Last month, we posted an annual plan to better marketing and I wanted to flush out some of these ideas further. So let’s look at ways to reignite relationships with past customers and contacts so your business continues to feel the love and thrive.
The first step is to identify customers with whom you want to re-establish contact. Go through your CRM and/or old sales pipelines and identify customers that stopped returning or fell out of the funnel.
Next, you’ll want to plan the channel to best reach them: email, direct mail, phone call, social? Regardless of the channel be sure to personalize your message and experiment with several different channels to test their performance. Simple planning and tracking now can save you time and money in the long run so you’re not re-inventing the wheel in the future.
Now that you know who you’re targeting and how you’re reaching them, let’s look at what you’re going to say to get them back.
Oftentimes, customers just need to be reminded of their relationship with your business and a targeted, personalized phone call, email or direct mail campaign admitting you miss them and asking them to return may be all it takes. If you’re doing an email campaign, trigger a “good to see you again” or “welcome back” message if they click through the initial message to make sure they know you appreciate their business.
If you’re not sure why customers are falling out of the pipeline, ask them to fill out a survey which will serve as a reminder as well as help you gain insights of where you can improve.
If you’ve been making improvements to customer experiences or products that have been reducing your churn rate, let your past customers know, since those improvements may have been solving the problems that kept them from returning in the first place. “You Asked. We Listened” can be a powerful message to bring back old customers. Just be sure you deliver on your new promise by keeping expectations realistic or risk losing them forever.
An exclusive discount throughout your store or better yet, on a specific accessory that pairs well with a past purchase, is a great way to bring customers back into the fold. Consider also that, based on your business, a warranty or access to service personnel may be seen as more valuable than a simple discount. Test several different offers and see which gets you the most returns.
You know your business and your customers and by asking, informing and enticing them to return, you may have the best year yet.
Next month: Following Up Like A Lion