Attracting new customers is a huge part of growing your business. It also takes up an equally huge chunk of your marketing resources and budget. But there’s another big component to growth that sometimes gets overlooked: your existing customer base. Marketing to existing customers who may already be loyal is just as important. If you’re not reaching people who are already familiar with your brand with your marketing efforts, you’re losing out on a low-cost way to grow new business. Why?
Gaining a new customer is much more expensive than selling to an existing customer. You’re saving money by continuing to market and sell to your existing customer base.
- They know your history. Are you providing the same quality experience and product that loyal customers expect? If you read online reviews, people tend to call out brands for not meeting expectations that were set in the past.
- Old customers can create new customers. Again, reviews are incredibly important. If a new customer is considering your service but reads comments from loyal customers who have jumped ship, chances are they won’t even consider proceeding. But happy customers also give you the power of a referral.
Now that we’ve covered why it’s important to market to existing customers, it’s time to break down how.
Use Your Existing Data
Who are your repeat customers? What do they buy? How much do they spend? How often do they shop? What motivates them to come back? Take advantage of a customer relationship management (CRM) system to better track customers’ data. When you know your customers better, you’ll have an easier time staying in touch with them.
Using your data, recognize your customers by name and tailor as much of your message to their personal history as you can. Remember, most people know how easy it is to send an email with their name. But changing a printed mailer shows a little more thought and effort (though it doesn’t take as much as you might think).
In addition to personalizing messages with names, track their habits to offer new products and repurchase reminders. Send out special birthday and anniversary offers. The more your customers feel you know and appreciate them individually, the more likely they are to continue their relationship with you.
Keep in Touch to Keep Customers
Regular communication is key to market to existing customers. Shoppers are most likely to keep buying from you if they trust you and your product or service. Showcase your brand as it relates to their needs. That way, you’re providing real value. Consider:
- Emails announcing new products you think they’d like to try based on previous purchases
- Informative newsletters offering more than just a sales pitch (tips and tricks, industry highlights, customer testimonials, etc.
Reward Loyalty (and Market Your Program!)
Loyalty programs can work for just about any type of business. A tiered system where customers start with smaller rewards for small purchases and then graduate to bigger rewards as they spend more is a great incentive. Make sure your rewards system is simple and easy to understand — too many restrictions and requirements will turn customers off. Market your program with email status updates, small signs, table tents, or postcards that clearly display your reward levels.
Marketing to your existing customers is one of the smartest (and safest) strategies you can follow. Not only are they a referral generator, but they’re also the biggest driver of your brand’s consistent growth.
How do you reach your loyal customers? As a consumer, what’s the number one thing a company can do to keep you coming back? Share in the comments!