Acquisition or retention in online marketing?
Your customers are obviously hugely important to your business. Actually, they are what makes your company a company at all. Because if you had no customers, then you had no income and basically had no business. So cherish your customers! Actually, it is then quite crazy that with online marketing we very often focus on attracting new customers (acquisition) and much less energy is put into retaining the customers you now have and building good relationships with them (retention).
Customer acquisition is an expensive marketing word for attracting new customers. A lot of entrepreneurs set most of their sights on this anyway. And why? Actually, no idea. For example, in marketing land, we very often talk about a customer’s funnel or costumer journey and often focus on getting new leads, clicks and conversions.
But … is this all? Do you need to focus all your efforts on attracting new customers? I don’t think so. Retaining the clients you already have and especially working to build good relationships with them is just as important.
“Did you know that it takes 5 to 7 more money AND time to attract new customers compared to retaining existing customers or returning old customers?”
Customer retention means retaining customers or having old customers return. In marketing parlance, then, we say we want to increase a customer’s customer lifetime value. With customer retention, you try to keep existing customers with you longer, encourage repeat purchases and/or get such a customer to spend more with you (up- and cross-selling). In short, you are trying to keep your existing customers loyal to you.
So customer retention is at least as important as acquisition. For example, did you know that it takes 5 to 7 more money and time to attract new customers compared to retaining existing customers or returning old customers(GrowthbyBenthe). And you have a 60-70% chance of selling something to an existing customer versus a 5-20% chance of selling something to a new customer(Marketing Metrics).
So it is absolutely worth thinking about what you are currently doing to maintain relationships with your current (or old) customers?
CRM or marketing automation system
If you want to get started with maintaining customer relationships, it is important that you have a system that can support you in this. Of course, you can’t follow up on all customers manually. Well, in some companies it can be done, by the way, but once you have more than 50 customers, it just gets a little challenging.
A marketing automation system can then support you perfectly in this regard. I myself like to work with active campaign or mailblue. In fact, there is a kind of mini-crm in here that allows you to easily arrange these things completely automatically. But, of course, there are many other software programs or systems to consider. There are even systems set up specifically for the equestrian entrepreneur, such as Manegeplan. Here, for example, you can send fully personalized emails and the system indicates when your rider’s birthday is (almost) due.
With this type of automated system, you can, for example, periodically send a newsletter to your existing customers to highlight promotions or just stay “on top of mind.” I wrote a blog about the importance of email marketing once before.
3 tips for a better relationship with your customer
Sometimes it is quite difficult to think of what you can then do as an equestrian entrepreneur to get that better relationship with your customer. That’s why I have three great tips for you:
1) Create a birthday campaign
By this I mean not a campaign when it’s your birthday, but rather a campaign for when it’s your customers’ birthday. In fact, remembering customers’ birthdays can work very well for customer loyalty. Now you may be thinking, yes but I get a mail like that for my birthday from every webshop and that really didn’t improve our relationship. No that’s true, but the trick is to think of it precisely in such a way that it does feel special to your customers. So come up with something special and pitch it just a little differently than the usual webshop. You can also make sure that on the customer’s birthday you get an email or notification as a reminder that you are going to give the customer a call or record a voice message via whatsapp or record a small video. Believe me this is really going to work for your relationship.
2) Sending an email when someone has been a customer for one year
There is another time when you can make a little tam-tam and work on the relationship with your client and those are the special moments that you would also celebrate with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Namely, that you met or that your relationship started a year ago. You can also do that with clients. A short email with a gift on the day someone became a customer a year ago or several years ago. How cool is that? Your customer is going to be really surprised by that, and surprise in this case then works positively. Does it take too long for someone to become a customer for a year? Then, even for a customer’s 5th or 10th order, you might take a moment and send a celebratory email.
3) Win-back campaign
Finally, there is one more moment that you can use to keep customers more committed to you, and that is at the moment when customers have not done anything with you for a long time. For this, you can set up a so-called win-back campaign. So the moment one of your customers has not opened emails from you for, say, 3 months, you can send an email with a promotion or a gift so that these people become active again. Or you give them a special offer to sell something to them again anyway. If they do not respond to this then you are also just going to set them to inactive or remove them from your system. After all, each email address often costs you money in your email system so you still want to clean this up from time to time.
So in addition to getting new customers and new leads, retaining your current customers (or having old customers return, depending on what your product is, of course) is just as important. You don’t necessarily have to choose between acquisition or retention in online marketing. It’s something that goes nicely together.
Of course, these are all things you have to dive into before you can set them up, and there are more things involved here and there than I can put in this blog. Also remember that you can also build a good relationship with your customers by following them on social media, for example, and giving them a comment when they share something special. For example, their results from the last competition or news about their horse.
There are plenty of ways to work on a good customer relationship!