“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.” (Source)
So, now that opens up the question of why businesses only want their marketing budget spent on acquiring NEW customers. Why not focus a portion of your marketing spend to nurture your existing customers? Every business should focus at least a portion of their marketing budget to have former/existing customers become second, third, or even ongoing buyers of their product or service.
Email marketing and social media work together to create effective return customers when done right. If you have already accumulated a good amount of customers over the years and kept their information – you have the ability to reach out to those same customers in the hopes that they will buy from you again.. Staying in front of your customers is extremely important and showing them appreciation for being a customer is equally important. Here’s how to utilize these two marketing techniques to increase those repeat customers:
Stay in Front of Your Customers with Social Media
Social media can be a great way to connect with your audience and customers on a regular basis. By telling your story and giving out exclusive offers you will keep your audience, as well as past customers, influenced by your brand. Here’s how to have your customers think of your business first when they need a product or service you offer again:
Make Sure Your Customers Know You Have a Social Presence
To do this, you can put social links in your email signature. Maybe even send out a welcome email or regular newsletter to encourage them to follow your business on social media. A little blurb about exclusive deals and offers isn’t a bad idea here.
Establish Trust with Your Social Followers
You don’t want to spam your audience with a million offers a week. You want to strategically build trust which then helps build your overall brand. Building trust can be done by sharing company achievements/awards, employee stories and pictures, and useful information for your customers, such as industry news.
Promote Your Lead Generating Resources
This means landing pages that will capture customer data. If you see the same customer wanting to learn more information, they may be interested in purchasing a second time. Encourage this by sending them a follow up email asking them if they need any help. Don’t forget to thank them again for being a valued customer.
Nurture Customers with Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective techniques for generating repeat business with an extremely high ROI. According to Experian, for every $1 spent approximately $44.25 is the average return on investment. Talk about generating repeat business on a budget! Definitely doable with email marketing.
Email marketing is the gateway to nurturing those past customers into becoming on-going or repeat customers with personalization techniques. Personalizing your emails makes customers feel all warm and fuzzy inside because they feel they’re personally valued. Win, Win
Create Separate Email List for Previous Customers
The best way to mass-target your former customers is by separating out your email lists. This way you can personalize your emails and specifically thank former clients for being a customer! While thanking them, link to some featured products or services. You want to push for that second purchase and remind them why they chose to purchase from you in the first place.
Try to Accumulate Customer Data
I know it can be hard to do this part, but try. If you have information such as product purchase date, birthdays, etc. you can send anniversary style emails, such as the anniversary of when they first purchased from you. Did you follow up and ask for a review or testimonials? This is a great time to do so to get some useful feedback. Also, birthdays are a great time to email your customer and send a Happy Birthday card with a special discount. This will get them into your store and they may possibly order more products from you with their exclusive discount code.
Personalize Your Subject Lines
If you’re targeting a former customer, personalize it in the subject line with their name. This increases the chances of your email being opened by roughly 22%. Or, use other compelling text, such as “We Miss You, So We Have a Special Offer for You!” This can be tested, just try various compelling subject lines and track which ones get the best open rates.
Monitor the Behavior of Your Customer Email List Carefully
In order for you to understand what type of content is valuable to your customers, you should be monitoring their behavior through your email campaign tools and your website analytics. Is the content you’re sending them providing them value? In order to tell, look and see if they’ve clicked on links to specific landing pages in your analytics. How long did they stay on that page? What’s the bounce rate look like? Those are some valuable key performance indicators that will help you to know if your content is gaining the attention of your users.
Another key indicator you can use is the data of your past customers, for example look to see when the last time they purchased from you was. For past customers that haven’t purchased from you in over 3 months, send them an email blast with an exclusive offer. Monitor the conversion rates for this to see if your offer was valuable. If so, make this a primary campaign you can utilize every 3 months for past customers to get them back in the door.
As you can see, both social media and email marketing are great ways to generate repeat business. You need the social media to stay in front of your customers, but you need the email marketing to nurture those customers and turn them into repeat customers. Building a trusted relationship is the goal with both marketing techniques. Former customers trust your business more when they have a memorable experience and feel valued. On-going customer communication also encourages your former or current customers to become public supporters of your brand and recommend your product or service to their friends on social media – opening even more doors for an expanding customer base.