Marketing to your Customers: Recurring Sales

This is the second of a three part series entitled “Marketing to your Customers”. The theory here is a very basic one, selling to existing customers is far easier, and cheaper, than finding new ones. So in order to be successful, it’s vital that you master the basic skills of marketing to existing customers. And those skills are different in many ways than the ones required to market to non-customers.

Part one of the series gave us tips on how to use upsell opportunities to make more money.

When a GM owner trades in their old car for a new model, is this a new sale? Is it an upsell or a cross-sell if they buy a different, or more expensive model? For the sake of arguments, let’s assume that any future sale by your company to an existing or past customer is a recurring sale. And this post is all about making more of them.

First, let’s look at a number of different recurring sales examples. The GM example above, a shopper returning to the same supermarket every week, a book lover who only buys from Amazon.com, anyone who is brand conscious about anything for that matter.

The most important thing to understand is why your customers buy from you, or buy at all. Are you the easiest option (location of the supermarket), the cheapest option, the most well-known? Advertising might bring them in the store once, but what keeps them coming back? Great service, great prices, great product?

Whatever it is, the power to increase those return customers lies with you and your marketing team. First, don’t ignore existing customers. And don’t miss the chance to capture their attention when they first purchase. An email, phone number, or postal address allows you to stay in touch with them. A newsletter list or community page gives them somewhere to connect with your brand.

Once you have their attention, use it. Loyalty programs designed to keep long term customers offer special discounts or value added features just for existing customers. How can you offer people more value if they choose you more often?

This group should also be the first to hear about news and press about your company, new products or special offers, and events they might interested in.

This group of people has said to you, “You’ve proven yourself to me in so far as I will give you money for what you’re offering.” Don’t squander their faith in you. Love them for it. And let them know you love them for it. And you’ll get more of them back in for a second, third, and fourth time.

Tomorrow we’ll look into a third way to market to your existing customers in order to increase their value.