A common misconception businesses have of marketing is that it should solely be used to ‘generate leads’ and get new customers on board.
Though that’s an important part of what marketers do, an even more important but often forgotten goal is to build and improve relations with current customers.
Though there are no definitive stats to show it, retaining a customer is MUCH cheaper than getting a new one – in fact keeping a customer could cost about 10% of the cost of acquiring a new one!
So with that in mind, does your business have a relationship marketing strategy in place?
It’s all well and good getting new customers on board, but if there’s no plan in place to keep them then you could be wasting your marketing budget.
At Effective, we’ve put together a small list of ideas to help your business put the ‘relationship’ back into its marketing.
Newsletters and Emails
A customer email address can be really valuable for your relationship marketing. You can use emails to:
- Send a monthly or quarterly newsletter – keeping the customer updated on business news or offering a product or deal they might be interested in. Just keep in mind you need to offer something the customer wants, it might be a discount, a big service announcement, or it could be a blog offering some helpful information. Whatever you decide on, avoid the sales pitch, no one wants the sales pitch!
- Get business feedback – there is nothing wrong with emailing a customer to see what they think about your business. If you’ve sold a product you want to know how the customer is getting on. Using emails to get feedback can really help you improve your customer experience in the future.
- Take part in development – if you want to build a loyal customer base, why not ask your customers to take part in the development of your business? Email your customers to see if they want to see new products or services launched. If you’re changing the website, are there any features they want to see? If you’re reworking your logo or website, could you launch a poll and get the customer involved?
- Offer a free giveaway – reward your customers with a free giveaway from time to time, it could be a whitepaper, a product, or discount. It completely depends on your audience and what your business offers, but try and reward loyalty.
Social media channels can be a great way to build your relationships with customers. Good social media marketing requires a touch of creativity, time to invest in good content, and a strong understanding of your audiences.
Social media accounts that get the best engagement offer something followers need. Knowing your audience is the first battle, why do people follow you?
Once you know that answer you can start creating content followers will engage with. Here are just a few ideas to boost your social media engagement:
- Run a seasonal competition with a great giveaway
- Share the occasional product discount or deal
- Share a ‘how to’ article or something that informs the customer about your product or service
- Share a testimonial or great customer story (showing your business values its customers)
Above are just a few generic ideas, but if you can offer followers a great reason to keep following you and integrate it with your overall relationship marketing activity, social media can be really valuable. Whatever you do, don’t think social media is a sales tool, it just doesn’t work like that!
We’ve written about the importance of a business blog before here, and it’s a great tool to support your relationship marketing.
A blog is brilliantly versatile and can be whatever you (and your customers) want it to be.
Use your blog to:
- Answer customer questions about your product or service – ‘How to’ guides are perfect blog material, you just need to find out what your customer needs answers too (via customer support, a little bit of social listening, or SEO research)
- Show some personality behind your business – it could be charity work or fundraising, a funny office video, or a tour of the office, literally anything you might think the customers are interested in
- Inform customers – if you sell a product, why should customers buy it? Reviews are perfect blog material if you sell a range of the same products (e.g. ‘why headphones XX are perfect for gym goers’)
Whatever your blog is, take the time to invest in it regularly and mix up the sort of content you publish.
Marketing isn’t all about gaining new customers, and your business can’t afford to not have a relationship marketing strategy in place.
Whether it’s a direct email, an informational video, a product giveaway, or an engaging whitepaper, how you interact with your customers and followers makes a huge difference to whether they remain loyal or look elsewhere.
So, if you need a hand putting your relationship marketing strategy in place get in touch with Effective.