Ricardas Montvila, Senior Director of Global Strategy at Mapp Digital, gives some top tips for gaining loyal customers.
Digital marketers rarely put enough effort into nurturing their one-time customers, focusing much of their energy and ingenuity on winning new ones.
But this is a big mistake – those new visitors to your site are hugely valuable in your digital marketing strategy. A second purchase is an important step towards creating a high-value customer, and it is significantly cheaper to get existing customers to buy twice than to find new customers.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 per cent, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only five to 20 per cent.
Now is the time to build a relationship throughout the new customer’s journey with your company, engaging them with relevant information at each stage.
The following well-chosen tactics can help you take the first steps towards gaining a loyal customer, by actively moving prospects through the funnel to the point where they become repeat buyers.
Make the most of milestones
Whether it’s an anniversary, or the start of a new year, use key milestones to promote your products. Business anniversaries (such as a year, five years or a decade since your launch) can be an opportunity to remind customers about your brand, while customer birthdays are a good moment to send a personalised email with a dedicated discount code.
Birthday emails are particularly powerful – generating five times more transactions and two times the click through rates of other promotional messages. And, even if a coupon doesn’t incentivise a purchase, they’ll appreciate the message.
Inform your customers about price drops
A sense of urgency can convert customers – so, if they’ve been viewing a product and its price has decreased, let them know. They’re already interested in purchasing the item and it could be just the motivation they need to add it to their basket before it sells out.
As well as boosting opportunities for sales, genuinely helpful messages that provide an obvious benefit to the customer can foster better newsletter engagement and grow their link with the brand.
Send a replenishment reminder
If a customer has purchased a consumable or perishable product that could be running low (or will soon be out of date), send a handy reminder that they should reorder. You can use your knowledge of each individual product’s lifespan to tailor how often to send these messages. As well as encouraging repeat purchases, this technique will help ensure that they don’t turn to one of your competitors for an alternative.
Predict customer spend
Make the most of the AI software you have at your fingertips. By assessing trends and anticipating how much your customers will spend over the next month or so, you can fine-tune your messaging across your channels to boost the baskets of low-value customers and make the most of transactions from your high-value customers.
Share VIP content
Recognise the customers who stay loyal to your brand and show how much you value their support. Special content or exclusive early access to a sale will help those who have made a recent purchase or who have signed up to your mailing list feel appreciated and ensure that they don’t miss out on the latest deals – and all while encouraging them to stay connected to your company.
Ask for a review
Once a customer has made a product purchase, follow up by email to ask them to review it. If you’re providing an ongoing service, you can encourage them to take this step at key stages in their relationship with your company. Getting customer feedback will give you a vital insight into how to improve user experience but also helps demonstrate that you value their thoughts, preventing customer churn. As an extra advantage, you can repurpose positive reviews and ratings by using them in branded emails or on your website to showcase some authentic and unbiased backing for your brand.
Encourage your customers to interact with your brand over social media and then feature that user-generated content in your next mailer. This is a great way of providing social proof of your following to your prospective customers. It can also increase the engagement rates with those people that do interact with your brand on social media, as they will be looking out for their post on your mailers.
Track your customer journey
Understanding your customers’ journey is essential to your business success. Use an analytics tool to track how customers interact with your site and the steps they take to complete a certain action, from making a purchase to entering a competition. Visualising their pathway will help you spot opportunities, not to mention user-experience obstacles that might be holding back customer engagement.
Product analytics and eCommerce
It is also worth paying attention to the role that product performance plays on your eCommerce platform to understand the role that it plays in the customer journey. For example, if out-of-stock products are promoted via paid media campaigns, this causes a decreased customer experience. You should analyse products across a far broader set of metrics than conversion rate alone to stay agile – and to prevent customers from buying elsewhere. Some products may lead to very few conversions, but at the same time they may drive significant amounts of organic traffic to the website.
Are you looking for other easy and effective ways to acquire, nurture, grow, and retain customers – and improve your marketing? Find over 100 tactics in Mapp’s Digital Marketing Playbook Interactive Tool: https://improveyour.marketing
Simply choose your objectives for the next year and you’ll receive a tailored list of the strategies you should put into practice. You can also add your own favourite tips and tactics and share them with our community.