Five times as much? Three times? Ten? Although the jury’s still out when it comes to determining exactly how much more, everyone knows that it costs more to attract and land a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
And yet…how many one-time-only customers are in your rear view mirror?
How many folks did you sweat for and pay for and furiously tap dance for to finally get them to buy from you? And yet – the instant they bought, you spun away and started all over again trying to persuade someone new to buy
Massive wasted opportunity, people. Huge!
These people have already been proven to trust you with your money. They have shown you that they have a need for your product or service.
Unless you are selling caskets or wedding cakes, most of your customers will absolutely need your product more than once in their life.
So, speaking of caskets, how do you revive these ‘dead bodies’? Those one-hit wonder customers?
What are some non-intrusive, non-annoying ways to lure those customers back to your shopping cart?
1. Thank You Cards
Though this is a technique that you need to jump on fairly quickly, it doesn’t have to be immediately. Go back and run a report on any customers who have bought something from you in the past 30 days.
Now, either order thank you cards in bulk online or just hit your local stationary store and stock up. Ideally, you’d hand write the note yourself and mention what they specifically bought so they know it’s really from you.
But if you’re lucky enough to have hundreds of customers on that list, it may not be realistic for you to do this all yourself. It might be more efficient to have an intern or admin write out a simple note for you and sign it. Just make sure the note at least mentions their first name.
Bonus tip: Make the most of that ‘touch’, that stamp, by also tucking a coupon in for their next purchase. Put an expiration date and tracking code on it so you can create a little urgency and track how well it is or isn’t working.
Sending out a newsletter is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your customers, both present, future…and past! You likely already have their email address and (if you worked over your purchase fine print correctly) you have baked-in permission to communicate with them.
Now, don’t just send them dry product launch info and boring ‘news’ about your company. You know who cares about that new manager you just hired? That new manager you just hired.
And maybe his mom. That’s about it.
If you are attempting to lure back customers and win some brand new ones, you must be interesting. Unpredictable. Compelling. Keep these two words at the core of all your compelling content: surprise and delight.
Surprise them with interesting, unusual stats, info-graphics, and factoids. Delight them with arresting photos, a humorous tone, content that’s outside of what they would expect. There’s no excuse for you to send out boring newsletters, no matter what industry you are in.
People love to be asked their opinion. Even little kids who are 4 love to be asked what their favorite color, number, animal is. That doesn’t change as we age! One of the best ways to get a customer’s attention is to ask them what they think of you.
How did they like your product, what was their favorite part? If they didn’t like your product, ask them for specifics on why.
Again, it’s smart to survey for your own research purposes anyway, but using a survey as an “opener” to communication with your old customers is a natural way to reconnect.
Bonus tip: Incentivize them, if you can. Your customers will be much more likely take the time to fill out the form if there’s a promise of 10% off or a buy one get one free deal on the table. Experiment with a drawing for a big-ticket prize like a gift certificate or prepaid credit card.
4. Happy Something Day!
Celebrating a special occasion is a great excuse to talk to old customers and pop back up on their radars. There are the obvious reasons to talk to them, like birthdays, the winter holidays, July 4th and more. But think past the more obvious ones and dig deeper.
What about seasonal stuff like “back to school” or “tax season”? Get even more cute and hit up the National Day Calendar. There you’ll find a reason to celebrate just about any day of the year. They list out everything from National Drive-In Movie day to National Leave The Office Early Day to National VCR Day!
There is always a silly, weird and – here’s that word again – delightful reason to reach out and ‘touch’ your old customers.
5. Push vs. Pull
All of the touch tactics I have listed so far have involved you reaching out in the hopes of you pulling them to your site or into your email inbox.
You throw your bait out in the form of a Thank You Letter, email newsletter, or happy greeting of some sort and hope they bite. If they do, they end up back on your website, and ideally into your shopping cart.
But there’s another way to approach this. What if, instead of luring them to you, you go…to them?
You have to be subtle with this one or you risk appearing stalker-y, but with a little bravado and humor and insight, it can be done. Go to them! If they have a blog, read it regularly and then comment thoughtfully on it.
This is where the insight comes in. If you have something truly meaningful to add to the conversation, they will be less inclined to wonder why you’re commenting.
Instead, they’ll think “Wow, I thought that guy was just an XYZ salesman. Who knew he was also witty and smart and well-versed about gardening.” Or pets, or whatever the blog post is about. You can casually drop some conversation on them and then let it lie for a bit.
Don’t push them back to your site. Don’t even mention how you met. Just be their cool, interesting acquaintance. The point is not to push a sale, the point is to simply get back on their radar, so that when the time comes for them to purchase what you sell, they’ll remember to buy from you versus your competitor.
Final tip: Twitter is probably the best social media place to “go to them.” It’s short, simple, non-invasive. Tweeting with someone feels lighter and friendlier than commenting on their family photos on Facebook or repinning their wedding planning photos.
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