Advertisers spend most of their time trying to acquire new business, which means loyal customers routinely get overlooked. With a range of digital marketing tools available, increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) can be done in a time and cost-efficient manner if you put the right strategy in place.
Maintaining relationships with those who have already purchased something from your business helps companies scale consistently and predictably…something that’s crucial for small businesses who are in the growth stage. In this article, I’ll lay out 5 ways to leverage digital marketing to increase customer lifetime value.
1. Email Marketing
With seemingly-endless digital advertising options, good ol’ email is still driving results in ways that other platforms can only dream about. When your message arrives in an existing customer’s inbox, the open rates are off the charts. For this reason, there’s an increased emphasis on obtaining the email information of your clientele whenever possible.
So the question then is: how do I capture email addresses to use for the purpose of increase customer lifetime value? This article on our blog provides a number of options that all businesses can utilize to start growing, or keep expanding, their email list. It doesn’t necessarily matter which method you use, it just matters that you’re doing something.
Email marketing is the undisputed best way to deliver offers, promotional deals, sales, coupons, or simply pass on information about events taking place in regard to your business….right to the inboxes of those who are already familiar with your brand.
2. Social Media to Engage Your Community
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat…the list goes on. Social media advertising has experienced a period of growth unlike anything we’ve seen before over the past decade. Businesses in all industries have taken advantage of all the things that make social marketing so useful: its low cost, measurable insights, and the fact that you can target in a way that isn’t possible with traditional media options.
When it comes to increasing CLV, the best part about social platforms is that your customers are probably already following you on various networks. Your goal isn’t necessarily to convince them to buy your products or services, but to build their loyalty to your brand by creating a space where they can interact with others who share similar interests…most notably, their affinity for your brand or the activity with which your brand is associated.
Posting pictures of people using your products is always a great way to start the conversation. Other options include featuring a customer or client on your social feed, hosting an online contest that creates a sense of urgency and excitement among followers, or setting up a hashtag so that you can curate content people post on their own profiles.
Finally, it’s important to mention that being responsive is a major factor in building brand loyalty online. People expect answers to their questions right away, and although it’s not always possible, the quicker you’re able to respond, the better. Social media has become the go-to option for Q’s and A’s, and they’re relying on you to be there when they need additional information they couldn’t find on their own.
3. Create a Loyalty/Rewards Program
When I think of “customer loyalty programs,” the first companies that come to mind are Chipotle and Starbucks. For each purchase you make, you earn a certain number of points – accumulate enough points and you’ll earn free stuff!
Even though your business is probably not a fraction of the size of these massive food companies, the same principles can apply even at much smaller scale. Local restaurants have implemented similar strategies, and the growing affordability of mobile applications means the price of implementing a rewards system is much less than you’d think.
If you’re a company that does business online, you should be able to set up a loyalty program and put it front and center during the checkout process. It might seem insignificant, but when customers are in need of your product or service again, they’ll think of you before anyone else.
4. Respond to Customer Feedback
“The customer is always right.” Okay, maybe not always…in fact, they’re often wrong (but that’s a conversation for another day). With that being said, you don’t gain anything by ignoring the complaints of your patrons, not matter how ridiculous they might be.
Customer reviews have taken on a new significance in the digital age, and word of mouth is no longer resigned to people that make up your inner circle. Whether you’re considering visiting a new local restaurant, buying a new pair of shoes, or viewing some random products on Amazon that you probably don’t need (but are probably going to buy anyway), it’s a near-certainty that you’re going to see what others have to say about their experience.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as a business owner, you’re going to come across some people who have less-than-stellar things to say. You could choose to ignore them or try to hide their comment, but these options have two negative consequences: the first is that in all likelihood, you’re never going to get that person’s business again. The second is that people who are considering your business might see that you didn’t address the complaint and think that you don’t care about your customers. The solution? Address criticism head-on and turn those two outcomes around.
When you reply to negative feedback with a mature, sympathetic tone, you make the original critic aware that you care about their experience and really do want to make things right. Second, you show other potential clientele that customer service is a priority at your company. When done right, you’ll be creating customers today and in the future.
Staying ‘top of mind’ has become a marketing cliché, but the verdict is clear: keeping in contact with your customer base gives your business the best opportunity to grow. If your organization needs help putting together a strategy that engages your clientele and paves the way for repeat business, get in touch today to find a customized solution that works for you.