6 Ways to Turn Existing Customers into Lifetime Followers
Date Posted: 4/19/15
Original URL: http://www.tradeglobal.com/blog/6-ways-to-turn-existing-customers-into-lifetime-followers/
While it’s important to attract new customers to your brand, it’s just as important to nurture your existing customers in order to gain their loyalty. There’s stiff competition in the retail industry today, and offering the standard sale every now and then is no longer enough to keep people engaged. So, how do you make sure your brand stands out?
- Show the Lifetime Value of Your Products
Stay in front of your customers by showing them the lifetime value of your products. What does this mean? Go above and beyond to show the quality of your brand. Tell people why they should buy products from you rather than your competitors. Are your products durable? Create videos that show how to use your products, how they’re made and that highlight the quality of the materials used. The U.S. audience for digital video will pass 200 million in 2015, according to a new eMarketer report, with many people preferring to watch a video instead of reading the same information. Educate your customers. They’ll appreciate the effort behind these measures, and it shows that your brand stands behind its products.
- Stay in Touch and Be Responsive
Your customers love to hear from you – really! They especially love when they feel personally connected to a brand. Get to know your customers, and show them you care. Introduce birthday and welcome programs, and send them personalized coupons to make them feel special. Use bounce back offers to encourage them to buy again. If it’s been a while since a customer has shopped your brand, invite them back with a unique incentive (“We miss you! Here’s a deal just for you!”). Encourage your customers to get their friends involved by sending ‘Share with a Friend’ coupons (win win – your customers get to shop with friends and you gain access to a new audience!). Finally, be sure to respond to every single customer complaint and take customer suggestions seriously. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business – if they’re not happy, you’re not happy!
- Encourage Customer Interaction Online
In a world where many people are moving away from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and moving toward shopping in online stores, having a strong online presence is essential. Drawing people to your online store with online specific events and promotions, free shipping and returns, the lure of additional product options and customer appreciation programs is one way to do it. Another way is to let your customers share their product experiences by enabling image sharing on your site. Statistics show that, in 2014, 1.8 billion images were being shared per day! According to a whitepaper by Olapic, their clients see a 4.6% conversion rate when customer photos are shared on a product detail page and a 9.6% conversion rate when visitors interact with these photos, meaning this interaction nearly doubles conversion.
- Promote One-of-a-Kind Events
Invite your customers to special events (like private or flash sales), which promote deep, long-term customer engagement and help drive in-store and online traffic. The success of the flash sale lies in the sense of urgency it creates for customers to purchase. Monetate found that 56% of businesses agree that flash sale campaigns are better received than regular campaigns. The most successful flash sales are ones that don’t last very long, with 50% of purchases occurring during the first hour of the sale. These sales have become increasingly popular as a way for retailers to sell more products and get rid of surplus inventory.
- Offer Complementary Products and Services
A free sample, coupon for next purchase and free shipping or returns are all great ways to provide additional value to your customers and expose them to your other product offerings. Used strategically, this can also benefit your business by increasing average order size or helping to get rid of product that isn’t moving. Plus, everyone loves a good deal! Your customers will be more likely to keep coming back if they know there’s a little something extra in it for them.
- Diversify Your Exposure
Connect with your customers on various social channels and at industry-related events. After all, continued exposure brings brand recognition. Make sure you choose a social strategy that makes sense for your brand, and develop a plan for the frequency and type of content you will be publishing. Social exposure also opens up opportunities for new followers. According to Search Engine Journal, social media generates more than 30% of all referral traffic, with Facebook leading the pack. Provide your customers with incentives for referring your brand to their social circle (think coupons for liking, following and sharing on social). The best thing about this approach? It’s an easy and cost effective way to spread the word!
Before diving into any new marketing initiative, make sure your promotions align with your overall brand strategy. This will involve assessing whether customer loyalty offers, weekly sales or a mix of both will work better for your brand. Most importantly, consider your customers’ feedback! The best marketing strategies involve careful planning, execution and, most of all, constant reevaluation. If you’ve already drawn customers to your brand, you’re halfway there. Now, build upon those relationships and make them lifetime followers of your brand.