Capturing a qualified lead and then guiding that prospect through a compelling and immersive brand experience and customer journey that leads to a lucrative sale is extremely satisfying.
It’s rewarding to know that you played a major role in generating serious revenue for your company, and it keeps you motivated to keep landing new clients and customers.
Unfortunately, marketing to prospects is also a little overrated — at least in the grand scheme of things.
There’s a lot more to marketing than acquiring new customers. Successful companies are focused on the bigger picture, which means they’re focused on the lifetime value of each and every customer.
Don’t get me wrong. Top-of-funnel marketing and lead generation are extremely important.
But your existing customers are your most dependable source of revenue. Therefore, they should be your number one priority. You can’t grow your business if you’re constantly losing customers because you’re providing poor experiences.
So, today, we’re going to move past prospect marketing strategies and explore how to inspire customer loyalty using three proven customer marketing tactics.
1) Nurturing Isn’t Just for Prospects
Most of us associate nurturing with pushing prospects through the sales funnel. And while that’s certainly one example, nurturing isn’t just for prospects.
In fact, since your customers are already invested in your brand and your products and services, they’re more primed for nurturing than even the hottest leads.
Here are just a few ways you can nurture existing clients to inspire customer loyalty.
Thank You/Welcoming/Onboarding Emails
Whenever you sign a new customer or make a new sale, be sure to follow-up immediately via email or SMS thanking the consumer for their purchase. You should also launch an automated drip campaign that gives simple directions on how to get started with your product or service. As the campaign progresses, you can add detail and conditional logic to the program to ensure your customers are getting the very most out of your offerings.
Lastly, be sure to include recommended content or products in all of your communications to take advantage of cross-sell opportunities and further galvanize the relationship.
Celebrate Milestones With Great Promotions
It’s important to know a few key bits of information about all of your clients and customers — such as their birthday, work anniversary, and purchase history. Armed with this knowledge, you can send emails celebrating these milestones and offering special discounts or perks based on your product and service lines.
So, whereas restaurants frequently provide BOGO promotions on customer birthdays, an auto insurance company might offer discounted rates to ensure renewal rates after five years of safe driving.
Not only is this a great way to stay top of mind with your customers, but it’s also a sign that you care about them as people and are invested in their success and continued business.
New Product and Service Announcements
Great companies are always diversifying and adding to their product and service lines. This sort of innovation proves that they’re serious about improving their business and providing the best possible goods and services.
Whenever your organization rolls out a new launch, be sure your existing customers are the first to know. You should also consider offering free trials or discounted pricing for early adopters.
You can even ask customers if they want to sign up in advance for a waitlist — a tactic that helps build anticipation for your new launch and helps you gauge demand. Customers appreciate this sort of preferential treatment, so make sure to show them that they’re valued whenever possible.
2) Product Education and Adoption Is Crucial for Long-Term Relationships
Many times, companies are so used to their own products and services that they take their ease of use for granted. Another common mistake is to assume that your customers and clients are using your offerings to their full potential.
To avoid this, you can create several different customer marketing campaigns to ensure sound practical knowledge and optimum usage.
Automated Trigger Campaigns
Earlier, we talked about creating onboarding campaigns to help your consumers get the hang of your products and services. Yet, despite our best efforts as marketers, many customers don’t open those emails or text messages — much less click on any helpful links therein. So, persistence is the key to ensure product adoption.
With marketing automation, you can track user behavior in your app or on your website. Segment these individuals based on their usage and/or purchase history and then launch automated campaigns to familiarize them with your products and services and encourage adoption. Include concise and direct instructions in your campaign and add links and prominent calls-to-action to helpful resources (if available).
You can also A/B test your emails to learn what’s working and what’s not to optimize your onboarding campaigns moving forward. This will help you ensure that your subject lines, CTAs, and content are all resonating with your audience.
Pro-Tips and Training
Depending on your service and product lines, your customers might need some advanced training.
Use progressive profiling and adaptive forms to make it easy for them to sign up for digital training sessions across your marketing channels — on your website, the login page of your app, in your monthly customer newsletter, or even on social media. Don’t overcomplicate the material, but make sure your customers have the fundamentals they need to get great usage out of your product and remain loyal when their renewal date comes around or they’re ready to make another purchase.
If you don’t have the resources to host regular training sessions, consider filming weekly pro-tips (just like we do) and sharing your videos on your social platforms and in your monthly newsletters.
If you want to go above and beyond, customer webinars can be extremely helpful in improving product education and adoption. These digital events provide a great opportunity to dig in deep regarding some of the more complicated features of your offerings and guide customers through certain functionality or use cases they might not have tried to implement without your help.
And since a large portion of your audience would rather learn through watching than reading, webinars usually draw a lot of viewers, which gives you a chance to promote additional products and services in real-time.
The best part is that, by reserving some time for Q&A, you can interact with your customers on a personal level and discover common frustrations that you can work to solve internally.
3) Listen to What Your Customers Are Saying
The customer feedback loop is your proverbial ear to the ground. It allows you to identify your biggest fans and leverage them as advocates. It also allows you to take the pulse of dissatisfied customers so you can reach out to them directly to correct the problem and show you care.
On a larger scale, the customer feedback loop is the best way to gather information about your brand reputation and the value and usability of your products and services. It’s also a good way to determine if changes or updates to your business model are having a positive or negative effect.
Once you have a clearer understanding of the public’s perception of your company, you can leverage this knowledge to improve that perception and your offerings.
The model is pretty simple, at least on paper:
Gather customer opinions via surveys, social media listening, net promoter scores (NPS), and third-party review sites such as Yelp and G2. Consider creating a master spreadsheet or matrix that helps you visualize positive, negative, optimistic, and negative feedback.
Analyze the information by identifying patterns in the responses and then start mapping solutions to the main problems — as well as ways to capitalize on what you’re doing right! Understanding your customer feedback will help you group and segment your audiences when you decide to take action based on your findings.
Apply what you’ve learned through sound customer outreach strategies and product and service improvements. This might take the form of a comprehensive public relations initiative or a basic email campaign to restore or improve consumer confidence.
It’s important to note that the customer feedback loop is both a model and an ongoing process. Continue to apply this method over and over again to promote a culture of excellence and build a more positive perception of your brand.
What works for one company might not work for another, so be sure to research multiple feedback channels and use the ones you feel are the most accurate and informative.
Use Act-On to Create and Launch Great Customer Marketing Campaigns
Effective marketing transcends lead generation and passing MQLs to Sales. Sustaining and improving growth across the business is the name of the game, and focusing on customer loyalty is the foundational element of this strategy.
The Act-On marketing automation platform has everything you need to deliver tailor-made customer marketing campaigns that inspire loyalty, advocacy, and evangelism. And our advanced reporting features provide accurate and easy-to-understand reports that allow you to analyze and improve your efforts over time.
If you’re ready to learn more about Act-On, please click here to schedule a demo with one of our marketing automation experts. Or, if you’re not quite ready to see our platform in action just yet, we think you might find this eBook helpful. Optimize the Customer Journey is full of innovative customer marketing techniques and best practices. Download it below!