It takes a lot of work to attract a new customer. Time. Effort. Money. At first, everything is fresh and exciting. There’s plenty of engagement and frequent interactions. Maybe you even see them a second or third time.
And then? Radio silence. No angry emails explaining what went wrong. No new visits to your website. No additional purchases. All that’s left is a sad, abandoned, online shopping cart.
So what now? Constantly chasing after new customers is expensive and really doesn’t do much to offset the above scenario. Customer loyalty, the most prized and sought-after corporate resource, takes time and repeated exchanges to create. Yet it’s far more effective and efficient to build on existing rapport.
So don’t let these already primed buyers slip away. Use these four suggestions to return straying customers to the fold.
1. Invest in the Right Tools
Most people are well aware that retaining customers is far more cost-effective than constantly trying to acquire new ones. Additionally, increasing your retention rate can be significantly more impactful to your bottom line than growing new business. If you’re serious about retention marketing, there are some incredibly powerful software solutions for companies both large and small.
Retention management software helps to collect, store, analyze, and utilize data across the customer experience. For example, client relationship management solutions allow you to track and manage every client interaction. Customer behavior trackers let you watch how customers are using your site, providing valuable information on bottlenecks and lost sales. Chatbots can provide 24/7 solutions outside of business hours to ensure uninterrupted customer service.
Customer retention software runs the full gamut of the customer journey and can be found at every price point. Some tools, like Google Analytics, are even available for free. Armed with good data and insights, you can provide an exceptional and tailor-fit experience to every type of customer.
2. Send Engaging Email Campaigns and Newsletters
Sending out emails and newsletters is an easy way to get yourself back in front of inactive and unengaged customers. However, crafting effective campaigns and engaging newsletters is a little more challenging. Your mailing list can help you reclaim wandering customers and garner data on how your customers interact with your content. With this information, you can further personalize your emails to make sure you’re giving people the “what’s up” on what matters.
So what does matter? Typically, customers want to know about new products, improvements to services, and upgrades to the customer experience. Keep your customers up to date on upcoming sales and promotions. “Happy birthday” and “enrollment anniversary” discounts can remind customers to take another look at what you’re providing. “We’ve heard you” campaigns addressing improvements made directly from customer feedback can also successfully draw people back to your site.
Some additional points to consider:
- Don’t inundate your customers with too many emails. Even if they don’t unsubscribe from your mailing list, they are likely to just stop engaging.
- Respect opt-outs. You might even send emails to inactive customers asking if they’d like to unsubscribe, which will allow you to clean up your mailing list.
- Send emails in short sequences that build upon each other. Move from gentle poke to clear messaging that lets inactive customers know they will be removed from your mailing list. Countdowns to big promotional events can also help ramp up customers to take action.
- Use your interactions to showcase your value. Remind your customers why they hit that subscribe button in the first place!
3. Reward Loyalty
Brand loyalty is really the end goal. Sufficiently incentivizing and rewarding returning customers can go a long way toward ensuring they don’t stray again. Most customers want good deals, special treatment, and to know their purchases are seen and appreciated. Engaging and worthwhile loyalty programs can provide them with the personalized and distinctive experience they crave.
There is a lot of flexibility and potential for creativity in how you design your customer loyalty program. From punch cards and points systems to tiered buy-in programs, there’s no right or wrong way to recognize customer devotion. However, simplicity and ease of use should be your top priorities.
In addition to accumulating points with purchases, there are various ways to add value for faithful customers. Maybe you throw in free branded swag with every purchase. You can also provide exclusive admission to bonus web content or early access to new products. Some businesses even offer special pricing or VIP-only product lines to their most passionate followers.
4. Run Fun Promotions
Everyone wants to feel like they are getting a bargain. Promotions and discounts can be the extra nudge a customer needs to reinvest in your goods or services. This can be as simple as emailing out discount codes for an additional 25% off at checkout. Offering free shipping and free returns can also dissuade customers from abandoning their carts at the last minute.
Contests and giveaways are two other fun promotional ideas that can help win back unengaged customers. These can be run through email campaigns as well as on social media. You might try “enter to win” contests that offer special discounts or free products. Or you could ask followers to share posts and tag friends to win big prizes. This not only re-engages current customers but also increases your exposure to potential new ones.
Other solid promotional strategies include bundling, BOGO offers, or friend referral discounts. Promotional ideas can re-energize customers and help you send more products out the door. Link up with a cause or charity and show customers you’re not just about your bottom line. Promotions that donate to charitable causes can drum up lots of extra hype and are great for your brand reputation.
Customer retention and re-engagement take work, for certain. But investing in existing customers can be even more beneficial than attracting new ones. These relationships, when fostered, can become the basis for brand advocacy. As in any relationship, it’s easy for that initial flame to dim. If the spark has gone for some of your customers, try the above strategies. They may just rekindle their love affair with your business.