Growing repeat business is a fundamental aspect of The Leaky Bathtub Marketing Method.
After all, it’s 6 to 7 times cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to acquire new customers.
Growing your business in this way is cost-effective and just makes sense!
In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss – and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last. – John Romero
But what can you do, specifically, to encourage customers to make repeat purchases from you?
#1: Customer retention (and customer loyalty) doesn’t happen by itself…
You need to give your customers a reason to be loyal to you, and then encourage them to keep coming back. What’s more, not all customers are equal: some are mere shoppers; whereas at the other end of the spectrum you have your advocates and raving fans.
- Customer retention doesn’t happen by itself: How to get your customers to climb the magic beanstalk of loyalty
#2: Why you need to learn to love email marketing
Email marketing is the most cost and time effective way of communicating to your customers one-on-one.
Problem is that many business owners aren’t aware of the 3 main types of email marketing, and when and how to use them. Confused knowledge = confused results!
However, many small business owners send their email newsletters from their desktop computer system. And this is a big no-no. Here’s why:
Sending email newsletters can be a weird experience… sure, you’ve got some numbers telling you how many people have opened your message. But what do the numbers actually mean?
Sometimes I hear business owners grumble that “email marketing is dead”. But just because it doesn’t work for them, doesn’t mean that it can’t work. For example, if my car breaks down, I don’t declare that “all cars are broken”. No, it’s just my car that’s broken, and I need to fix it!
Same with email marketing, sometimes it needs a bit of a tweak and a fine-tune to get it humming again. Here’s how to get the best out out of email marketing:
#3: Why every business needs to have a follow-up system
Email marketing is great for reaching your subscribers en masse. But to get your shoppers and customers to come back, you need to make more personalised follow ups too:
#4: The truth about social media for small businesses
Ugh, there’s so much hype around social media. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some social media. I’ve been hooked on Facebook since 2006, and have multiple Pages there for my different brands, and likewise I have multiple Twitter accounts.
So what I’m saying is that I like social media, but I don’t like the hype. It’s not the latest and greatest thing. It won’t bring you gazillions of customers (well, not unless you spend a lot of time and a lot of money on it.) But how does it stack up as a customer retention tool? Let’s take a look:
And let’s take a look at Facebook specifically:
#5: Other technologies for customer retention
Let’s not forget the humble telephone, it’s mighty important!
You can do so much more with a phone than just make a phone call. Let’s take a look at SMS marketing (text messaging):
#6: Doin’ customer retention old school style…
Technology’s great, but the old-fashioned ways are sometimes still the best. Yep, I’m talking about snail mail!
One of the key things to send via snail mail is Thank You cards. Here are my tips on how to do it for maximum impact:
This is just a small glimpse into the topic of repeat business and customer retention. There’s lots more to come, so make sure you get my updates, below!
Cornelia Luethi BSc (Hons), DipM
Marketing consultant and author of The Leaky Bathtub
I regularly write fresh articles on growing repeat business!