No doubt you’re familiar with the adage about a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush. A quick Google search will reveal that there are several origins and variations. The meaning of them all is essentially the same. The advantage you have is better than the prospect of a greater possibility. Well, this is especially appropriate when talking about customers. Ask any salesperson and everyone would tell you the same thing. Relationship is the most important advantage you can have in the sales process. Unfortunately, most business at best neglect this truth and spend most of their marketing time and budget pursuing the possibility of the new customer, when they already have a relationship with an existing one.
You could adjust the math at little, but on average, finding a new customer costs six to seven times as much as keeping an existing one! That should be reason enough to start marketing to your existing customer base. To further illustrate this point, according to Bain and Company, repeat customers spend an average of 67% more than new customers, and are 6-12 times cheaper to sell to. Talk about a good investment!
In today’s business climate the days of selling your product to someone and creating a customer for life is next to impossible. The constant distraction of new products, better offers, cutting edge features, ensure you can’t reach out to someone only once and keep your customer. If this were so, you would think the wireless phone companies could save a few bucks and not remarket to their current customers. The reality is, you need to reach out to them regularly with a consistent, appreciated message. Like anything worthwhile, consistent follow-up requires effort, but over time you’ll reap the benefits of a steady stream of repeat business and referrals without spending a lot of money.
By far, the most effective and economical way to accomplish this is email marketing.
Nothing is more flexible, customizable or targeted; and done correctly, it is the most opened and read form of marketing there is.
Utilizing email marketing to share exciting news, announce enhancements or even ask for insight from your customers can accomplish several things:
It informs the customer that you care about their experience.
It provides a platform for educating and guiding your customer’s thoughts.
It is a low pressure way to ask for referrals.
It reinforces their decision to give you their business and strengthens loyalty
Using rewards, promotions, education and any number of other tactics that your customers will appreciate make it very easy for them to continue choosing your business for their needs.
Folding new customers into the program is a fantastic way to set an expectation early on that you will be communicating with them on an ongoing basis. For example, anytime you take on a new customer it would be wise to send them a welcome email which might include:
Showing appreciation for the fact that they selected your services over the competition
Information about key contacts within the organization (include photos if possible)
Links to helpful resources – warranty-technical info-etc.
Asking them to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter
Take the time to show your customers that you genuinely appreciate their business, and they’ll remember you.
A final use for email marketing, it to ask for your customer’s feedback, good or bad. This will send the message loud and clear – customers are important to you. Just as an unhappy customer can cause a lot of damage to your business reputation, good customer service keeps people coming back and brings in new customers over the long term.
How you communicate with your customers is important. For more information about how to set up your own email marketing program for your customers, go to www.twgadvertising.com.