This post is an excerpt for our upcoming E-book on marketing basics.
Perhaps the most overlooked target for companies, when they are looking to advertise, is their existing client list. With every sale you make, you should be collecting relevant contact information so that you can stay in touch with and remind customers to come back. If someone has bought from you before, they are likely to repurchase the same product or service. However, there is nothing to say they have to get it from you instead of a competitor if you don’t keep their attention and show you value them.
Keep in mind the rule of three when you are working with new / existing customers. In the case of restaurants, they say that a customer is only 40% likely to return to your restaurant if they have a good experience. This is true on visits two and three as well. But if you can get them to come back a fourth time, they are then 70% likely to return. Meaning you need to not only get someone to use your businesses once but three times before they will be more likely to use you than a competitor in the future. Here are some ideas to keep these customers coming back.
Customer Loyalty Programs –
Perhaps one of the most famous customer loyalty programsare from your grocery stores. Kroger and Safeway capture your contact information then provide you the best prices when you swipe your loyalty card. Getting a better price encourages you to return to them. Further, if you provide contact information, they can send you additional coupons to get you to come back.
Certain stores will even use your loyalty program to analyze your buying patterns. You can do this on your customers too.
Targetwas once confronted by a customer who was upset they were sending his household coupons for baby formula and other infant products. Later, the father found out his daughter was pregnant. Target could tell from buying patterns someone in that household was likely pregnant and to send them advertisements to capture that prospective parent to come back with great deals. Stores like Target and Walmart do anything they can to attract new parents. Their goal is to get you to come in for diapers and make splurge purchases on groceries and other items while in a lack of sleep fog.
For your business, can you determine buying patterns and target customers to give them deals to keep them coming? Or stick to the typical buy ten burgers, get one free model? How can you keep customers coming back to you on a regular basis?
Referral Programs –
Referral programs are prevalent on digital platforms these days. “Recommend us to your friend, and we’ll give you a free subscription, discount or premium upgrade.” Nothing is as effective as word of mouth. So why not leverage your existing customers to spread the word, while also encouraging them to make another purchase in the future? For example, if you are a fitness shop, you could offer a free month of training to clients when they provide a referral that signs up for a membership.
Say Thank you –
Like a loyalty program, you need to find ways to say thank you to your customers and show them appreciation. You can do this in the form of discounts, coupons, gifts, or just a card in the mail. Saying thank you requires no particular time of year, and creates another touch point with your clients. Remember that the more a customer thinks of you, the more likely they are to buy from you again in the future or discuss you with friend and family. There now are apps and online programs where you can type up a message on your phone, and have a thank you card sent to your customer that day.
Holiday Cards –
Another touch point is the holiday card. While these are slowly going the way of the dinosaur, these can be effective touch points to your key customers. A handwritten note, in particular, can show a powerful message by demonstrating you spent extra time to send that. Additionally, a nice card generally will remain in a prominent place in their home through the season and offer a chance for friends to inquire about. Ditto for birthday cards, and follow it up with a discount on a future service as a birthday gift.
On a weekly basis you likely see businesses advertise promotional benefits to new customers. Banks and telecom companies are famous for this. Open a checking account and get $100 (for new customers only). Internet $49.99 a month (for new customers only). How many times have you seen this and thought, so much for being a loyal customer, what do I get?
Make sure that your existing customers know that you do value them. These ideas and methods are just a handful of ways that you can do this with your existing client base. Implement a few of these strategies, and you will begin to create customers that will stay with you for years to come. Loyal, long lasting customers are just one element to making sure your business achieves #BetterResults