Want to Grow? Focus on Your Existing Customers

There’s a pretty good chance you spend a lot of your business’s time, money, and thought on attracting new customers. It makes sense – more people though the door means more business, right?

There’s a missed opportunity in that line of thinking, though. In short, it takes a lot of investment to find new customers. Think of all the marketing and advertising effort it takes to convince someone new that they should do business with you!

According to Marketing Metrics, the likelihood of making a sale to an existing customer is well over ten times as high as it is to land someone new. And as crazy as it sounds, a Bain & Company study found that a 5% increase in customer retention led to an increase in profits of 25% to 95%. That’s a pretty great incentive to keep your customers happy.

There are lots of great ways to nurture your relationship with the customers you already know. And fortunately, the online world gives you new choices that make it even easier!

Build your list with email marketing

Almost every business and nonprofit can benefit from having a strong email list. Email marketing allows you to keep in touch with people who are already interested in what you do.

Another advantage of email marketing: it’s inexpensive. For small businesses, it may even be free! MailChimp, for example, offers a free plan for lists of under 2,000 contacts. Their site allows you to design your mailings and send them easily.

As you grow, you can start to target your marketing based on characteristics of your audience. You can use segmentation to only send to people who live in a certain area or who found you at an event, for instance. Want to get really advanced? Use someone’s past purchase history or activity to personalize each email individually. The sky’s the limit!

Incentivize return visits with rewards programs

Everyone loves a deal. Online tools make it more straightforward than ever to thank existing customers with discounts.

The dining space has some great examples of rewards programs. Popular chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s use point systems to let customers earn free food after a certain amount of purchases. Some online ordering software can bring this same kind of program to any restaurant!

Create communities with forums and groups

Communities are a great way to keep your customers engaged and happy. They’re also a great place for creativity. In addition to answering your customers’ questions, you can also play games, run contests, and more. Consider running a photo contest for your products in use in the wild.

If you decide to create a community, make sure employees of your customers play an active role. Don’t leave your customers feeling like they’re talking into a void!

Make it fun with gamification

Gamification takes everyday tasks – like posting an update or placing an order – and puts a game-like spin on them. Once someone completes a goal, they might receive a badge for their profile (or even a discount).

On Twitch, an online live streaming platform, users (or streamers) have a set of achievements they aim to hit over time. As they complete more, they unlock new features and rewards.

Screenshot of the achievements area in Twitch's settings

These kinds of challenges mean there’s always a new way to stay engaged with your business.

No matter what you choose, keeping your customers engaged with your business is a great way to keep them happy, keep them returning, and grow your business. Be creative, have fun, and choose something that fits your company’s own brand!

Want some help or guidance with any of these strategies? Use the form below or contact One Ten Digital to talk about options that are great for your individual company!

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

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