Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how and why to retarget existing and lapsed customers.
The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times the cost of reacquiring an old or lapsed customer. So the question for marketers should be, not just what are you doing to target new customers, but what are you doing for existing/lapsed customers?
The fact is that existing and lapsed customers have already shown an interest in what you do, so getting them to buy again is much easier than getting a new customer to buy from you.
Consider that for every new customer you acquire, you have to start from the beginning: get in front of them, let them get to know you, provide value and demonstrate your expertise, gain their trust, and finally get them to buy from you. Compare that to a quick (possibly automated) email saying, “Hey, remember that thing you bought last month? Did you like it? We have a similar prodcut you might be interested in.”
1) Products vs. Services
This is easy enough if you sell products online. You can set it up so that anyone who puts items in their cart, but doesn’t complete their checkout, automatically gets an email to ask them if they’re still interested in buying those items.
If you’re in a service-based industry, it might take a little more work, because that can be harder to automate, but you should still check in on your lapsed customers. What’s going on? Why haven’t they bought anything in a while? How can you help?
That last question is important. No one likes feeling like a meal ticket, so it’s important that you offer to help as a way to demonstrate that you value them as people, not just a paycheck.
2) Ask Questions (And Really Listen to the Answers)
The key to any successful relationship is to ask the other person questions about themselves and their lives. People want to know about you, but they don’t want you to just talk about yourself all the time. They want you to show that you care about them as people, and the best way you can do that is by asking them questions and (this is the important part) really listening to their answers. Then incorporate their answers into your business. If they want new features, better customer service, more content on a particular topic, give it to them. Demonstrating that you really care about their answers will turn customers into fans.
3) Don’t Just Follow Up on Incomplete Orders
Following up on lapsed or incomplete orders is easy enough, but you can’t stop there. You need to follow up on every, single order because that’s the only way to demonstrate to your customers how much you care about them and the experience they had working with you.
Julia McCoy has a video over on her website explaining the death of the sales funnel, because that metaphor assumes that the buyer journey stops after they give you their money. But the fact is that the buyer journey never stops. After they’ve completed their purchase, they’re left with an impression of you and your brand that will either motivate them to keep buying from you, or turn them off your brand forever.
4) Beyond The Repeat Buyer
Don’t forget that post-purchase buyer journey doesn’t have to consist of just giving you more of their money. They may or may not choose to buy from you again for a variety of reasons, but just because they don’t buy from you again doesn’t mean they can’t give you more money indirectly. What I mean by that is that the value of the referral should never, ever be underestimated. Someone who likes your brand can share your information on their social media channels and refer you directly to their friends and family members. Those referrals are gold because 92% of people report trusting people they know and being more likely to buy from someone who’s referred to them by someone they know personally.
So when you check in on lapsed customers, don’t just beg them to give you more of their money. Ask them about their experience, and if it was a good one, encourage them to refer you to their friends and family. Make it easy for them by providing a link to your newest product/service.
How do you retarget old customers? What do you wish brands would do to reach out to you that they don’t do?
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