Jan 17, 2011

Small Business Focus: Email Marketing as a Method of Retaining Valued Customers

Business email marketing is a commonly used strategy for small (and large) businesses wishing to increase their customer base. The use of email as a means of attracting new customers is a basic strategy, but did you know that retention of customers is equally important if you want to maintain the competitive edge over other businesses offering similar services or products?

Encouraging One Time Customers to Return
Many businesses have a listing of customers who have bought one product or service from the business but then are not seen or heard from again. These one-time customers are a potential gold mine of opportunity for you.

As a shrewd business owner your email marketing strategy should be to turn each of those one-time customers into a returning customer. If each of these one time customers return, it could potentially double your annual sales, and if those same customers return bringing another customer with them, your business will be rewarded profitably by their efforts.

Reward Loyal Customers
Business owners are becoming aware of the importance of email campaigns that strategically focus on building relationships with their customers. Regular communication and the opportunity to attract feedback produce a sense of trust between you and your customers. Loyal customers are likely to visit your business website regularly, and that’s important because the cost of retaining customers is less expensive overall than the cost of attracting new customers.

Incentives and Vouchers to All Returning Customers
Some businesses are now offering discount vouchers and customer loyalty programs as part of their marketing strategies. When sent to everyone on the business email marketing list, these “existing customer” only specials can be an extremely useful way of successfully marketing new products to returning customers. They may provide an incentive to your indecisive customers and be the reason they choose from your stock line rather than to look elsewhere. What’s more, potential customers who see the offers to existing customers may be influenced to purchase your products and services to avail themselves of the vouchers and loyalty incentives you promote through your email services.

Email strategies that focus on encouraging one time customers to return to a favorite business and purchase more goods or services are arguably a best practice strategy for a successful small business email marketing campaign. Maximizing the potential of loyal customers can provide your business with the market edge.