Most businesses online focus heavily on winning new business, through a mixture of SEO, social media and online advertising. But actually a much more effective way to do business is to focus on retaining the customers which you already have. According to http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/1590.html, increasing your customer retention rate by just 5%, you can increase your profit by between 25% and 95%. That’s quite a significant difference.
So as a business, what can you do to improve customer loyalty, and encourage those customers to keep coming back? The most important, and most obvious way of keeping customers is to make sure that you offer an exceptional service, and fulfil every aspect of it above and beyond what the customer is expecting.
There are also, some other ideas for promoting website loyalty, retaining customers and nurturing your relationship with relationship marketing.
One excellent tool for retaining customers is by using an online newsletter. By encouraging people to sign up to a newsletter you will get their contact details, which will you give a path straight into their life. As a newsletter is passive, they can choose whether to read it or not, meaning that you don’t seem too pushy, and your ‘customers’ will have the chance to hear about news and promotions first.
To create a customer retention newsletter, you first need a list of email contacts. The easiest way to get this list is by creating a subscription on your website. You can make it either at the checkout when someone buys something or as a subscription on your site, meaning that anyone who is interested in you can sign up (other than only those who have already bought something).
You next need to think about content. There are five areas which you can cover in your newsletter content.
1. Special offers, promotions and competitions
2. Useful information and tips
3. Company news
4. Industry news
5. Links to anything that you think your customers will find interesting
Remember though, your content needs to be good and well written, otherwise you will find the people will read it once and then not bother again. It is also worth remembering that you shouldn’t over promote yourself – you will sound arrogant and put people off.
The benefits of a newsletter for customer retention are that you are able to communicate directly with them, engage with them, and also make it worthwhile for them by offering promotions and competitions that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Advertising doesn’t get much easier than you being to speak to people who have already shown an interest in your product or service, directly through their inbox.
One of the best customer retention ideas for your e-commerce business is running competitions through your newsletter. This way you can keep you customers engaged and active with your business. It also gives you an excellent opportunity to show and promote new products or services – and of course is the perfect way to tempt them to sign up for your newsletter in the first place.
Another benefit of running customer competitions is that it gives you the opportunity to get content or information from your customers. It might be that you ask them to tell you their favourite flavour of your food product, colour or design of your t-shirt, or submit photos of them using your product which can then be shared on social media. Keep it simple and you will be able to get some really useful material – whether for your own ‘market research’ or promotion – or even self-promotion.
To really make the most of the benefits of a newsletter competition strategy, you should try to make it a regular occurrence – weekly or monthly. This way you can keep people up to date with what’s going on, as well as keeping their interest – but not being too over-powering. You can make your competition exclusive to those who buy, register or sign up to your newsletter, so that you can be sure to get the benefits as well.
Customer Loyalty Schemes
Another great online retention idea is the setting up of customer loyalty schemes. This is where you will reward the customer for being loyal to you, and continuing to choose you as their company of choice for your product or service.
One way to do this is to look over your transactions history – your e-commerce software should allow you to do this – and find who your most loyal customers are. You can then reward them with a free gift, or discount to say thanks. This is a great way to reward existing customers, but doesn’t work so well as a retention tool. After all, you are rewarding people after the event.
Perhaps a more effective way to reward loyalty and help in customer retention, is by offering a loyalty scheme – much like you see at supermarkets with their loyalty cards, or coffee shops where you get a free cup of coffee after every 9 stamps.
These schemes, above everything else gives people a reason to go to you and not one of your rivals – especially if there is very little to choose between the two of you. The scheme works by you awarding your customers for purchases that they have made by giving them points. Then, once a certain amount of points has been accumulated, the customer will win something – a free gift, discount or free delivery on their next order, for example. This is a quick, and easy to understand way of rewarding your customers for their loyalty.
There are many ways to retain customers and keep them loyal – as well as the obvious of offering and supplying a great product and service. Newsletters, competitions and loyalty schemes as amongst the most effective, but there are many others – it’s just a case of getting creative! And if you are struggling to come up with a new and effective idea, try speaking to a digital marketing agency like Studioworx.
If you have any questions about e-commerce, buying and selling online, building effective websites and other online services, get in touch with Studioworx either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (+44 (0)1482 659362) or the website (http://www.studioworx.co.uk).
Submitted by Studioworx Social Media Team on 20/07/2016