Losing a customer is costly. In fact, research shows the average cost of a lost customer is $289. While 70% of businesses agree it’s cheaper to retain customers than it is to find new ones, only 30 percent make efforts to actually bring back customers they haven’t seen in quite a while.
Luckily, with a little marketing help, you can create specific marketing campaigns that target lost customers and encourage them to shop at your business once again.
Here are three marketing ideas that any business can use to convert lapsed customers into repeat customers:
1. Create a “We Fixed It” campaign
Customers stop buying for a reason. To win customers back, you need to figure out why they left in the first place.
Research shows the top two reasons a customer leaves are because they were treated poorly or they’re dissatisfied with your product or service. If you’re unsure what caused your breakup, monitor review sites and social media closely, and consider asking customers to complete a survey for feedback. Look for common threads that caused a customer to jump ship. Tools like SurveyMonkey can help you create a survey quickly.
Were wait times causing customers to leave? Was your customer service lacking?
Once you identify the problem, work to correct it. Once corrected, spin it into a marketing campaign.
For example, Domino’s collected feedback from customers and found their audience had a problem with the taste of their pizza. The company reacted to the comments, fixed the problem and explained the solution to customers. The result was “The Pizza Turnaround” campaign that explained how the company listened to customer feedback to make a better pizza.
This is a large-scale example, but any business can do something similar on a smaller scale. Collect feedback to identify the problem, work to solve it and then launch a “We Fixed It” campaign.
2. Give lost customers an incentive to come back
If customers have strayed, give them a reason to come back. Nothing entices people to buy like a good deal, so consider giving inactive customers a special discount.
You can send this campaign directly to inactive customers. Since you’re segmenting your audience, you can personalize the message for this specific group. For example, send a promotion via text message or email that says, “We Miss You. Come in this week for 25% off your entire order.”
Use phrases that appeal to this niche like:
- Haven’t seen you in a while
- Don’t be a stranger
- Let’s catch up
- Remember us?
- Please come back
- Are you playing hard to get?
- We want you back
- Come back and receive [promotion details]
Don’t cheap out on the deal. If you want customers to come back, make sure the promotion is worth their time. Here’s an example of a “We Miss You” email campaign from Bloomingdales. Notice the promotion is personalized to this group and offers a good discount:
You might not make as much money on the first return sale, but through marketing efforts you’ll hopefully turn inactive customers into repeat customers once again. You’ll make your profit up then.
3. Win customers back through social media
Address common complaints through a social media campaign. Let’s say customers are bothered by increasing prices, or a menu item disappearing. Use that feedback to make amends and win back customers on social. Launch a customer appreciation day that gives customers a special coupon, or run a contest asking customers to vote for one menu item that you’ll bring back.
Tim Hortons, a popular coffee chain, launched a “Bring it Back Campaign” in its Canadian market. The company gave social fans a list of five treats that were once on the menu and asked the audience to pick one item to bring back. Fans started leaving comments, with the #TimsBringitBack, on all of the company’s social sites. Here’s an example:
The item with the most comments was put back on the menu.
While this example features a restaurant, you can adapt it for your business. Create a campaign that addresses customer feedback in a positive way. By doing so, you’ll show customers that you’re not only listening, but taking action.
Do you use any of these marketing tactics? Have they worked for you? Share your comments in the section below.