Our world is a connected place. People form families, have children, create networks of relatives, and on and on the relationships go. It is quite likely that those whom you do serve will know others whom you could serve. In order to reach those new clients, you need to have an active referral program.
While marketing children's products for more than twenty years, I found that people who are in a particular life situation try to find others who are in the same situation. Women who are pregnant tend to get together with others who are pregnant or who recently have been pregnant in order to share and learn from mutual experiences. Pregnancy help centers need to capitalize on these natural networks by networking out from the prospects and clients we have in order to find others who need our services.
Two advertising items come immediately to mind: your business card and refrigerator magnets.
Business cards are inexpensive. Look in the back of almost any magazine, and you will find printers who print thousands of one- or two-color cards for cheap. Every person who comes through your door should leave with more than one of your business cards. In fact, why not get your business cards perforated and fan-folded with three to five cards hinged together. The first card is for the prospect. Label it: "Because we care about you." The others can be marked with small, tasteful type: "For a friend in need." Believe me, young women will keep the other cards handy and give each one away to a girlfriend who thinks she may have a crisis pregnancy.
Refrigerator magnets utilizing
basic copy such as, "Pregnant?
Need Advice?" and your phone
number can yield inquiries.
A number of years ago I made a missionary trip to Colombia, South America. In that country with a rising standard of living, it was considered a sign of social progress to own a refrigerator. In most homes the refrigerator was located in the living or dining room. The kitchen was just a small cooking area at the rear of the residence.
While in our country we don't give the refrigerator such prominence, it still becomes the repository of schedules, pictures, children's artwork, and a hundred other things usually stuck on with a magnet. Refrigerator magnets utilizing basic copy such as, "Pregnant? Need Advice?" and your phone number can yield inquiries.
A variation on this theme are refrigerator magnets that are nothing more than small picture frames cut out of magnetic material. Printed around the edges are the logo, phone number, and address of a business or center. What a great project to use to approach a donor! At our house, we have some magnets on the refrigerator that are more than a decade old. Try them, especially in locations where there are multiple roommates such as you'll find in a college dormitory or apartment complex. (They'll stick on washers and dryers, too.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerry Thacker, B.A., M.A., is president of Marketing Partners, Inc., and Publisher of At the Center. He can be reached at (800) 588-7744 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.