There’s no doubt that winning new customers can lead to business growth. In fact, studies have revealed top performing e-commerce businesses – described as those that experience rapid growth after six months in business – acquire new customers 3.5 times faster than their competition!
But, while this might sound obvious, what you might not know is that those top performing businesses excel at retaining customers too. The same research suggests top performers, when compared to their competitors, generate a much higher proportion of revenue from repeat business making them more profitable and sustainable in the long term. It’s even reported that increasing customer retention rates by 5% could raise profits by 25%.
And there’s more positive news. There have been numerous studies into the costs of acquiring new customers versus retaining customers, but as this report summarises, acquiring new customers can be anywhere between 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
So, the message is clear; focusing on retaining loyal customers is not only integral to business growth but it can be cost-effective too. Email marketing could be a key strategy for driving growth and profitability by engaging, inspiring and extracting more value from the customer base you’ve already worked so hard to acquire. Here are five tips to help you do it more effectively.
Aim to send consistent emails, regularly
Every new email address you collect is an opportunity – an opportunity, for very little cost, to keep your previous customers informed about your business so they don’t forget who you are and what you can offer.
Whether it’s weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, sending regular updates and information about your brand, products or services can help ensure your business stays firmly on your subscribers’ radar until the next time they consider a purchase. But remember, your emails must be instantly recognisable to be effective. This means each email you send should consistently communicate your brand vibe, tone and voice – so you’re always noticed.
Create emails that are visually appealing and engaging
We humans are naturally highly visual creatures – in fact, studies say the human brain can process entire images the eye has seen for as little as 13 milliseconds! So, eye-catching images and attractive design could be one of your best chances to stand out in a crowded space (that means inbox!) and win more business.
You don’t have to be an expert designer to pull this off either. Today, online tools help you to create professional and customised templates to help ensure your emails hit the nail on the head each time.
And there are other ways to make some noise with fresh and engaging emails – such as creating subject lines that are either short, shocking, provocative, informative or even energetic with carefully placed punctuation. What’s more, consider every way you can drive loyalty by making your email content relevant to your customers. And, try to keep text to a minimum – studies say the amount of text can impact click-through-rates.
Use transactional emails
Simply, transactional emails are things like order confirmations, shipping confirmations, post-purchase care communications and feedback or survey emails (among others). All these types of communications work together to deliver an exceptional and memorable customer experience – and one that can give customers the confidence they may need to choose your business over the competition next time around.
Take advantage of key dates for reminders and well-timed offers
A great way to encourage repeat business is by making every effort to catch your email subscribers when the timing is right. In other words, when they’re most likely to make an immediate purchase because of your email.
Of course, how you go about achieving this will depend on the type of products or services you offer but there are some general examples of how it could work to get you inspired. Perhaps they bought a gift so, why not send an email the same time next year (they might appreciate the reminder)? Meanwhile, relevant seasonal offers throughout the year and around key dates such as the Holiday shopping season, Back-to-School, and EOFY could also result in a sales spike from your existing customer base.
Include relevant calls-to-action
The importance of creating engaging, informative and eye-catching emails to generate repeat business has already been explained, but what’s the point of all that effort if you drop the ball when it matters most! We’re talking about including calls-to-action that anticipate all the possible next steps a customer might take on the path to making another purchase. These might include links to other products, links to special offers, contact details or even an invitation for free trials and consultations.
Email marketing is an effective low-cost strategy for winning repeat business and driving growth in the digital age. This is because, the right online tools with a little bit of “know-how” and great timing, can go a very long way to help you stay engaged with your customers and help your venture grow.