Reaching a new customer is a different game than trying to win back a customer you have lost — and speaking to an existing customer is a whole different beast. Unfortunately, too often, small businesses use a one-size-fits-all approach to reaching each of these customer segments. The end result is that important opportunities are missed. After all, someone who has never heard of your brand is not going to respond to the same messaging as someone who has already used your services. When you try to target every customer segment with the same marketing tactics, you can wind up wasting a lot of your marketing budget on misaligned messaging.
In today’s guide, we will take a look at four key marketing strategies you should employ based on whether you are trying to reach a new customer, an existing customer, or win back a lost customer. The end result is that you can create a more cohesive and inclusive approach to your marketing strategy, winning more leads at a lower cost to your business.
New customers are a key to ongoing growth. Regardless of how well your business is doing today, you want to attract new customers to your brand. With 73% of American consumers changing their brand choices during 2020 alone, the time is prime for you to sway your competitor’s customers to choose your company instead.
When marketing to new customers, you’ll be focused on messaging both your brand and your services. This is when it is critical to build trust, establish yourself as a go-to choice for your industry, and persuade a customer to give your company a try. For new customers, try out the following four strategies.
1. Define Your Ideal Audience
To reach the right people, you need to clearly understand your audience. If you haven’t already done so, take the time to build out the characteristics and demographic data points that will help you target your marketing toward the right group.
This is a critical step to ensure you don’t waste money on ads geared toward the wrong consumers.
For further reading on finding your target audience, check out our recent guide: Insights Into Your Audience: How to Gather Data on Your Target Audience.
2. Pitch Your Local Side
During the pandemic, consumers changed a lot about how they make purchasing decisions. One obvious shift was a focus on using digital services to make purchases and scheduling no-contact services. However, another major shift was a renewed focus on local communities. Post-pandemic, more than 82% of consumers said they are willing to spend more to support local businesses.
For small businesses, this is great news. Showcase how you are a part of the local community and use this to attract customers who are becoming increasingly conscientious about where their money is spent.
Demonstrating your local side can be done through numerous tactics, such as the following:
- Brand your ads to include copy about how your business is locally owned and operated.
- Host a community charity drive and showcase it on your website and social media channels.
- Offer a percentage off select sales to support a local cause.
- Sponsor a local little league or sports team.
- Attend local events and offer coupons for local residents.
3. Invest in Search
If your business can’t be found online, you decrease your chances of reaching new customers dramatically. In fact, in a recent survey, an incredible 99% of consumers indicate they use the internet to find local businesses.
To ensure your business can be found by potential new leads, invest part of your marketing budget into search engine optimization (SEO). Through SEO, you can increase your website ranking in organic search and can increase how often your business shows up in local results.
To learn more about local SEO, check out our recent guide Why Local SEO Can Make or Break Your Business, which contains practical tips for optimizing your digital presence for an online search.
4. Try Out New Channels
Perhaps you are already investing in digital marketing aimed at reaching new customers. However, to gain additional traction, consider branching out to new channels you haven’t used prior.
For example, if you have focused all your efforts on reaching customers through Google Display Ads, consider testing a social media marketing campaign. There are numerous ways to reach customers online, and you might be surprised to discover that customers are using different channels than previously to find businesses like yours. Don’t be afraid to experiment and test out new strategies.
While reaching new customers is an excellent way to expand your business’s reach, the majority of your business will continue to come from existing customers. Recent data indicates that approximately 65% of a company’s business comes from its existing customer base.
The key is to ensure that you are not losing your current customers to the competition. To do this, you need to encourage long-term brand loyalty, which can be difficult in a world where consumers are easily swayed by ads and offers your competition is running. Test out the following four strategies aimed at marketing to existing customers.
1. Get to Know Them Better
To ensure you are continuing to offer the right services and offers to keep current customers happy, you need to know who your customers are and what matters to them. This data is a powerful tool in ensuring that when you spend money on marketing to these customers, you are nailing your messaging.
To get to know existing customers, try out a few of the following strategies:
- Send out surveys: Through email or text, contact current customers with a simple survey aimed at gathering information about their decision-making process. You can ask questions about what influences their decisions and why they chose your brand.
- Read your reviews: Read through your online reviews. Look for key trends indicating what made previous customers happy with their experience. This can be a good way to determine what differentiates your brand. With this knowledge, you can double down on efforts that are working.
- Talk to your customers one-on-one: After your team provides a service or when a customer shows up at your shop, take some time to talk to them. Gather information about how they decided on your business. People love to share about themselves, and a one-on-one conversation can go a long way in building brand loyalty.
2. Offer Them a Reward for Their Loyalty
Today’s consumer has more options than ever before when it comes to choosing where to do business. In order to incentivize your existing customer base to stay loyal, consider starting a customer loyalty program. Offer frequent rewards that incentivize your customers to become repeat customers.
Ideas for rewards include the following:
- Discounts on future services
- Bundled deals
- Subscription discounts
- Special promotions based on the services they used in the past
3. Take a Personal Approach
Customers want to feel special. When you market to existing customers, you have a huge advantage over your competition — you know your customers, and you have specific insights into what makes them tick.
Using the information you gleaned from your research into your customers, create highly targeted marketing campaigns that contain personalized messaging. When possible, especially via email and SMS marketing, call your customers by name and remind them of services or products they need based on previous purchases.
4. Celebrate Their Milestones
Built within your customer database, you should house important information about birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that your customers might celebrate. With this data, you can send out specialized promotions that celebrate these important milestones.
Customers love receiving a special offer on their birthday or a personalized thank you card with a promotional offer. Make sure your customers know that you care about their life and that you see them as more than just another number.
Over time, you will lose customers. The percentage of people who stop choosing your brand is known as your churn rate. The churn rate is calculated by taking the total number of customers you had at the beginning of a time period — such as over the course of a quarter or year — and dividing it by the number of customers you lost. The percentage left is your churn rate.
While it is impossible to retain every customer, if you have a high churn rate, it will quickly eat away at your profit margins. To keep your churn rate low, you need to market to lost customers. However, this is one of the most difficult forms of marketing and can wind up costing you more than it’s worth if you don’t handle the process strategically. Use the following four strategies to make marketing to lost customers worth your while.
1. Learn Why They Left
It is hard to entice a customer to return if you have no idea why they left your business. Take the time to understand what caused a customer to be unhappy or to choose your competition.
You can do this through two key methods:
- Read online reviews: The flip side of reading positive reviews to understand what makes customers happy is to sift through negative reviews. What trends do you see emerging? This can help you pinpoint what is driving higher churn rates.
- Reach back out: Through surveys or phone calls, reach back out to customers who stopped using your business. Ask about what it was that caused them to move on to a different company.
2. Don’t Try to Salvage Them All
Once you know why customers left, it is time to create a segmented marketing list that includes customers you have a chance of winning back. This is where it is important to not simply take a blanketed approach. Realistically, there are customers you will never win back.
For example, if you are a local service business and you discover through surveys or phone calls that some of your lost customers moved away from the area, it is pointless to try to win their business back. Take note of any customers who are a lost cause and weed them out of your marketing campaigns.
3. Offer an Incentive to Come Back
Once you have a list of the customers you could win back, it is time to offer them an incentive that will salvage their business. The key is to match the incentive to their specific reason for leaving.
Examples of how you can win back customers include the following:
- A return customer discount: If you lost customers due to a competitor’s special promotion, target those customers with a better deal
- A free or highly discounted service as an apology: If a group of customers left your business because of a poor customer experience, consider offering them a special promotion that acknowledges their negative experience and asks to make it right. This is a great way to turn an unhappy customer into a future loyal client.
- Information about a specific service or product: Sometimes, you lose customers because they don’t know what you offer. If customers moved on to another brand because they thought you didn’t offer a service or product they need, target them with specific messaging around what you can provide.
4. Follow Up
Once you reach back out to a lost customer, don’t stop there. If you still haven’t won them back, try again. Persistence can go a long way in convincing someone to return. A personal touch is the best approach, such as a quick phone call or text message.
Talk to J&L Marketing About Your Customer Strategies
Marketing to new, existing, and lost customers are all important components of a well-rounded marketing strategy. If you need assistance with any or all of these tactics, we are here to help. Reach out to J&L Marketing today for a consultation and find out how we can kick-start your marketing campaign.