Retention Marketing: 5 Ways to Sell More to Current Customers
When it comes to measuring the success of your business, sales is one of the greatest indicators. But where are your sales coming from? It’s one thing to recruit and sell to new customers, but it’s another to sell more to current customers. However, if you’re an eCommerce merchant, you’ll need to know how to do both.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of customer retention. We’ll then share five ways you can sell more to your existing customers as a way to increase your profits over time. Let’s get started!
The Importance of Customer Retention
One of the main goals of business owners is to continually bring in new customers so as to increase profits, or at least keep them stable. But did you know that focusing on new customers isn’t always the most time or cost effective?
According to a 2015 SaaS survey, it’s 68% more expensive to acquire $1 from a new customer than it is to upsell current customers.
But even more than what you’ll get from your customers, you should consider how much you must spend.
After all, it’s 9 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain current ones.
So, does this mean you should give up on new customers altogether? Of course not! However, you should seriously consider the benefits of retaining your past and current customers.
This is known as retention marketing, and it should play a large role in the marketing activities of any business – online or not.
5 Ways to Sell More to Current Customers
Let’s take a look at five ways to retain more current customers.
1. Upsell and Cross Sell Effectively
Perhaps the easiest way to sell more to current customers is to make a move before the customer has even placed their first order. How? With upsells and cross sells!
But first, let’s discuss the difference between these two sales techniques.
Upselling is a sales tactic that involves persuading the customer to purchase a more expensive item than the one they’ve placed in their cart. This is usually a premium version of the current product, but it can also be a higher-priced comparable product.
On the other hand, cross selling is a sales tactic that involves persuading the customer to purchase an add-on item. This is often a complementary item (such as two end tables to complement their new coffee table).
By offering upsells and cross sells within the shopping cart or as part of the product pages, you can increase the odds of consumers purchasing more at one time.
However, for best results, you should know which sales tactic will work best.
According to a study performed by PredictiveIntent, upselling is 20 times more effective than cross selling.
Why? Because once a customer has decided on a product, it’s unlikely that they’ll be willing to change their mind. So instead of distracting them from their choice, you can instead offer a better option in its place.
Upselling isn’t always possible, though. For example, if you only offer one product that fits their needs. In that case, cross selling can be used to make their choice better.
Let’s say you are a garden supply shop, but you only sell one brand of fertilizer. It’s not possible to upsell, but you can suggest they also purchase your weed killer so as to make an even greater impact on their garden’s health.
Overall, the best approach to upselling and cross selling is to be honest.
You want what’s best for your customer, so only promote products when you know it’s what’s best for them.
2. Find the Right Sales Channels
If you currently have active sales campaigns across various channels, you may think that you’re doing all you can to retain your current customers. However, that’s not always the case.
Sales channels are platforms you use to promote your products and, hopefully, convert your audience to buyers. The most common are online marketplaces, social media, and email marketing.
If you want to recruit the right customers (i.e. those who will be likely to convert multiple times), you’ll need to consider how your current sales channels are performing and whether any changes need to be made.
For example, perhaps your social media campaigns aren’t converting very well. While you can continue to run them as a way to bring in new customers, you may want to consider a different approach when it comes to current customers.
One effective sales channel for many current customers is email marketing.
When it comes to eCommerce sales, email marketing offers some of the highest conversion rates. This is largely due to the fact that newsletters are easy to segment and personalize, both of which can increase email revenue by up to 760%!
3. Use Automated Campaigns to Reengage Your Customers
Sometimes your customer relationships will fall by the wayside, and that’s okay. But you’ll need to reengage them if you hope to make future sales.
In short, automated campaigns are marketing campaigns that utilize software to streamline and automate the process. These include social media campaigns, email newsletters, search engine campaigns, and more.
With automated campaigns, you can reach out to your previous customers on a more intentional basis. And you can time these new campaigns to more effectively reach your sales goals, such as by targeting market segments based on previous sales history and offering deals at times that your audience is more likely to make a purchase.
4. Ask for (and Implement) Customer Feedback
What if we told you that the easiest way to learn what your customers want is to ask them?
It sounds too good to be true, but customer feedback can provide you with the information you need to retain your current customers and even reengage lapsed customers.
Customer feedback can be obtained in a variety of ways, including surveys, reviews and ratings, and social media polls. But how can you be sure to get the most from your customer feedback campaigns? By offering a benefit to those who participate.
For example, you can offer a 10 percent discount to customers who respond to your email survey.
So, now that you’ve obtained the feedback, how should you implement it?
That’s where the A.C.A.F Customer Feedback Loop comes in. A.C.A.F stands for Ask, Categorize, Act, and Follow-up.
Once you’ve asked, it’s time to categorize and act on the feedback appropriately.
There are three main categories involved in customer feedback. They are:
- Customer service
- Marketing and sales
To effectively handle each type of feedback, you’ll need to categorize it so you can direct it to the right department. The department can then act on the feedback if it makes sense to do so.
But that’s not all.
You must then follow-up with the customer so as to let them know that they have been heard.
This may be a simple email thanking them for sharing their opinions and experiences, or you can go into depth as to how your company is handling the issue they have brought up.
5. Add Surprises to the Customer Experience
The truth is, if you want your customers to keep coming back you need to make it worth their while. And with the ever-increasing presence of customer feedback on brand social media pages, it’s now more important than ever to go a step above the rest.
How can you achieve this?
Well, you can offer superior customer service and quality products. But those should be a given. So to take it even further, we recommend you add surprises to the customer experience.
One way to do so is by creating milestones for your customers and rewarding them as they reach each one. For example, after their third purchase you can send them a free gift such as a small complementary item, or a gift card.
You can set milestones based on purchases, dollars spent, number of friends and family referred, and more.
These surprises will serve your business two-fold.
First, you create a more solid relationship with your customer and make them more likely to come back and purchase again.
Second, you make it likely for them to share these surprises with their friends, family, and social media followers. And word of mouth is one of the best ways to increase your profits.
One of the best ways to save time on customer recruitment and increase profits is through retention marketing. And fortunately for you, the tips above will get you off to a solid start.
Do you have questions about retention marketing, or how to implement it in your own eCommerce business? Let us know in the comments below!