Repeat After Me: Repeat Customers Are My Best Customers

If you’re like most small business owners, you spend the majority of your waking hours focusing on what you can do to drive new customers. Of course you want to see as many new faces as possible walking through your door, but don’t let the chase after new business take your eyes off the real prize: loyal, repeat customers who keep coming back. Not only does research show they are far easier to sell to, they also tend to buy more during each visit.

According to Marketing Metrics, your odds of converting a new prospect customer typically stand anywhere between 5-20%. Your odds of converting an existing customer? Between 60-70%. That means you’re over 3x more likely to sell to someone who you’ve sold to before.

Not only is targeting existing customers a safer bet, it can also result in a bigger payoff — on average, repeat customers also spend 33% more compared to new customers.

So the question is: Can you really afford to keep passing up an extra 33% in revenue?

3 Easy Ways to Start Marketing to Your Existing Customers Now

The good news is it’s easier than ever for small businesses to follow up with customers and put them on the path to becoming loyal, repeat customers. The key is leveraging digital marketing to take advantage of three critical customer retention opportunities you may be overlooking:

1) Show your thanks (with something that gets them back in the door)

Never underestimate the power of a simple follow-up “thank you” email. Not only is it a great way to solidify the first impression you’re making on new customers, it’s also a proven tactic for converting them again.

Strike while the iron is hot, they always say. Clichés aside, you will never have a better opportunity to reach your customers with an email than immediately after they complete a purchase. In fact, according to Remarkety, open rates for “thank you / order follow-up” emails are nearly double (42.51%) the open rate for the average marketing email (22.87%). And the boost on click-through rates is even more pronounced — 18.27% vs. 2.85%. On average, one in ten customers go on to repurchase after follow-up emails, so it’s clear this is one opportunity you do not want to miss.

Take advantage by not only expressing your thanks for their purchase, but also setting the stage for their next purchase. Highlight a similar or complimentary item they may also be interested in. Offer a special discount on their next visit. There are any number of ways you can go about it, the point is to make it enticing and ridiculously easy for customers to take the next step and buy again.

2) Automate reviews or referrals

Of course, pushing for a repeat purchase isn’t the only productive “ask” you can make of new customers that can make them more invested in your business.

  • Reviews speak louder than ad copy: These days, a positive customer review can be one of the most effective marketing assets you have. After all, customers want to hear from other customers, and thanks to sites like Yelp and Amazon, reviews are more prominent and valuable than ever.

It’s crucial for your business to develop a strong showcase of compelling customer testimonials and reviews, but don’t just sit around and wait for your customers to take action on their own. The only way to make sure they come in is to ask for them and a technology like Signpost automates this for you!

According to The Local Consumer Review Survey, 7 out of 10 consumers said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so what are you waiting for? Start asking your best customers to spread the word! Not only will it help you attract new customers, it will help your reviewing customers feel more invested and involved, as well.

  • Referrals are your lifeblood: Getting a customer via a referral automatically puts them on the fast track to becoming a loyal, repeat customer. According to the Journal of Marketing, a referred customer is 18% more loyal and spends on average 13.2% more than non-referred customers. Combine that with the fact that 82% of small business owners say their main source of new business is referrals, and you can see why asking (and rewarding) customers for referrals is an incredibly important part of following up.

3) Stay top of mind with email offers and updates

More than any other format, email gives you the opportunity to keep the lines of communication with your customers open. Staying in touch with your customers with automated offers and updates on a regular basis will go a long way toward keeping them engaged.

The fact is, customers who receive email marketing spend an average of 83% more, and believe it or not, the majority of customers want to hear from you. According to ClickZ, 67% of customers give their email addresses to companies to receive discounts and promotions.

That initial receptiveness can and will quickly change, of course, if you can’t ensure every email is relevant and valuable. So don’t be shy. Keep in touch with your customers. Technologies like Signpost will automatically send them special offers to keep them coming back. Above all, make it clear how much you value each of them and how hard you’re working to continue earning their business.

Article Attribution: Jonathan Crowe, Managing Editor at OpenView Venture Partners.