Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bring Customers Back Again

We have focused a lot of our blogs and email messages on bringing in new customers and increasing sales this holiday season. From creating new marketing materials and product packages to social media contests and email newsletters, we’ve explored marketing ideas that will help you reach more people. After the holiday rush, it may be tempting to take your foot off the marketing gas pedal, however, now is the time to accelerate even more and turn your new customers into evangelical customers for life.

Try incorporating one (or all) of these ideas into your after-holiday marketing plan to see if you can turn those gift shoppers into repeat customers.

  1. Send a Survey – This assumes that you are collecting customer contact information at the point of sale. If you aren’t, start there. Asking your customers opinion about their experience with your services or products is a great place to build a relationship. It also gives you a reason to contact them and even provide them with a discount on their next purchase if they complete the survey.  As a consumer, I always enjoy seeing the results of a survey. I like to know if my experience with a business was unique or if it was the norm. Sharing the results of the survey gives you another reason to reach out to your customer again.
  2. Run a Contest – Have customers post pictures on your Facebook page showing how they are using your product or service. The one with the most likes wins! Social media, like Facebook and Instagram, make running a contest a very social event. Encourage participants to share the post with their friends to get more votes. The more eyes on your page the better!
  3. Reminders – Doctors and dentists send appointment reminders and auto mechanics post stickers on our windshield with service dates. The same technique works in any business that offers regular or seasonal service. In one case, a hair salon that started sending self-addressed reminder postcards boosted business by decreasing the average time between haircuts from six weeks to four. From maintenance to replacement parts, reminders can ensure your customer comes back to you.
  4. Rewards Programs – My favorite local coffee shop gives me a free drink each time I purchase 12. I will gladly drive a little further to one of their locations to make sure I am earning points towards my free drink. A local sock company has a similar program. After 10 purchases, you get 20% off your next order. What could you create that would encourage your customers to be more brand loyal?
  5. Invest in Leave Behinds - Calendars, refrigerator magnets, pens and mouse pads branded with your corporate identity are another tried-and-true method of reminding customers you exist. It's hard for a customer to ignore something that's staring him in the face. Include the leave behinds in products that you ship or bring them with you when you’re networking.
The after holiday market is a great time to continue the conversation with new customers to let them know about your other products and services and to make sure they’re happy with their purchase.  The company that communicates consistently will win more customers than the company that doesn’t. How are you reaching out and starting conversations with your customers this month? Let us know in the comment section below.

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