One of the greatest things you can do as a small business is to build a brand customers love. When customers love your brand, they’ll even love being marketed to. Many businesses – in fact, I’d venture say most businesses – never even come close to achieving this level of customer loyalty. But how do you know if your customers love your brand, let alone being marketed to? It starts with monitoring customer behavior, something you should be doing already. Pay attention to your customers, and you’ll know. For insight, here are ten signs your customers love being marketed to.

hot deals1. They wait for and ask about your special deals

When promote special offers, you should expect sales to surge a bit. However, if you notice customers saying things like “I’ve been waiting for that to go on sale” or if they ask what deals you have going on, then you know they love being marketed to.

hot dealsConsider the downtown diner: many customers who venture in for lunch ask what the daily special is, and that’s what they order. Many of those customers, especially regulars, don’t order the special simply because it sounded good – they order it because they identify themselves with the diner and the diner’s brand. They’re part of the “in” club. If your customers similarly respond to your specials, they love being marketed to.

open email2. They open your emails

Do you regularly send email blasts to your customers? Do you track how well they perform? If not, start doing so to see whether your customers open your emails, click on your links, or simply delete them without a second glance.

You might have to sign up with an email marketing service to get this level of statistics, but it’s well worth the minimal monthly investment to do so (Aweber, for example, is right around $20 per month). If customers are opening your emails on a regular basis, you know they love being marketed to.

3. They request catalogs and other information

Do potential customers want to “learn more” about your products and services? Do they often request catalogs, brochures, booklets, and other information? Do they subscribe to your print newsletters? Any time customers actually ask you to send them information, you know they love being marketed to.

Perhaps no one knows this better than retail catalog companies. I used to get regular catalogs for music instruments; and even though I had purchased from the companies that send them out, I went two years without making purchases – and was subsequently removed from their mailing lists. I didn’t enjoy being marketed to and I never responded to their offers, primarily because I already had what I wanted. But if I request a catalog, I guarantee they’ll happily send it – probably along with a special offer. And they’ll keep sending it so long as they think I’m happy being continually marketed to.

4. They cash in on direct-mail offers

direct mailIf you engage in direct-mail marketing, your response rate has a lot to do with your audience, offer, and call to action. But if the same customers consistently cash in on your direct-mail postcardcoupons and other special offers, it’s because they love being marketed to.

This one isn’t difficult to understand: if you receive a postcard in the mail and you hate being marketed to, you’ll throw it away. If you enjoy being marketed to, you’ll want to be the first person in the house to read new marketing materials and take action on special offers. Your customers are the same way.

free pens5. They take more than just pens

If you attend trade shows, you probably have a complete trade show display booth setup that includes giveaways such as pens, coolie cups, notepads, and other promotional items with your brand name. You probably also know that such promotional items will do little in terms of motivating response. They’re good for branding, certainly, but little more.

However, when customers also take brochures, booklets, business cards, and other marketing materials you can tell they love being marketed to. They want to know more about your company, not simply keep their beverages cold.

6. They spend time on your “deals” page

Does your catalog have a special “deals” page? Does your website have a dedicated “deals” page? If so, you need to continually track analytics to learn page views and time spent on the page to effectively gauge whether your customers are devoting time to it.

If customers almost always go to your “deals” page, then you can bet they love being marketed to. They want to see what’s on sale this day, this week, this month. Why? Because they want to buy, and they’re just waiting for you to give them a reason to.

7. They ask for stickers

Do your customers ask you for stickers? Do they use your stickers? If your customers actively seek out your branded stickers and affix them to their vehicles, electronics, hobby gear, and other items chances are they’re in love with your brand. That means they’ll value nearly every communication you send them, from sales letters and sales sheets to brochures, booklets, and full-color catalogs.

Again, these are customers who want to buy from you, and they’re just waiting for you to give them a reason. Think about the genius of some of the world’s most-loved brands. Harley-Davidson, for example, can actually sell sticker rather than give them away – because their customers identify with their brand, are proud to display it, and desperately want to buy. Harley-Davidson’s customers love being marketed to so much they’ll pay Harley-Davidson to market for them; yours should, too.

8. They attend your customer appreciation events

If you hold annual customer appreciation events, special sales, concerts, cookouts, and other events, you can tell whether your customers love being marketed to simply through attendance. If a ton of customers show up, you know they enjoy your marketing. Otherwise, they would avoid your event. Naturally, there are a few who simply want free burgers and hot dogs, but nearly all in attendance understand they’ll likely be given, at the very least, brochures or catalogs or something to take home with them.

Those who show up, stay awhile, have a good time, and then take your marketing materials home with them love being marketed to.

polls9. They respond to social media questions and polls

Customers who love your brand – and being marketed to by it – will happily engage with you on social media sites such as Facebook. If you always have a great response when you post polls and ask questions, then it’s fair to say your customers like your marketing efforts. They event expect them, and if you suddenly disappeared from the social realm they might even miss you. Companies that would truly be missed if they went away are among the worlds’ most enviable.

10. They don’t complain… much

Some people will always complain, certainly, but if you have very few people who complain about your marketing then you’re in great shape. One non-profit I work with sends regular email blasts to its members, primarily to keep them up to date on the latest news but also to market its fundraising events. Right before each event, we typically add an extra email to the normal twice-weekly rotation. Invariably, we lose a subscriber or two every time we do this, and at least one of them will complain that we send too many emails.

Despite those minimal complaints, our email list continues to grow by a handful of subscribers every day. New subscribers far outweigh the half dozen subscribers we lose every year. This isn’t to say we wouldn’t like to have those subscribers back; only to say we know we can’t please everyone and won’t get upset about it. All our other members seem to enjoy the frequency of our emails, as evidenced by the lack of other complaints as well as excellent event attendance every time.

Do your customers love being marketed to?

So, do your customers love being marketed to? If not, you might be doing something wrong; or, at the very least, missing out on opportunities to market to customers in ways they’ll love. Have fun with your marketing and make sure it matches your brand image, which in turn should both match and influence your customers’ self-images. As mentioned, identity plays a huge role in how customers perceive your marketing efforts.

customer love

Your customers don’t have to do all of these things in order to love being marketed to, but it’s good to know that all of these behaviors are rooted in the same basic perceptions about your company: that it is part of your customers’ identities, that is good, and it is worthy of their business.

Finally, don’t forget that the end-goal isn’t for customers to enjoy your marketing. It’s for customers love your company so much that they’re simply waiting for you to give them a good reason to buy from you. The best way to know your customers love being marketed to? Outstanding sales figures.