know that if they change jobs and their email is no longer working, you still may be able to connect with them.
The 10-10-10 Principle
Finally, use something called the 10-10-10 principle. If you've been listening to my podcast, read my blogs, or heard me speak, you've heard me say it before. It's simply 10 minutes, 10 people, 10 words.
Find 10 people on your current or previous customer list. Take one minute to send them a message. Try to do it via email first and just say, “Hey, how are you doing? What's new? How can I help you?” Whatever you think makes the most sense with each one of those contacts. If the email bounces you'll know, then you can go into LinkedIn and double-check the connection there, and maybe send them a direct message on LinkedIn with the same information. It may take a few days, but you might get a response from there. That helps you verify that that connection is still around and still active.
People may not respond for various reasons. Maybe they've moved to a different town? Maybe they've completely changed careers? I had one friend that went from a VP of a business to a minister. It happens.
As you progress through your list, use a CRM like Nimble to take notes so that you remember your contact response. Inside of most CRMs, you can label people with different dropdowns or different notes saying: current customer, past customer, active, inactive, or however you want to keep track of your tribe, or the people that you've worked with before.
Finally, you want to do this consistently. That 10-10-10 principle works best if you do it every single day. Take 10 minutes every morning to do that. If you did it every single day for one month, that would give you 300 contacts. Whether you have ten, a hundred, or one thousand, figure out the best way to use that system to reconnect. If they changed jobs and they are still using what you are selling, there is a good chance you could be of service to their new company. Even if there's another company currently selling them what you have or do, you will be in the right place at the right time if they choose to make a change. As long as you stay in touch, keep the lines of communication open, you may have an opportunity to do business with them again.
Your bouncing customers are unclaimed property, but relationships are an investment. You have certainly spent a lot of time establishing and building a good business relationship, and chances are you can continue that. Consider your CRM the safe deposit box for that investment. Make sure you stay connected, feed them new information, and give them your attention to grow their interest in your business once more.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about finding and holding onto bouncing customers. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/