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Many businesses focus most of their energy on acquiring new customers rather than retaining the ones they have. But the statistics show that customers who have already made a purchase in your store are more likely to purchase again, make larger purchases, and recommend your business to others in your network.
Because of this, retaining customers is critical for your business. But to know how well you’re doing, you’ll need to keep an eye on your customer loyalty metrics. Here’s where to start.
First of all, how do you know which customers are loyal to your business? With good metrics tracking, you can gain a solid understanding of customer behavior.
You should be able to track your returning visitor rate in Google. Google can look at the IP address of visitors to the website and report on which ones have been on your site before. While this number doesn’t tell you which of those visitors made purchases, it can help you understand if your content is reaching the right audience.
When your customers make their first purchase, you want them to create an account so that you can track their purchase history. This will help you see how often they make purchases, and how valuable those purchases are.
Happy customers talk. The biggest favor a customer can do for your business is recommend you to someone from their network. And people are surprisingly willing to do this. After all, if they make a successful recommendation, they gain credit from their contact for connecting them with a valuable product or service.
Automated marketing uses a visitor’s IP address to track their activity on your site, and then send them related information about products and services. So, if you have that visitor’s email address, you could be sending them marketing promotions a couple times a week. But you’ll be much more effective if, instead of sending them a mass email every Monday and Friday morning, you sent them a specialized email of a few products half an hour after they visited your site.
They key is not to overwhelm customers with your emails. When you use automated marketing effectively, you contact customers when they’re most likely to be receptive to an email from you. This allows you to send fewer emails, but more targeted emails, rather than a barrage of untargeted emails.
That said, email mailing lists can be incredibly valuable—if your users signed up for them. A double opt-in list is best for this, as it means your email recipients not only entered their email address, they also confirmed their registration from an account they actually use. This will cut down on the emails that go undelivered or end up marked as spam.
When it comes to newsletters, though, a clear mailing schedule is important. You want your customers to know that you’re reliable, that you’re not using the list opportunistically to flood their inbox, and that you’re dedicated to sending valuable content on a schedule. Do it well enough, and your newsletter can be a form of customer engagement that your customers actually look forward to.
It’s tempting, after someone has remained your customer for a certain period of time, to begin taking them for granted. They keep coming back—therefore, they must always keep coming back!
But new return customers are a little different from those who have been around for a few years. Your new customers may still have some reservations, or they may still be exploring your products. For them, introducing them to items they may not know about or to services they may never have tried can be an exciting way to encourage more purchases.
But those who have been around for a long time are more likely to appreciate something that shows you recognize their dedication. For instance, if you have a monthly subscription service for a certain product, you could put all customers who have been subscribed for over a year on a dedicated list—then send them a free month’s worth of your product on their birthday month. You can bet that will be a gift they’ll tell their friends about.
If you’ve ever been a regular at a restaurant, you know how good it feels to walk in the door and have the people behind the counter great you by name. Maybe they already have your coffee poured. After a while, they name a sandwich after you. These small tokens of appreciation are the kind that bring in long-lasting loyalty from customers. If that local sandwich shop has something named after you, you’re sure not going anywhere else for lunch.
Of course, the Internet is a little different. It’s harder to see who your customers are, and as a result it’s harder to thank them directly. But social media gives you a chance to make that connection online, and if you can do so authentically, you stand a good chance of establishing a strong connection with your customer base.
It goes without saying that you should keep an eye on who’s tagging your account. Many people only mention you when they have a complaint, and ignoring negative comments on your social media channel can be a huge problem. But you should also search for mentions of your business that haven’t been tagged.
Finally, when you see positive engagement with your brand, don’t be shy about liking those comments or leaving a quick, positive remark to establish that good will with your customer. If the customer has done something special, such as review your product or write about it in their blog, that’s an important time to show them extra thanks and appreciation.
Acquiring new customers is hard work. When you lose a good customer, you don’t just lose their business—you must also invest extra resources into bringing in new customers to compensate. But, by cultivating loyalty among your clients, you ensure the ongoing health of your business.
If you need help with automated marketing services, content marketing, or other digital marketing campaigns, we can help. Contact us to learn more about our services.