While attracting new customers is a necessity for any business, it’s even more important to promote loyalty among your existing customer base. It costs 5-25 times more to bring in a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, so improving customer retention rates can go a long way in helping your bottom line.
Relationship marketing is all about creating and maintaining engagement with clients over time through email marketing or other strategies that increases their chances of returning to your business in the future. Loyal customers are especially important, as they are great sources for referrals and feedback and are also likely to make repeat purchases.
Fostering these relationships takes a different approach compared to that used for getting new leads. Below are some ideas to keep in mind as you craft a successful relationship marketing strategy.
Prioritize Customer Service in Your Relationship Marketing Strategy
Customer service should be a focus in all aspects of your business model, as it shows that you care about the client’s needs. A proactive, personal approach to customer service goes a long way in terms of customer retention, and consumers will appreciate the personal touch.
This approach to relationship marketing can often be difficult to implement, so first consider the typical customer service issues your business faces. Once you’ve compiled a list, create a protocol to address these main concerns, whether through email marketing or another outlet.
Promote Engagement Through Content Marketing
While traditional forms of advertising can still be worthwhile, content marketing provides a different kind of value to both you and the customer. Compared to paid searches, for example, content marketing generates three times as many leads. When focusing on relationship marketing, much of your content should help your audience get more from your services.
Match Your Social Media Approach to Your Audience
A strong social media presence is key to any marketing approach. As many as 95% of online adultsfollow a brand on social media, demonstrating its reach. It’s also important, however, to ensure that your social media campaign is in line with your company’s goals.
B2B businesses should focus on communicating their expertise and professionalism, while others may benefit from an approach based on direct communication and humor. Keep your audience’s desires in mind when creating a social media marketing campaign as part of your relationship marketing strategy. Additionally, include social media buttons within your email marketing content to make it even easier for potential and current customers to engage with you on those outlets.
Keep Email Marketing Top of Mind for Greater Customer Retention
Social media marketing is growing every year, but email still has an important role to play in relationship marketing. Email marketing allows you to reach out to your customers and get their attention in a unique way.
The variety of email marketing tools currently available make doing so easier than ever. Consider sending automated emails at the right frequency for customer retention that’s easier and more efficient. You want customers to receive enough messages to keep your business in their mind, but not so many that they’ll feel the content isn’t valuable.
Implement a Loyalty Program
Determining the best way to promote customer retention and commitment can be a tricky process, but an effective loyalty program can have significant effects on engagement. The most important thing is ensuring that your loyalty rewards provide real value to your customers.
You can use a loyalty program in your relationship marketing strategy to incentivize a variety of behaviors, so it’s important to first think about what your company needs. Depending on your goals for the program, you can reward customers for any number of things.
This can range from making referrals to achieving a certain number of purchases (think punch cards at your favorite café) to something completely unique to your brand. Above all, your loyalty program should match your business’s personality and position in the market.
Use Relationship Marketing to Learn About Your Audience Through Surveys
Surveys are an effective relationship marketing method of learning what your audience wants from you and what you could be doing better. That said, they also require asking for some of your customers’ time, so keep questionnaires short and to the point. Have specific goals in mind as you’re coming up with a set of questions and before sending these out through your email marketing.
You can use data from these surveys to improve your customer retention, service, and business practices. Even better, customers will appreciate that you took their feedback into account.
Relationship marketing is a uniquely difficult aspect of marketing, and one that requires true engagement with your existing customer base. While it may seem daunting at first, it is also among the most important methods of improving your bottom line and increasing overall customer retention. Loyal customers are the best customers, and by showing your audience that you value their loyalty, you create long-term relationships that benefit both parties.