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Many Ways to Attract Return Customers

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Attracting new customers is essential for any business, but in all the effort to reach new audiences, business leaders often forget to address existing customers. In many industries, return customers account for the bulk of a company’s success, so it is only right that potential returning customers are treated just as enthusiastically as the newer crowd.

Unfortunately, keeping customers engaged can be a bit of a more complicated process than attracting new customers. Simple flash may be enough to bring on a new customer or client, but it won’t work on its own in the long run. Instead, you will need to utilize a combination of techniques. In addition to effective display and site retargeting methods for retaining customers, some other common-sense approaches are detailed below.

Site Retargeting

Site retargeting is the digital market darling of 2013. When browsers click around on your site, their browsers are given cookies that will let you know what they looked at and for how long. If they click away before taking a desired action (such as signing up for an email list or purchasing something), they can be targeted through display advertisements. Marketers get to set the parameters and design the ads to keep consumers coming back again and again to a site. Most consumers visit a site more than once before making a conversion, which is why site retargeting is so essential. Consumers are 70 percent more likely to convert if they’re shown display ads after their first visit to a site.

Social Media

Social media has proven an incredibly effective tool for building a community of dedicated customers. Through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can keep customers interested in your company and excited to engage with you on a regular basis. That being said, social media will not work as a return customer tactic if you fail to use it in the proper manner. Your social network pages need to be consistently updated at a minimum of one time per week. Anything less and customers begin to lose interest.

On Facebook, worry more about updates, and less about what your page actually looks like. By now, you may know that users only see certain status updates, which are determined by Facebook’s algorithm. To become more prominent (and stand out among the 700 updates per second), you need to have users interact with the statuses that they do see. That means that each one needs to contain useful information or entertainment.

Additionally, when these social networking pages are updated, these updates need to add value to the viewer’s social media experience. A page that only includes reasons for shopping at a company’s store or making a deal with a particular client is very boring indeed. Add something of value, be it a link to a well-written blog post or a funny picture. Obviously, its best if this content relates to your main product or service, but it should still have intrinsic value outside of the sales pitch.

Web Design

Social media is obviously a helpful tool for keeping your customer base interested, but you should avoid the common mistake of heavily investing into social media at the expense of your company’s website. Although seemingly archaic compared to today’s flash social networking sites, the good ol’ website is still an incredibly effective tool for both recruitment and the retaining of current customers. However, while your social media page comes pre-designed for the most part, the same cannot be said of the top webpages. In order to attract and retain customers, you will need to present a vibrant and organized design on your site. If design is not your strongest suit, it may be worth your while to invest in a graphic designer.

Often, they can recommend small changes that will make a huge difference in your conversion rates. For example, a client went to the Raleigh, NC, design firm Click Optimize with a simple goal: Increasing the number of contact forms filled out. The firm’s SEO advised them to add a smaller contact form on the front page, and their conversions tripled. Sometimes it’s best to let the pros do their job so you can do what you’re best at!

Online Coupons

At one time, coupon clippers were viewed as unfortunate souls from the working class. This perception may still exist to some extent, but it is no longer true of those utilizing online coupons. In fact, e-coupons are most commonly used among those with high incomes. And they are becoming more popular by the day. In a recent survey from eMarketer.com, coupon use was revealed to be at an all-time high, with 47 percent of respondents claiming to use coupons on at least an occasional basis.

Hanging on to customers isn’t impossible. Simply give one or more of the above tactics a try and you will be amazed at the level of return business you manage to attract!



Thomas is The Marketing Robot's Technology and Competitive analysis writer at large, when not covering the online media landscape he enjoys the occasional Bob Dylan record as well as a visit to Hawaii now and again. Follow him on Twitter @theMrobot