At MailChimp, we spend a lot of time (maybe too much) thinking about fun ways to delight our customers. So we make stuff like billboards, vinyl toy figurines, t-shirts, monkey hats for cats and easter eggs. It’s not about acquiring new customers, but just telling existing customers, "Hey, remember us? We love you." At the very least, it’s reminding them, "Ahem—we still exist" but in a non-intrusive manner. People have told me that it’s as if we’re doing "offline re-targeting" (it’s usually the online marketers who say that). I’m pretty sure it’s just called branding. Whatever the case, branding requires a leap of faith, because it ain’t cheap.
That’s why if you’re a small business, you’re probably more inclined to focus on advertising that actually converts. Save that hokey-pokey branding junk for later, when you’re huge and you’ve got money to burn, right? Or you can rely on your blog, your swag, your quirkiness, your customer service, and social networks to grow awareness of your brand (worked for us). Measurable ROI is why most small businesses rely exclusively on Google Adwords. That’s great (Adwords has also worked great for us) but people really do like a good brand story too.
Now there’s a new option you can try, from Facebook. You take your MailChimp customer list, upload it to Facebook, then run ads on Facebook that target those same customers. They’ve made it unbelievably easy. You just click the Freddie head:
Here’s the announcement from Facebook. The examples they list are great ("Message your existing customers with promotions" etc). But I personally think that Facebook advertising is so affordable and targetable, that this is the first really good opportunity for small businesses to try on some branding. You know your customers are probably hanging out there. Why not surprise them with a nice ad? The new feature rolls out globally on Facebook next week.