Six Steps to Turning One-Time Shoppers into Lifelong Customers

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is coming up, and that means deals, deals, deals! BFCM can be a great opportunity for new customers to learn more about your brand, but if you don’t take the right steps to build those relationships, your new customers may just disappear as quickly as they showed up.

For online entrepreneurs and small scaled companies, the success in converting these one-time seasonal shoppers can be challenging and requires effort in implementing a solid customer retention strategy throughout various online platforms and loyalty programs.

While this can be a make or break situation, it can be looked upon as an important opportunity for your long-term success in every aspect of your business. Here are six practical tips and tricks to engage and convert your holiday shoppers into the best lifetime customers for your business:

1. Email Your New Customers

This is a fantastic opportunity to gather information and data about your customer. By requesting product/service preferences, wish lists and other customer information, you will be able to get to know your base and stay connected to them all year round. With the average open rate of 42% for welcome emails, you will want to make that first email count!

Without blasting promotions right away to your customers, here is a list of the types of emails you can start with to nurture and engage those fresh relationships:

Educational Content

This is a great way to educate your new customer base about your product value and a way to teach them about the services offered. By linking your customer to helpful blogs, or by creating original content in your emails, you can help customers solve related problems or understand your value.

Entertaining Content

You can keep customers engaged with your business by entertaining them with fun videos, interesting visuals or even memes that relate to your brand identity. This is especially important if your business is geared towards a younger demographic, as strong visuals and memes are proven to be more successful.

Customer Stories

Incorporating customer stories is a way to humanize your brand and make it relatable to your new audience. According to HeyOrca, social media has changed the way we relate to companies, in that consumers are now interacting with branding, marketing and advertising on a more personal and individual level. Empathy is an area that is important as it is a marketing strategy that considers the audience’s experience, perspective and emotional connection. Bringing customer stories into your emails is authentic and creates empathy in your brand.

Content Curation

Creating original content can be challenging. If you are short on time, an easy way to send a quick email is to act as the reliable curator instead. By sharing interesting, useful and user-generated content, your brand can build onto those new relationships. Try using a relevant hashtag to encourage users to share their images on social that you can then share too in emails!

Brand Culture

Your brand can offer interesting and eye-catching messages, and sometimes it makes sense to send emails about who you are as a business. Along with your welcome email you can share your brand story and mission, as it can be beneficial to share your important message with your one-time customers as soon as you can.

2. Exceed Customer Expectations Always!

There are many ways to go above and beyond for your new customer base. You can observe what other online stores are doing and question if there are some things you can do better. How can you surprise your customers and exceed their expectations? Here is a list of ways you can go about maintaining and exceeding expectations after BFCM:

Send a Thank You Email/Note

By sending personalized and meaningful messages, you can let your new customers know how grateful you are for their business. This will drive the point across that they are valued.

Offer Discounts, Coupons and Gift Cards

Promoting deals and offering discounts is what BFCM is all about and is a straightforward way to get people back after they received their order.

Be Proactive

Ask your customers how their experience was and if they have questions. You can do this by setting up an automated email or a follow up email after they have made their purchase. Being proactive in your brand and having a prepped support team ready for the rush of questions will make you stand out.

Fast Service

If you are a larger business with a bigger budget, hiring a temporary support team can give that extra mile during the holiday season. You can enable live chats or route priority emails, write and highlight FAQs and outsource your customer service. There are many ways to provide fast service, but it is one of the most important areas to focus on during the BFCM season.

Engaging with Your Customers on Social Media

Social media is everything and as an online business you must engage with your new customers. You can ask customers to use hashtags or get them to tweet with an image of their purchase. This makes your new base feel special and gives you an opportunity to engage as much as you can.

3. Go Multiplatform

With a single promotional campaign, you can launch via multiple avenues to enable shoppers to engage through their preferred platform. This can also help maintain consistency with your brand, and establish a clear brand identity, while encouraging customers to explore the different avenues.

4. Customer Loyalty Programs

Customers who belong to loyalty programs spend $42.33 more in a three-month span than those who aren’t according to a report by Forrester, and nearly three quarters of consumers who enjoy a brand’s loyalty program recommend it to others, according to the 2016 bond loyalty report.

Loyalty programs encourage customers to get more value out of your product/service. By offering a discount, product upgrade or free complimentary gifts in exchange for their membership, you can build a strong, loyal customer base.

5. Train your team

Your team must understand great customer service and the significance of customer retention. Training your team in how to proficiently deliver positive experiences online is imperative to building long-term customer relationships. According to Forbes Insights and Sailthru, the best approaches and customer retention benefits are communicated internally within your organization.

6. Use the Right Tools

View each new purchase as an opportunity to provide value for the long-term. The experience you provide to your new customers is influenced by the value you maintain within your brand. Get the best results by tracking and improving your marketing activities. There are tools you can use through Facebook ads, Google Smart Shopping campaigns and Instagram analytics to better understand how your marketing is performing.

Getting ready for the BFCM rush and craze can be a challenge for your business, but it can be a fantastic opportunity to gain more customers and maintain current relationships. Get an early start with your marketing plan and prepare yourself for a busy few months.

What are you planning for BFCM? Do you need help creating and organizing your marketing plan for the next while? We can help. Get in touch today to get started!