Online businesses often focus lots of their energy and resources on digital marketing for the sake of customer acquisition.
While acquisition is undoubtedly important, loyalty and retention is more powerful for your bottom line.
Just a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to profit increases of up to 95%.
Why? Because customers who have bought once are more likely to make repeat purchases.
They are already far down the pipeline of the buying process, and just need to be nurtured to keep them in the loop.
Shifting focus to loyalty could be a huge game-changer for your company.
The Key To Loyalty
There’s no key secret to customer loyalty.
Really, it’s all about making and maintaining relationships with your customer.
In traditional shops, a lot of this came down to saying hello and knowing your customer and their preferences.
This early form of personalization kept customers happy and coming back for more.
It’s often more difficult to make such connections in a digital marketplace, but the fact that many online retailers neglect this is a huge advantage for you.
In terms of digital marketing, personalised content is an excellent way to go.
By creating tailored marketing messages and offers, your customers feel like you know them and are responding to their needs.
While it’s useful to have strategies in place for personalised content, you also need to nail the basics.
You need to have a top quality product and the very best customer service around.
This is a sure way to increase loyalty and retention.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and profitable digital marketing strategies.
Email marketing is still one of the greatest digital marketing tools available.
As of 2017, there were 3.7 billion global email users and this number is growing every year.
You will never capture anywhere near all of these users, but you can pretty much assume that most of your audience will use email, and a smaller percentage will happily sign up to receive email newsletters and offers.
Again, email marketing should be personalised and deliver relevant and interesting messages.
Spam marketing doesn’t work.
The idea is to give something back to your audience for signing up.
If you do manage to run an effective email marketing campaign, you can expect average returns of 122%, among the highest in the industry.
Loyalty Reward Schemes
There’s really no more of a direct way to give back to customers than with your own loyalty reward scheme.
This is like saying to your customers, “If you use our services or buy our products, we will reward you”.
It can really be the tipping point when it comes to long term retention, making it worthwhile for your customers to repeat their orders with you rather than experimenting with other brands.
Get creative with your rewards program.
Starbucks have become the go-to example for an app-based loyalty scheme.
Their ‘My Starbucks Rewards’ are sent through when purchases are made over the app, and the customer is free to redeem their points in whatever way they please, eliminating the need for handling multiple coupons and offers.
Casino and poker company Full Tilt have a ‘Star Coin’ system, which makes it easy for customers to choose how they spend their loyalty points, whether that be free spins or instant casino bonuses.
Players earn points with every wager and can redeem them at any time.
Amazon go one step further with ‘Amazon Prime’, a subscription based model which charges users a monthly or annual fee, but offers free and fast delivery, access to video content and other perks.
Amazon actually loses billions every year offering two-day shipping, but more than makes the money back in extra sales from customer loyalty.
Of course, online marketing is never complete without active social media accounts.
Connecting and building relationships with customers and prospects over social media is a highly effective method for improving brand loyalty and retention.
It’s all about that personal touch that we talked about earlier.
Ask questions and get involved in relevant conversation within your industry, and always make sure your Instagram
One of the best ways to improve your social media presence is to work with influencers using Instagram Mentions and Shoutouts.
Instagram shoutouts are paid promotional posts from accounts that are relevant to your niche.
These accounts have a huge audience of dedicated followers, and so picking the right influencer brings a perfectly targeted audience to your site.
Websites and social accounts experience boosted traffic, likes, comments and follows, improving both acquisition and long term engagement.