5 Ways to Retain Your Customers

Customer RetentionRetaining customers who have already purchased is often far cheaper than acquiring new customers, so it is important to look into creating a full customer retention strategy. Sometimes capturing data isn’t possible, but when it is, there are plenty of direct marketing tools like email, SMS and direct mail that can help you stay in contact, gradually leading to ongoing sales.

This article isn’t about how best to write retention marketing emails or SMS, but covers some systems and structures to add into your business and marketing, making it more likely for your customers to repeat purchase from you. Some of them may be easy to implement, whilst others may take a lot more time, effort and money, but in the long run could lead to more profits on an ongoing basis.

1.Offer various price points

I’ve worked with a number of clients who sell products all at one particular price point, or very similar prices. For example, toy shops who sell only toys that cost £150 to £200. There are obviously situations in which it is difficult to offer cheaper products too, but if possible, it is worth having add-ons at lower cost. So, if you sell bikes, then offer helmets, pumps, repair kits etc.

This can be more difficult when working in drop-shipping, as you may not get a worthwhile profit margin from lower cost products, but it’s definitely worth considering. Add-ons and extras can be offered to customers through direct marketing, once they have purchased.

2. Develop a strong brand voice

If you manage to attain an email address from your new customers, and go on to get in contact with them, you can be pretty much sure that your communications with them will have to fight past the communications from plenty of other business.

The key is to stand out, and one great way is through a strong brand voice. Everything you write or say to them needs to have your own mark on it, so as soon as they see even the subject line, they know your style.

3. Give gifts

Many top marketers advocate the use of gift giving in marketing. This is when you give your customers something that they want for free. This not only makes them like you, but it gives them  reason to keep looking at what you’re up to.

In the days of digital, this is so much cheaper as digital products can be scaleable for very little money (or no money at all). But make sure, when you do offer them something for free, it’s something that they actually want. Are they really going to be excited about a free white paper telling them why your business is better than your competitors? No.

4. Create an online tool or mechanism to keep them returning

A client area could work, or a social network, or an account screen that has information that they really need to track. If you can get some sort of system that provides your users with something extremely useful or enjoyable, then you can keep them coming back. In that system, you can keep them up to date on the rest of your business news, offering them opportunities to purchase again.

5. Create a loyalty scheme

This one’s tried and tested many times. It works. The more they purchase, the more rewards they get, and if done slickly and digitally, you can also get some pretty useful data from it. For those who aren’t so data savvy or don’t have the budgets to create a complex loyalty scheme, even just a simple one is better than nothing. I often get my hair cut at a small barber shop that uses stamps and cards to create a low-cost loyalty scheme. When someone gets a haircut, they get an extra stamp on their card and once the card is full, they get a free cut. It’s simple, but pretty much everyone who goes there uses it. Things like this really need to be tracked though, so it is clear whether it’s cost effective, which is why, if possible and good for customer experience, you use a digital loyalty scheme.

And…

The best way to increase customer retention is to be remarkable. Be so remarkable that everyone talks about you and can’t help use your business again and again. Obviously, it’s not the easiest thing and can take a huge change throughout the business, hence this not being part of the main list. Recommended reading: Purple Cow by Seth Godin.

If you would like to discuss customer retention through digital marketing for your business, please get in contact.

About the Author

Patrick is a digital marketing consultant with around 10 years' experience, covering SEO, PPC, social media, email and user experience.

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