It may be six months or a few years since you've heard from a previous customer or client. Do try to reach them because chances are they have just been busy and not dissatisfied with your services. We all have received postcards and new brochures from merchants and professionals we haven't seen in a while, but often as we read through a stack of mail at once and they get discarded as we sift through everything over the kitchen garbage container. Is there something that you can send someone that will remind them of you yet not be intrusive?
Sending something personal to someone that is tailored can mean a lot. For instance, if you know your customer has a standard poodle and you just read an article about their care, that would be a great thing to send with a note asking them how they are. Someone recently sent me a yoga article from a ceu course I attended and I have a strong sense of gratitude to her.
If your client runs a business and you come across something you think would help their business or be industry news and it is something that would be meaningful get it in the mail. This is also a nice idea for getting to know people who you may do business with in the future who own a business.
Did you get someone's e-mail contact and birthday date when they were a customer or client? You can send them a card (by mail or e-mail) or just send a friendly note. Don't make it a sales pitch but you can mention any new changes in your business or store or current specials. Building relationships will helps someone to stay loyal to your services or products. If you have established a relationship with a client or customer that is comfortable, they will also tell you if they feel your prices are out of line or if they were dissatisfied with anything.
A hand written envelope is personal. Sometimes people feel that they should look professional but often past customers and former clients will like something that isn't looking mass produced. If you are artistic at all drawing a flower or you can put on a cute sticky as well. Think outside the box and don't be a pushy sales person.
Dee Cohen is a licensed social worker and author of How to Stay Balanced During Stressful Situations. Businesses and associations utilize her booklet to thank customers, clients and employees. Visit Stress Reduction Booklets to learn non-aggressive ways to reach former customers.