Getting new clients takes a lot of time and effort, as any business knows. So it pays to keep your existing customers happy and coming back for more. Here are a few ideas to keep your customers engaged and to help ensure you stay at the forefront of their minds.
Get active on social media
Social media is a great way to get regular updates to your audience. It can be an avenue for warm, fuzzy informal updates or a link to critical information. Existing customers are your most important audience on social media. They have the potential to become raving fans who tell the world about what you can offer.
It’s OK to show personality on social media. But it’s important this is engaging, and consistent with what you have to offer. New Zealand takeaway chain BurgerFuel is a prime example. They have created a social media identity around their brand personality through regular competitions, special offers and extreme publicity stunts. They now have a loyal following numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
That said, social media is part of the picture – not the whole story. It will extend the power of your messaging and show people the surface of what your business is about, but rarely goes deeper. If you’re looking to connect with your customers on another level, there are plenty of other ways.
Write a regular blog
Blogs are a good way to connect people with your stories and give them insight into your products, or what matters about what you’re trying to achieve.
The people you connect with can share news about your products or perspective to make your business dream a reality. But for this to happen, there needs to be passion and precision in what you write. If you’re passionate about what you do but not a writer, there are plenty of people out there that can help you put your story into words.
Although some customers may be keen enough to visit your blog, it’s good to share messages widely. Social media is one avenue for sharing blogs (and thus driving traffic to your website). Other avenues include newsletters and email marketing efforts.
Keep in touch using e-newsletters
Newsletters and email marketing campaigns are a low cost and effective means of keeping in touch with your client base. And they are easy to create and distribute these days thanks to email marketing tools such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor.
But people are facing an ever-increasing barrage of email marketing campaigns. Analysts predict the number of emails received by consumers will grow by an average of six per cent each year over the next four years, reaching 319.6 billion annually by 2021. The sheer number of e-newsletters being sent means it’s critical for yours to stand out from the crowd if you want people to read your message.
As far as e-newsletters go, it can be tempting to cram as much as possible in. But your main consideration should always be what matters to the reader. If you put the reader first with interesting, readable and concise content, you are on the right track.
Consider whether your message is appropriate for your audience, and make sure you are targeting your email messages to the right people. The tools and template you use for the job at hand are important too. A bespoke and attractive newsletter template can work wonders for your readership.
The device your audience reads the message on also matters, and mobile is becoming more common. If you don’t have a lot of time and money to test campaigns on mobile devices, it’s best to keep your design simple and uncluttered. Your readers will thank you.
Consider print materials, brochures and posters
Some people see print materials and brochures as outdated, but they have a place in a world where digital marketing is rife.
Although the days of an overflowing letterbox stuffed with paper circulars are over, it can be nice to give people something they can keep on their desk. Bespoke, well-crafted invitations, flyers or business cards can make a big difference. They are sometimes the deciding factor in whether customers keep in touch or not.
Printed posters look great in public places in a way that’s not easy to match with current apps and digital technology. They can draw the attention of your in crowd as a public reminder you’re still around or add flair to your workplace or store. Or if you run events, an attractive printed conference handbook can make a big difference to the experience of delegates.
As an added bonus, most print materials begin their lives as digital documents these days. This makes it simple to tweak them slightly for electronic use, allowing them to be shared digitally.
Let existing customers know about sales and special deals
Sales can be a good way to move stock that isn't moving, but it seems like every business in every city has a sale on every day. It’s good to think about what’s special about your offer, and how it appeals to your audience.
Lowering the price of an item can devalue your product, so consider how your sales can improve loyalty amongst your existing customers. After all, who doesn’t love getting a little something for free.
Remember to make follow up calls
As a customer, it often feels like businesses are trying to take your money and run, so proving you care what your customers think can go a long way.
Send emails and make follow-up calls to check people are happy. Listen to their feedback. It can be a great way to build a lasting relationship that feels like a two-way street. It may also help you find out things about your business that you may not have noticed from the inside.
Surveys are a good way to go to gather this information on a regular basis. Some businesses send a survey after a sale as a follow-up. This can be automated into your email marketing system. Incentivise surveys with loyalty points or a chance to win. This can inspire well-rounded feedback, customer loyalty and repeat business.
Thanks for reading! If you would like a hand with your marketing and PR strategy or communications efforts, why not contact us for a consultation?