Email as a tool to grow repeat customers – Pt. 1

Posted by Spike Glenn Edley

Spike ScalesIt’s often said that it’s much easier (and cheaper) to foster repeat business than it is to find new customers. However, so often the focus remains on acquiring new buyers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that new customer acquisition isn’t important, but all too often we neglect our repeat customers, who make up approximately 80% of our business. A case in point is the popular tactic of telcos; offering an exceptional deal to new customers signing onto a plan, but not allowing existing customers the opportunity to access the same deal.

It’s time that we find some balance and start taking care of the customers that we already have. Email is an important channel that can be used to do just this – building engaged, loyal customers and positive brand advocates.

On the most basic level it enables you to keep in touch with your customers and provide consistency, which helps to engender a consumers trust – because you’re doing what you said you would, which is sending relevant and valuable content to them regularly. This not only shows that you care, but also further reinforces that you know what you’re doing (and talking about). Simply put, email marketing keeps your business top of mind with your customers. Though beyond this, email marketing works in a vital relationship-building sense.

The potential of email to engender repeat sales online is great. This can be done, via the use of ‘you might also like’ emails and special deals or discount codes that only go to your email database. The potential of email for traditional bricks and mortar stores, or retailers with both foot and online traffic, is also significant.

Originally published in the June 2013 edition of New Zealand Retail Magazine

Read Part two here.