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Strategies for nurturing loyalty

How to market to existing customers

An effective marketing plan includes two strategies:

  1. A plan for driving new business
  2. A plan for building relationships with existing customers that extends beyond the time of purchase
Strategy for nurturing loyalty - People buy from people they trust

In this article we offer five concrete suggestions and ideas for nurturing loyalty among your existing customers. The goal is to stay top of mind while building brand awareness. Furthermore, each of these five key points are important components to getting previous customers to return again and again.

Say, “Thank you.”

The simplest things can have the biggest impact. It may sound obvious, but it is important to say thank you when your customer purchases something, whether in person or online. Most ecommerce systems offer options for sending an automated thank you or even a coupon to be used on the next visit. Give your customers every reason to want to return.

Nurturing loyalty: show your expertise

Using your expertise is a great way to build your reputation, and an email newsletter is a flexible, inexpensive, and versatile vehicle for nurturing loyalty. Showcase products, profile a customer, include a coupon. Unless your email list is segmented by topic, you’ll want to keep the articles general interest. Emailing too frequently with information that the receiver doesn’t find relevant is likely to result in them unsubscribing. Hence, think about who your customers are and determine what information they would all find valuable.

Reward customers for being loyal

This can be as simple as a preprinted loyalty punch card or more complex like a points program. Other rewards can include birthday/anniversary clubs, discounts for multiple purchases, and customer appreciation events.

Ask for feedback

Create and distribute a satisfaction survey on a regular basis. Avoid doing it too often–you don’t want your customers to think every time they visit you they’re going to be asked to fill something out. Determine a specific number of months or a particular time of year to distribute the surveys. But don’t stop there. Compile the results as objectively as you can, and review them thoroughly. Determine what things you can fix immediately and which will require more work. A good customer survey can provide valuable information regarding your business. You may identify issues you didn’t know were a problem before they become too big to solve.

Develop an email marketing campaign

Your customers want to hear from you about new products, services, discounts and events. Keep the emails short and concise. Try to limit them to one subject and just one call to action. Determine the goal of each individual email. Do you want them to make a purchase, schedule an appointment, call for more information, or share with a friend? Develop a regular schedule for your emails, but avoid sending an email just for the sake of it. Always have a goal and a purpose.

After Sales Support

In conclusion, the key to selling more to existing customers is in your after-sale support. If your only contact with the customer is to sell them something, you’re headed for trouble. If you’d like help creating strategies for nurturing loyalty, contact us by calling (518) 392-0846 or email [email protected].

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