A Personal Approach to Marketing



Last week, I met with a local friend for a nice walk with our dogs at the park. As we were finishing up our stroll, something I asked prompted her to mention Mother’s day.

She’d gotten a really sweet card, she said, address to her from her puppy … and she had no idea who had sent it. She thought the gesture was really sweet and wondered at who it might have come from. 

Then, a few weeks later, she and her husband received a second card—this one addressed to him for father’s day, also signed by their young Golden-doodle. 

In both cases, the cards left them feeling good about their relationship with their puppy and more than a little curious about where the cards had come from. 

I couldn’t help it; I immediately blurted out, “You know, that would make one heck of a marketing campaign!” 

How it Works
If you have any sort of loyalty program, you probably have your customers’ mailing addresses and, hopefully, their pets’ names. For a project like this, you’d want to avoid being overly self-promotional—it’s intended more as a sweet gesture that builds loyalty and an emotional connection between the customer and the store, rather than a hard sell. 

A company like Vistaprint, Moo.com or a local printer can help you design and print a batch of greeting cards for the holiday of your choice. You can do them for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, customer birthdays and more! 

Just keep the cards simple and pet inspired, and imagine what kind of message a pet might actually want to convey. 

I’d likely limit the store’s branding to a stamp on the back of the card and the return mailing address spot on the envelope. Gather together the staff, buy them lunch or dinner and ask everyone to pitch in signing cards from each customer’s pet. 

The size of the campaign is up to you—you could just send cards out to your best customers, just those shoppers who have been in recently (or who haven’t been in for a while) or to everyone enrolled in your loyalty program. 

It’s simplicity is part of what makes it powerful. Customers are sure to smile when they open and read the cards, and then wonder where they came from. By being subtle with your branding, you ensure they go looking for it—making it more memorable in the process. All while associating those good feelings with your store. A win-win for everyone. 


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