If you are running an online business, it is not only important to acquire new customers and make your existing ones keep wanting to come back – it can prove equally valuable to reach out to those customers who have bought from you in the past, but have now been lying dormant for some time. Reminding those inactive customers of your existence should, therefore, be a crucial part of any customer retention strategy. One of the important aspects to take into account when devising a plan to re-engage your customers is which channel you will be using to get the message out there.
Here are a few examples of the most useful marketing channels to help spread the word around that you’re still in town and entice consumers into paying you another visit:
– Email marketing
Creating an email marketing campaign is arguably one of the most popular methods used by online businesses to reach out to inactive customers and turn them into regulars again. There are several different templates you can use to draw your customers back in. You could, for example, ask for feedback or an email preference update. Alternatively, providing an incentive for those who opt back in to the mailing list could also generate great results.
– Social networking sites
It is no secret that most online businesses these days greatly rely on social media for their advertising and marketing efforts. The advantage, here, lies in the fact that you will be able to keep your customers regularly updated on new products and features, even long after they made their last purchase.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to run a special promotion or even competition either! Or why not offer these inactive customers a reward for getting all of their friends to sign up to the mailing list and/or ‘like’ your Facebook page?
– Blog or newsletter subscription
Keeping your customers updated with your latest business news is a great way to keep yourself fresh in their minds. If a customer has been inactive for a while, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t still open your newsletters or reads your weekly blog posts.
Always keep your public communications informative and positive. Again, don’t be scared of throwing in a promotion or reduction here or there. This can only help increase the response.
– Mobile web sites and applications
Currently, one third of all adults worldwide owns a smartphone. An additional number of people own an iPad or other mobile internet device. Invite your customers to interact with your business – even when on the go!
Try investing in a mobile web site, perhaps with special features or promotions, only available to mobile users. Alternatively, you could create a smartphone application that allows users to interact with you, take part in special competitions or access exclusive news and previews.
– Opinion research
A good way to make customers feel valued, is asking for their opinion on various aspects of your business or ideas you have in the pipeline. You can do this by sending a link to an online survey to your mailing list, including a poll in your email or even following up on a purchase with a request to provide a testimonial. If the customer agrees, you can follow up with a short interview or survey, which will surely leave him with a positive impression of your company.
Afterwards, you can use the acquired feedback for sales or marketing purposes.