The 6 Star Principles for Maximizing Referrals and Customer Retention, Part 2


Last month we went over the first two principles:

  1. Frequency of Communication – You don’t have relationships with people you don’t talk to. You also don’t have relationships with people who, when you do talk to them, are always asking you for something.
  2. Consistency of Communication – Inconsistency sends a message that you are, at a minimum, disorganized.

If you missed last month’s article, you can find it here.


Star Principle No. 3 is creativity in your communication.

This step is difficult for so many business owners. The primary reason people seem to fail at this is that they simply get busy.

As a fellow business owner, I know how crazy life and business can be. But even when I’m busy, that doesn’t give me an excuse to be lazy and boring in my communication with customers and prospects.

As my grandma once told me, paraphrasing Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again when it doesn’t work.” So if you keep doing what you’re doing now, you’ll be in the same place next year.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I have watched countless business owners start down the right path of being creative and useful to their customers, only to self-sabotage and go back to old habits of being the same as everyone else in their industry, which equals boring.

You need to communicate information that is interesting, personal, relevant, and speaking directly to your ideal reader.

You’ll notice none of the blog posts or newsletter articles I write are for people who are new to business. It is not that I don’t want to help them — I love starting new businesses and working through those challenges — but most of my products aren’t designed for newbies. So I don’t want to write articles that attract people with 36-person lists. That would be a waste of my time and theirs, as I can’t help those people.

People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust … it is your job to let them know you through quality, creative content, so they have the opportunity to like you and so they can connect with you, which helps them trust you.

Star Principle No. 4 is variety of styles in communication.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but so many people mess this up. You cannot have a single method of communicating. Not only is it very unstable (as you never know when a form of communication may become less effective), it also just isn’t smart. People consume information in multiple ways and value various media differently. It would be much simpler if all communication came via email, but “simple” doesn’t mean correct or smart. Email deliverability and open rates decline each and every year, which is why so many people are sending even more email; to compensate for the lack of results.

Don’t misunderstand me; I am not against email marketing. I am against it being the only form of communication. To build a relationship, you should communicate with multiple different media. A winning annual content strategy would look like this: 12 print newsletters, 104 emails, 26 postcards, 12 letters, online retargeting of existing customers, six CD/DVD interviews, three FedEx packages, three gifts, and two awards/trophies. This would have the customer hearing from you about every two-and-a-half days in a variety of different ways.

Star Principle No. 5 is personality/celebrity.

Fairly recently, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas ripped out its highly profitable $2 million a year but run-of-the-mill restaurant and replaced it with a restaurant created by celebrity chef Michael Mina called Nobhill Tavern. They have since literally tripled sales to $6 million annually.

What makes Nobhill Tavern three times better? Is it possible the food being served is 300 percent better than before? I doubt it.

The addition of celebrity allowed the MGM Grand to increase prices at Nobhill, compared to the previous restaurant, as well as allowed them to fill the restaurant each night — something that was not happening previously. Adding celebrity to restaurants has been a game changer. Adding celebrity (even local celebrity) or at least personality to any business will be a game changer, because as a society, we’re programmed to value personality/celebrity.

As I said earlier, people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust, and they’re willing to spend more with someone they see as a personality or a celebrity because of how they feel about that person.

Star Principle No. 6 is quality.

The look and feel of your product, service, and marketing matters. You can’t claim to be high-end and send out items that were last updated in 1990, when New Kids on the Block was a big deal and “Beverly Hills 90210” was a popular freshman TV show.

Your content also can’t suck. If it looks like your articles were created in the Philippines or add no value, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. When I read articles written by my team, I am always looking for the one (or more) big idea. Why was this piece of content not a waste of time? How did it help the person consuming it? These are questions you need to ask when you create content.

Relationships matter.

Don’t take your customers for granted, because one day you may look up and find they’re all gone. It happens daily, to businesses bigger and smaller than yours or mine. According to the SBA, from 2008-2009, on average, 1,865 businesses closed their doors each day. Having a relationship with the people who put food on your table is just smart business. Follow these six principles, and you will be way ahead of your competition.

If you want to know more about newsletters and how they can help you build a relationship with your customers, clients, or patients, give us a call at 208-297-5700 or visit us at to make an appointment to speak with a Pro.

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