You're busy preparing for an exciting season of events and promotions and efforts are mounting to come up with engaging ways to attract new customers. You’re planning parties, offering discounts, and have designed some of your best ads and emails yet.
One question: With all this planning and rush to please the newbies, have you overlooked the value and potential of your existing customers?
These are the people who shop or use your services often, who like and share your content on social media, those who have left you glowing reviews on directories, and the faithful who send you cookie trays at holiday time.
We often take these people for granted. They get lost in the sauce of the rush to sell. How do you plan ahead and make sure your customers feel warm and fuzzy by the start of the busy shopping season? Thank them starting now and continue to do so on a regular basis moving forward.
Referrals should be your number one source for attracting new business, and your customers need to feel appreciated in order to be compelled to care and share.
These statistics may drive home the need to boost your customer retention.
According to Gartner Group, 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your current customers, and promotions are a very effective way of retaining customers by keeping them actively engaged with your brand. A shocking statistic reported by Lee Resource Inc. found that attracting new customers will cost a company 5 times more than keeping an existing customer.
So with these statistics in mind, here are some fun ways to appreciate and reward customers. These examples are simple enough to incorporate into any digital marketing strategy:
1. Send thank you cards through email.
Businesses can show their appreciation for customers with a thank you message and special coupons. If you use Constant Contact’s Toolkit for your email marketing, this is a snap: Go under Newsletters and Announcements, then choose the Card/Announcement Email, customize your message and graphics, and distribute. Be sure to maintain your visual branding so people recognize the email is coming from you and do not mark the email as spam.
2. Start a rewards program.
It’s always smart to thank the people who shop or use your services often and there are tons of great examples of reward programs. Our client, Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts gives a free daycare pass for pet owners who purchase monthly packages and offers complimentary spa baths to pets that board often.
Here’s another one you may already be very familiar with: Dunkin Donuts has the DD Perks Rewards Program. Earn 5 points for every dollar you spend with your DD card and get a free medium beverage when you join, on your birthday, and when you reach 200 points (or spend $40).
3. Run a contest or sweepstakes.
At inBLOOM we love photo contents and the app Offerpop makes it easy to run them directly on your Facebook page. There is a cost associated with using the app, and it depends on your number of page likes. Cost can range from $30-$150 dollars per contest. It’s worth the investment and encourages your existing fans to share your brand and also gives you the opportunity to thank them for their participation with prizes. Read our blog post, Integrating Photo Contests Into Your Social Media Marketing for details on how to run these types of contest.
Over the summer, the jewelry company Alex and Ani ran a Summer Beauty and Bangles Sweepstakes. Participants entered to win an Alex and Ani Bangle + Home Gift Set and TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup Kit. All the entrants needed to do was give their first name, email address, city and state, and agree to receive email alerts from Alex and Ani and TEMPTU about sales and special events. Not only was this sweepstakes a great way to thank customers, it also showcased their products, and increased awareness of their jewelry via the cross-marketing relationship with TEMPTU.
3. Host a webinar and reward attendees.
Webinars do take a bit of work so this is definitely not the quick and easy way to go, but it’s well worth the planning if you seek to establish the people in your company as thought leaders and make them more relatable. People also count on the brands they love to educate them on industry trends and news. The innovative upcycling company TerraCycle recently hosted one of its “Ask Me Anything” webinars with its founder Tom Szaky. The first 50 people who joined the chat received a signed copy of Szaky’s new book, “Outsmart Waste.” What a win, win! Attendees got the scoop on company news, enjoyed a Q&A with company leaders, and possibly received a free book. Spreecast is a great resource for running webinars and Google Hangout offers a video call, but you’ll need a Google+ account, which you should have alreadyto set up the call.
4. Give away goods and services.
Now this is a no brainer. Give things away to thank people and simultaneously see how people feel about a new product. Surely you’ve been at the grocery store on sample day. Doesn’t it feel special to be treated to bite sized treats as you shop? Thanks to social media, you can now translate that same excitement virtually. For example, every Friday Modern Dog Magazine gives away freebies on its Facebook Page. To win the freebie, you must leave a comment on the post asking why you or your dog wants or needs the product. The person with the best answer wins the prize. Sounds pretty easy right? Yes, we like this one. Make sure you follow social media platform guidelines for promotions before launching any giveaways.
5. Offer digital discounts.
Offer your customers coupon codes for a discount in your physical store. They can print the coupon directly from your website or an email. This will encourage new customers to sign up for emails, drive traffic to your website, and give you a bigger and more receptive customer base to send news and information. inBLOOM’s client Small Factory Productions builds their discount codes right into their class registration process, making it easy for parents to sign their child up for class online and get their special discount by entering the code during the payment process. By offering discounts to your existing customers, you help to retain them and may also attract their friends and family as customers. One of your digital codes could be for a special friends and family rate or discount.
Your existing customers are too important to ignore and their support of your business is incredibly valuable to attracting new customers.