The foundation of a successful business is repeat customers. Customer service and quality product will keep those customers coming through the door, but did you know you could extend good service to the inbox? Are you highlighting your newest product offerings no matter where your customers are?
Ask for your customer’s email address upon purchase. Many will happily share that info with you, provided you make it clear that you’ll use their email address respectfully (and never, ever share it).
Here are some other tips for driving repeat business with email marketing. You certainly don’t need to utilize all of these ideas at once. Just do what feels right for you and do what you can without it becoming a chore.
Have fun with these ideas for driving repeat business:
The Email Follow Up:
You can use email marketing tools like autoresponders to reach out personally to customers after they purchase a product or visit your restaurant. This could be as simple as “thanks for stopping by,” or something more personalized if you prefer.
Checking in to see how they’re liking their purchase after a week or two is a powerful loyalty builder since it extends the service experience for them even after they leave your store.
To do this, use an autoresponder system (Mad Mimi and others offer them) and build your email. Then, whenever you add a new email address to the autoresponder, it’ll send the follow up and you’ll gain major points with your customers.
Keep The Conversation Going:
Once your customer leaves, that doesn’t mean an end to the conversation. This is where newsletters come in. Note that I use the term “newsletter” because this email shouldn’t be a sale or promotion. Rather, it should be informative and, in many ways, a conversation starter.
Share a little about yourselves, your store or your product. For example, a coffee shop could write about their staff’s favorite blends and encourage customers to try something new. Or perhaps describe the qualities of the South American coffee beans and roasting process.
A hardware store would highlight DIY tips and projects, a kids clothing store could share the top ten kid friendly activities in the neighborhood. There are so many opportunities to share something of value with your customers which in turn keeps them engaged with you and, yes, encourages them to be loyal, repeat customers.
Everyone Appreciates Good Recommendations:
Happy customers are ideal candidates to become repeat customers because they’ve already had a good experience. Send them an email once a week or once a month that recommends a new product that you think they’ll love, and explaining why you think they’ll love it.
You’ll have an opportunity to really feature this product, and, to sell it to people who already know and trust you.
Incentives To Those Who’ve Earned It
Incentivizing new customers is a great way to build brand awareness. Incentivizing existing customers rewards the people who already support you, shows your appreciation for them and yes, drives repeat business.
Email newsletters are the ideal delivery system for incentivized sales. You can reach out to your customers in their inbox and thank them for being a customer with an added bonus of a discount or sale, just for them. The exclusivity and feeling of being rewarded is effective. It’s also simply a nice way to say “come back, you’re welcome here!”
Existing customers should be valued, and their loyalty nurtured; email marketing is a low impact method to do just this with proven results.
By Dean Levitt
Chief of Culture, Mad Mimi
Based in Honolulu, Dean spends altogether too much time thinking about email, people, music, and customer support