Last week the Santa Claus float passed by in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade signifying the official start of the Christmas season. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to send your customers a holiday greeting? Maybe the one’s you did some work for this year or your loyal customers who have a maintenance contract. But wait, how do you collect all their addresses and what do you do with them once you have them? No need to worry, I have the answers to all these questions, just keep reading.
First, you need to select the customers you want to send greetings to. This is a lot easier than you might think. It will only take a few clicks and possibly a bit of typing. Just go to Customer Info → Reports → Report Generation. If you want to send something to everyone in your database simply click the OK button and ESC will select them. If you want to be more selective you can use any of the filters on any of the tabs to select the specific group that you want to receive your greeting. Note that all of these filters work together so if you enter a Date Serviced range on the History tab and select the Exclude checkbox on the Agreements tab you will only select customers that had work done during that date range that do not have an agreement with you.
If you are planning on sending your greetings through the mail you may also want to set the Sort Order, at the top of the screen, to Zip Code. This could allow you to get bulk mail rates from the post office which can save you some money.
You will also need to decide if you are going to send the greetings to the main billing address or to each location individually. Be sure to select the appropriate setting, near the top of the screen, before clicking OK to select your customers.
Now that you have selected your customers you have to decide how you want to send your greeting to them. If you already have premade postcards or a preprinted letter you can select the Labels option. This allows you to print labels that can be placed on the postcards or envelopes to be mailed directly. You will have the option to configure the type of labels you want to use.
You can create and send greetings directly out of ESC as well. To do this select one of the first three options. The third, Email all customers with email addresses and print remaining, remains the best choice in my book because it lets you reach all of your customers in the most cost effective way. To use any of these options you will first have to create a template. See Justin’s article for more details on exactly how to do that. Once you’ve selected the template just attach the document and click Send.
The last option is to Export the Customer List into a file that can be easily opened in Excel. This file will contain the customer’s billing and location address, phone numbers and email addresses. This is the perfect choice for those special customers to whom you want to send a holiday gift. You can give the file directly to the gift manufacturer and have them send it directly to your customers for you. This option can also be helpful if you want to send the greeting from a third-party email service, like ConstantContact or iContact.
Now that I’ve showed you how to wish your customers a happy holiday, let me be one of the first to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
Written by Vishal Bikhari
Featured in December 2009 Newsletter