One of the most fundamental lessons that every business should know is that it costs around six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
In today’s ultra-competitive market, where revenues are under pressure every quarter and margins are continuously squeezed, this lesson is more relevant than ever.
The problem is that we now live in an omni-channel world. The brave new realm of always-on communications means consumers are presented with more choice through more channels than ever before. Businesses have more opportunities to connect with customers than in the past, but also have to fight harder to win a share of attention in a fiercely competitive market.
Winning customers is only half the battle though. Once a brand has connected with a consumer, it needs to devote time and attention to keeping the emotional bond between itself and the customer alive. Let it stagnate and the impact will be felt on the bottom line. And if you can reactivate just 5% of your non-active customers, you will see a lift of 25% in revenue, need we say more!
Remember your customer database is your most valuable asset
Understanding why customers have become inactive is critical to devising the best-bet engagement and communication approach. Businesses must use past activity and behavioural interactions to increase the chance of re-activation.
- Use previous activity and purchase history to drive interactions. The insight drawn from historical transactional and behavioural data and the analytics is fundamental to the design, implementation and success of reinvigorating the inactive.
- Identify an appropriate period for lapsed interaction. For example, the purchasing cycle of a car versus a newspaper subscription is completely different. When considering whether someone is “lapsed” remember that it should be relevant to your market.
- Ensure email correspondence contains a strong, memorable subject line to create engagement.
- Play with the creative to ensure relevant content hits lapsed customers (e.g. “Free”). While subject lines in emails prompt people to open emails, the creative is the prompt for them to act.
- Make any communications interactive and easy for the customer to do something, whether that is visiting the website, completing a survey or making a purchase.
- Treat the re-activation file as an additional acquisition file. Customers that are successfully re-activated and subsequently nurtured have the potential to become the most loyal and profitable. Compare the metrics to your acquisition data, not your house file.
- Look at Op-In or Preference settings as a way to change behaviour, if that doesn’t work try a discount offer, but ensure that the offer fits the recipient as we are now more than ever bombarded with sale offers to our inbox.
- Convert to another platform giving churned customers a way to engage with you beyond opening their wallets. Social Media is a great tool to convert customers who may not want to purchase from you currently but still want to have the choice to provide feedback, enter competitions, be entertained and start to understand your offering.
- Season’s Greetings! Customers who buy your product to send as a holiday gift should be reminded of their gift giving during the appropriate time of year. (Some businesses start sending reminders to their best customers in August—but you need to determine the timing strategy that works best for your business).
- Take a lifetime value approach. For example, re-activated customers may produce no revenue in the first month, but could then produce gradually increasing revenues in subsequent months. It might not be huge but in the end, it is better than a lapsed customer contributing nothing to the bottom line.
Take a look at your whole customer communication programme and plan a strategy to attract, engage and retain your customers and if you need a hand Connect with Us and get your customer base working for you