I was reading an article earlier this week by a guy named Dan Kennedy. Kennedy contributes a lot to the site Entrepreneur.com. In addition, he gives advice to small businesses. In the article I was reading, he talked about how businesses are missing out on thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars for one very simple reason. They’re not doing direct marketing right.

Kennedy says the main problem is that people spend so much time and money acquiring leads and then don’t spend enough time turning those leads into business.

So how do you do it? Here are a few tips.

Make a connection

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is that she brings the business in through marketing, but then never gets the information to follow up.

If a marketing campaign generates 1500 visits to your website, but all of those visitors stay anonymous, then you’ve essentially wasted the marketing effort. If just 10% sign up for an email list, suddenly you have the chance to turn 150 people into clients.

Having a system to gather contact information is essential to any successful marketing campaign. Whether it’s a phone number, email address or mailing address find some way to stay connected.

While the first contact may not make the sale, the third one may turn that person into a client.

Treat new clients like royalty

Let me start by saying, DO NOT forget your current clients. However, they’re used to your great service and appreciate it.

New clients need to be treated like royalty. They need to feel special. They need to feel like you go above and beyond so that they have a reason to come back. Check in on them. Follow up. Address any concerns immediately. Great service can keep them coming back for years to come.

Be social

Drop someone a line. Shoot out an email. Call someone up. Send a birthday card. It’s little things like that that can help keep clients happy.

I have a healthcare plan with a major medical provider. Every year on my birthday my doctor sends me a card. It has her picture on it and a printed signature. I know that it’s printed by some admin somewhere. I know the doctor never signed it. Just the same, there’s something nice about it. I know that I’m not just a number. That I have a face, a name and a birthday. They know I’m an individual.

Make every client feel like an individual. Come up with a way to make sure you’re connecting with your customer on a personal level. Lastly, it lets him know you do not think of him as a number, but as a person.

Encourage clients to brag about you

When it comes to business remember most importantly, word of mouth is still king. The real way you turn that $1,000 into $10,000 or $100,000 is by encouraging your clients to brag about you. Remind her to rate you on Yelp. Encourage him to check-in on Facebook. In addition, set up a way for her to a post a picture on Instagram, because any way you can create a viral following is good.

While one client may bring you $1,000 during her business relationship with you, what if she refers three friends and all of them bring $1,000 worth of business, seems like suddenly you’re getting somewhere.

The real goal in direct marketing is to take people that are already interested in what you do or what you offer and turn them into clients that keep coming back and refer you to their friends. Keep that in mind for all your marketing endeavors.

Written by Erika Towne