Keep Customers Coming Back With Loyalty Programs and Post-Sales Marketing

As marketers of products and services, you know you've got three main tasks:

  • - Use marketing tactics to find new customers.
  • - Turn your new customers into happy, loyal customers.
  • - Market to these loyal customers after each sale.

Your customers' initial purchases shouldn't be their last. After the initial conversion, there's a lot more your company can do to boost customer retention and keep them wanting more emails, posts, and offers. Remember, it costs companies more to find new customers than it does to keep existing ones. So use that human touch with your customers for continued success.

How to Create Loyal Customers

What can marketers do to create loyal, buying customers? Well, you can start by offering an excellent product or service. With a great product or service, competitive prices, and customer word of mouth, your business can go a long way with customer loyalty.

Hubspot defines customer loyalty as "…a customer's willingness to buy from or work with a brand again and again." In a nutshell, that's customer loyalty. That's what a company wants, because it's a reflection of the positive overall experience a customer gets from the value of your company's products or services.

Here are some marketing ideas to increase customer retention.

  • Use personalized emails to thank customers for their recent purchases:

    When I've ordered online, I've often gotten a follow-up email from the company thanking me for my order, and giving me a 10 or 20 percent off discount for my next order. That's a win-win. I get more savings next time, and the company starts to accrue my loyalty over time.

  • Send the customer a useful product guide:

    Say you've bought a piece of lawn and garden equipment online from a tools distributor. The distributor can follow up the purchase by emailing you a video or sending a PDF manual on different ways to use the product. This shows they care about your use of the tool, and they value your purchase. That builds loyalty.

  • Offer membership in the company loyalty program:

    Customers who love your products will often opt into the loyalty program. But here's how you can make it even better: Sweeten the offer. Ask your customers to sign up for the loyalty program, and when they do, give them a discounted offer for the next one or two purchases, or a larger discount for a bulk buy.

  • Solicit reviews for your company's product:

    Every major online retailer, from Amazon to eBay, uses this trick. Following their purchases, ask your customers to write reviews about the products once they've used them. Ideally, this email can be sent one to two weeks after the purchase to give the customer time to try out the product. In today's attention-demanding world, companies love when customers share some of their experiences with a product or service. It's what makes the internet go!

  • Invite your customers to your social media feeds:

    After their purchases, entice your customers to follow the company on social media. Use your feed to thank customers, and offer enhancements to the overall shopping experience on social feeds. Ask followers to write about something like the best experience they've had with your product. Give a reward or free gift to the most entertaining/educational entry.

Keeping your customers happy isn't a chore, it's a labor of love. By doing good work, providing great services, and making customers happy, you're already winning the daily business battle.

Read Part 1: New Destinations: Mobile and Social Effects on the Consumer Journey

Read Part 2: Follow the Leader: Targeting Different Lead Types

Read Part 3: 5 Effective Lead-Nurturing Tactics