When running a business, it all comes down to the bottom line—but there’s more than one path to your goal. Increasing conversions and attracting new customers is important, but you also can’t neglect the customers you already have.
For a business to succeed, you often need to explore multiple angles at once—encouraging conversions and repeat customers simultaneously. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult a task at it might seem. It’s just a matter of balancing and diversifying your marketing strategies in such a way that it isn’t completely reliant on any one single tactic.
Here’s an assortment of tips and techniques you should keep in mind as you develop your marketing mix.
1. Reward your most loyal customers
One of the best ways to retain customers is to show them exactly how much you appreciate your business. There are many different ways of doing this, but one of the most popular is starting up a customer loyalty program. It’s important to make your loyalty program as simple as possible to take part in. Some business use a punch card system, while other opt for digital programs that allow customers to use an app to keep track of their points and rewards.
Even without a loyalty program per se, you can still show your best customers how appreciative you are. Offer discounts or free items when they order several products at once. Give them an exclusive sneak preview at some of your upcoming products or services. You can even invite them all out to a special dinner or party once a year.
2. Create an email newsletter
Staying engaged with customers is important for community-building and conversions, and e-mail makes it incredibly easy and convenient. For that reason, you should be sure to plenty of thought and care into the creation of your email newsletter.
Just like with the content on your website or that you might create for partnering websites, it’s vital to keep the information in your newsletter informative, well-structured and high-quality. Don’t add a bunch of extra fluff to make it seem more substantial, and definitely don’t fill it with too much self-promotional material. Instead, include content that your readers can actually use, such as tips or news related to your industry.
3. Use direct mail
Sending marketing materials through snail mail might seem like an antiquated process now that information can be transferred with the click of a button. But it’s still a technique that you shouldn’t neglect; 73% of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail as their medium of choice for brand communications.
Since people receive plenty of mail each day (and much of it will end up in the junk pile), it’s important to make your direct mail communications stand out. One way to do this is to add a custom design to the envelope, something unique and eye-catching that grabs your prospect’s attention. You can also use a unique shape or size, so that the piece sticks out when it’s in a stack of standard-sized envelopes. Add a compelling teaser or call to action on the outside so that recipients are more likely to look inside.
4. Respond to customer feedback
Nobody likes to feel like they’re talking to a wall. If you want to hold on to your best customers, you have to listen (and respond) to what they have to say. You probably won’t be able to act on every single piece of feedback you receive, but you also can’t completely ignore it; pay attention to suggestions and complaints that appear in online reviews, social media posts, and other sources.
If a customer has an especially positive experience with your brand, you might be able to turn that into a testimonial. This is an especially valuable marketing tool because it comes from a source that clients are more likely to trust—their own peers. Just be careful not to be put people on the spot; instead of asking for a testimonial outright, ask for feedback first so that their answer will be honest and unscripted.
5. Keep employees engaged
Maybe it goes without saying, but customers are more likely to frequent businesses when the people who work there are friendly and respectful. Make sure that all of your employees (including your sales team) are on the same page with regular updates. Check in frequently and empower them with the tools they want and need to do their job better.
This, in turn, will improve your team’s interactions with potential clients. Employees who have the resources they require will be more productive and happy, which means an overall more positive experience for your customer base.
When your goal is to increase conversions and customer retention, you can’t put all of your eggs into one basket. No single strategy will get you the results you want all on its own, but putting multiple techniques into effect at once will give you a flexible and powerful marketing plan.
Do you have more tips and techniques to share? Let us know in the comments!