The key to sustaining long-term growth for your business is to build strong relationships with your existing customers (so they become repeat customers and brand ambassadors) and with your prospects (to easily convert them into new customers).
The most effective way to do this is to make sure you are “top of mind” with them. You want them to think of you:
when they have an urgent problem that you can help solve, and
A key marketing goal should be to stay relevant to your prospects and your existing customers. Here’s how to keep your business top of mindt:
1. Organise your contacts. If you haven’t done this yet, then it’s time to start doing something with those email addresses you got from newsletter signups, whitepaper downloads, and previous company events. Organise your contacts as one group and/or into smaller specific groups or segments for more personalised messages to increase engagement (e.g. surveys, luncheon invite).
2. Communicate regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly basis). Before you become top of mind, you need to show your database that they are on your mind as well. Let them know you care about them. Develop a plan for all your customer touchpoints. Do research on what your customers and prospects need the most.
a) You can send a series of targeted emails containing relevant content or an invite to a short survey.
b) You can do a weekly call or web conference for project updates with customers.
c) Prepare a monthly newsletter to share valuable content like tips, timely topics, infographic, etc.
d) Send a gift and thank you card once a year. The more unique and personalised your gifts, the more your customers will remember you.
e) Create a highly-valued and/or exclusive piece of content once a year or a few times a year. For example – a quality research report, a glossy magazine or VIP event.
3. Commit to social media. Your customers and prospects don’t expect you to be available in social media 24/7 unless you are a large service based organisation (e.g. Telco’ or ISP’s). However, you do need to be there when most of them go online (which means you need to study your traffic) or reply to queries within a reasonable amount of time. Also, find time to interact with your customers (e.g. Retweet, @mention, Like, Share, and Link to).
No need to do this all day. Find a specific time in a day or do this over the weekend. This gesture will speak loudly to your clients (and potential clients). Meanwhile, continue to share relevant content everyday on your accounts.
Even if your target audience don’t read your posts, it’s better that you show up in their feed and make your presence felt which is what your competitors are probably doing. Being active in social media also helps your credibility and SEO ranking.
4. Share client-centric case studies. There’s a way to share your achievements without being company-centric. Ideally, your case study should talk about what your work has done for the client and not just tell what work you did for the client. In other words, a good case study should highlight your shared success. Whilst you highlight your skills, you also put the spotlight on the client’s success. This is the type of case study your prospects want to read.
5. Improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Don’t do email marketing for the sake of doing it. If you do email marketing right, it can be an effective way to acquire new customers, nurture existing customers, and retain those customers.
There are many web-based email marketing tools such as Litmus, Mailchimp, and Zoho that can help your business build email campaigns with professional templates, integrate your email list with social media and direct mail, and track the success of your marketing efforts – so you can refine them over time.
6. Offer additional value or incentives. Customers need to feel rewarded in order to make the decision to lock-in and stay loyal to a brand. Loyalty cards or programs are very effective in keeping you top of mind with your customers.
Use this strategy to develop brand loyalty amongst your existing customers. Loyal customers not only buy your product/service, they become emotionally attached to your brand. They may recommend your brand to others, develop an emotional connection, and act as a brand evangelist. This is what we all know as “word-of-mouth” marketing.
Some businesses become too wrapped up with acquiring new customers that they give little to no effort on nurturing their existing ones. Remember it’s easy to acquire customers if you have great products or services. But it’s also easy to lose these customers if you don’t invest and strengthen your relationships with them. Don’t be out of their sight, or you will find your brand out of their minds.
Marketing Angels can help you create specific campaigns to grow and retain your customer base.
Contact us and see how we can help.