In the early stages of building your business, you use marketing to attract new customers. Once you land a steady flow of buyers, your work has just begun. You need to keep customers coming back. That’s why marketing to existing customers is essential for your small business.
Your current customers are often your most predictable buyers. And, marketing to current customers is less expensive. In fact, depending on the study and your industry, acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more costly than retaining an existing one.
Marketing to existing customers
Do you want to sell more to existing customers, but you’re not sure where to start? Try these four methods to keep customers coming back.
Tip 1: Stay in contact
Most of the time, your customers are not at your business. It’s important to stay visible by building brand awareness and marketing when your customers are not around. Keeping in touch with existing customers helps you remain on their radars.
You can contact current customers by phone, mail, email, or social media. Because you are contacting current customers, you might know how they want to communicate with you.
When marketing to existing customers, try to create low-pressure conversations. You’ve already convinced current customers to buy from you. Now, you want to continue the dialogue and introduce new buying opportunities when it’s appropriate. The low-pressure communication is vital to nurturing a customer centric organization. When you market too aggressively, the spotlight can turn to you, instead of your customers.
What should you contact current customers about?
You can announce a new product or service. For example, if you own a lawn care company, you might introduce mulching services. You contact existing customers to see if they want to add the new services to their current ones.
If you recently renovated, you might invite current customers to see the improvements. You could host an event to draw in customers, such as a grand reopening.
Tip 2: Try an upsell
When you upsell, you convince a customer to buy more than they originally planned to purchase. Generally, customers who buy more will return to your business more often.
Always keep the customer’s needs at the forefront of your upsell. The purpose of upselling is to add value to a customer’s purchase. To add value, be sure that the upsell is relevant to the items your customer was initially buying. The upsell and the original items should logically fit together.
For example, if you own a hair salon, you might offer styling services after you color a customer’s hair. Since the customer already purchased one service, they are more likely to agree to another.
Tip 3: Collect data
Data is gold when it comes to marketing to existing customers. You can use data to personalize marketing strategies for current customers. Because your customers already buy from your business, you have access to data about them. You can also extract valuable data from your digital marketing metrics.
Existing customers have an opinion about your company. Is it good, or bad?
Find out your customers’ opinions by collecting feedback. For example, you could send a follow up email to a customer to ask if they are satisfied with your product or service.
Ask how you can make improvements to your company. Have a place where customers can submit feedback. Also, set up a process to let customers know how you will use feedback. A great example of why small businesses need a website is to offer a platform for their customers to leave feedback at any time. In fact, here at Patriot Software, we publish payroll software reviews from customers that wanted to leave feedback about our payroll software product.
You can gather information about customers with a market analysis. Learning how to conduct a market analysis helps you better understand your current customers.
A market analysis provides information about your customers’ needs, wants, and interests. You can gather data through interviews, questionnaires, and surveys.
You might want to find answers to questions such as:
- What products and services do existing customers buy?
- How much are your current customers willing to spend?
- How often do your customers return to your company?
Once you conduct the market analysis, use the data. Make necessary changes to improve your customers’ experiences. The changes do not always need to be huge and costly.
For example, you own a restaurant. After talking to existing customers, you discover that many want a vegetarian option. You add a vegetarian option to improve your customers’ experiences.
Tip 4: Set up a loyalty program
A loyalty program rewards existing customers for returning to your business. Creating a loyalty program also connects customers to your business.
For a loyalty program, you could distribute rewards cards to customers. Or, you could use a loyalty program app to track customer rewards. There are loyalty program apps available online for small business owners.
With a loyalty program, customers earn points each time they buy from your business. When they earn a certain number of points, customers receive a reward. The reward might be a coupon, discount, or free item.
Since they draw current customers back to your business, loyalty programs increase your revenue while rewarding customers.