What are your marketing resolutions for 2018? If “focusing more on existing customers” isn’t on your list, you might want to scribble that one down.
In the long run, driving long-lasting relationships with existing customers can be more beneficial than trying to acquire new ones.
Not only will they continue to buy from your brand, but loyal customers will acquire new customers for you. Sixty-five percent of US online shoppers demonstrate loyalty to brands by purchasing more products or services, according to a Wunderman study. Another 61% show their loyalty by recommending the brand to friends and family.
So, how do you turn a one-time customer into a loyal advocate? Here are six ways intelligent content can support this effort.
- Treat them like VIPs with exclusive updates.
Everyone loves feeling like an insider, so give your customers that privilege. Let them be the first to know when you have a new product launching, or when an item they love is finally back in stock.
The team at Groove HQ, a help desk software platform, discovered the secret sauce to making existing customers feel like VIPs. As they prepared for a new product launch, the team collected messages from people who had requested that feature in the past. Then, they used a template to send personalized emails to each of those customers, which resulted in a whopping 68% response rate. Groove HQ team member Alex Turnbull wrote, “Some of these emails have brought back former customers who left Groove because we didn’t have the feature they were looking for.”
- Illustrate their relationship with your brand.
What better way to tug at someone’s heartstrings than to dig up some memories?
Every December, music fans look forward to seeing their Spotify yearly listening data. They pour over the stats, reminisce, and share the data with friends. It’s a marketing technique that stands apart from the promotional content customers are typically bombarded with in December.
“We take individual experiences, individual data points, and use them to represent a broader feeling,” said Spotify CMO Seth Farban in an Adweek interview. “If we just talked about how many people listened to this one song, or streamed this, or did this other thing, it stays up high. But when you get very concrete, so you’re realizing this is a real person with real listening habits, real playlists, real playlist names, then it just cuts through the clutter.”
- Build a strong sense of community.
There’s a major payoff for brands that create a sense of community for their fans. A University of Michigan study found that one retailer experienced a 19% bump in incremental revenue from customers after they joined the brand’s online community.
How can you pull this off? Show your customers real-time highlights from your brand’s social channels within emails and product pages. Even better? Feature user-generated content. Nothing will delight your customers more than seeing their own photos embedded in your content.
- Provide real-time data that will make life a little easier.
Providing your customers with the exact information they need will keep them interacting with your brand longer, and it will keep them from turning to other outlets for answers.
Palace Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Detroit Pistons, is an amazing example of how brands can leverage real-time data to create a personalized experience. Rather than sending fans a static email with game scores, the company sends a dynamic email to ticket holders a few hours before each basketball game begins. Every time the fan opens the email, they see updated scores, traffic information and more.
- Send them useful content based off purchases.
In Adobe’s Consumer Email Survey Report 2017, 40% of respondents said they wish emails would be more informational, and less promotional.
Outdoor-gear retailer REI has mastered the art of providing informative, useful content. The brand is a publishing machine with more than 500 pieces of informational content online.
Eric Hess, senior program manager for content marketing at REI, reported to the Content Marketing Institute that REI uses that content to keep customers intrigued during the post-purchase period. He recommends tapping into the products customers have purchased from your brand, and then, “build loyalty by helping customers use your products and services.”
- Personalize their messages based on geo-targeting information.
In the Adobe survey, 14% of people said that the most frustrating way brands lack personalization in email is by sending content that is not tailored to their location or season.
Build a more meaningful connection with your customers by showing them that you’re paying attention to what’s going on in their neck of the woods.
While people might be freezing their tails off in New York City or Minneapolis, that’s probably not the case in Miami or Phoenix. Rely on geo-targeting data to cut through the noise, and make every message highly relevant.