Ready to increase your revenue without the significant investment in a new store, or a costly marketing campaign? One of the most dynamic ways businesses can increase revenue is with enhanced customer communication.
Here are five winning strategies successful companies use.
1. Communicate consistently
Customers have the option to shop brick and mortar stores, e-commerce sites and on third-party sellers like Amazon. You cannot rely on one (or even several) positive customer experiences to generate a consistent revenue stream. Successful companies nurture the customer relationship consistently.
Email is an inexpensive way to stay in touch with your customers. It gives you the ability to notify them of promotions, events, or simply reminding them that they’ve purchased from you. Though the “right” email content and frequency may require a period of “testing and learning” to determine the formula that works for your customers, Entrepreneur reports that most marketers send two to three emails a month.
Monitor your email campaigns for open and unsubscribe rates based on the content, subject line and time of delivery. Eventually you may begin to see patterns around what messages tend to help drive revenue.
2. Acknowledge your customers personally
If a customer spends $1 or $1,000 at your business, they want to feel appreciated and acknowledged. Businesses have long sent customers personalized communications, handwritten letters, and phone calls. High-tech companies like Peloton — a cycling brand that AdWeek recently credited as having transformed the fitness industry thanks to its focus on community — continue to build a loyal customer base with the same tactics. In fact, Peloton’s customers are so loyal they are sometimes referred to as cult-like.
Peloton hit $400 million in sales last year, doubling its 2016 revenue. Part of their strategy involves acknowledging their customers on an individual level. For example, the company sends t-shirts to riders once they log more than 100 rides on the Peloton bike. The company also acknowledges personal news customers share on its official Facebook group page. These announcements cover everything from pregnancies, a new job or reaching major health goal.
3. Leverage tactics customers already trust
Referral marketing is the technical term for the age-old practice known as “word of mouth” marketing. Once limited to a recommendation given from one friend, peer or acquaintance to another, the channels you can use to develop a referral marketing program have expanded thanks to social media, email, online reviews, and multimedia content such as podcasts.
Referral marketing is credited as the reason cloud-based storage and collaboration tool Dropbox is now a publicly traded company valued at more than $10 billion.
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report indicates that 83% of consumers “completely trust” recommendations by a friend or family member, but 66% also trust reviews and recommendations they read online — even from a stranger.
Want to drive revenue from referrals without spending a dime? Don’t discount the power of simply asking customers who know and like your brand to help you spread the word. A simple email that asks customers to review their transaction and provides a link to popular review sites can be executed in a matter of minutes for little to no cost. Asking satisfied customers to refer a friend in exchange for a free item or discount could help you reconnect with customers who haven’t purchased in some time, and gain you new prospects in the process.
4. Use retargeting to your advantage
Ever wondered how you start to see messages related to your online search activity? Ever notice how this happens even after you’ve stopped browsing for a specific product? It’s a result of retargeting, which was once used only by large corporations (with significant marketing budgets).
If you use retargeting in combination with other tools, like email marketing or social media marketing, you could eventually entice customers to come back to your site to make a purchase. Because retargeting focuses your marketing efforts on the proverbial “low-hanging fruit,” you could see a greater return on your marketing investment compared to less-targeted efforts.
5. Change how your customers see you
Why limit your sales to online when you could also sell products at pop-up shops, trade shows, or in a brick and mortar environment? Why focus on products when you have the knowledge, expertise and skills your customers are willing to pay money to learn?
Shift some of your marketing focus from sales to engaging customers. Share knowledge that makes their life better, easier, more fulfilling, or more satisfying. Consider how you might engage customers with seminars, workshops, or special events based on their interests. This could also mean finding new opportunities to diversify your income stream, build customer relationships, and drive revenue — all at the same time.
No matter how you decide to supercharge your customer communications, make sure the strategy you use creates value for the customer. Ultimately your customers will tell you what works best for your small business. And, this is why it’s important to test a variety of communication strategies.