3 Tactics to Grow Without Investing in Customer Acquisition

How do most businesses plan to generate more revenue in 2020? Ask them and they will tell you it’s by acquiring more customers. The problem here is that getting new customers is expensive. Very expensive sometimes. But there’s another much cheaper way.  And for business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers, the answer is right under your nose. It’s your customers, not new potential customers, no – your existing ones.

So we just mentioned your customers as your answer to achieving growth. And you’ve probably already heard that it’s cheaper to make current customers buy again than acquiring new ones. In fact, it’s 7x cheaper – not too shabby. And the reason is simple, they’ve trusted you at least once. But when’s the last time you’ve put a strategy together to re-engage customers? And what else is there for you to get out of your customers? With no further ado, let’s jump right into it. 

The best re-engagement tactic? Check your inbox.

Your customers by definition have already done business with you. But this doesn’t mean that they’re willing to make a repeat purchase. To turn them into loyal customers, offering great products and services definitely help but you also need a strategy to keep them engaged with your brand. And to do so, you need to focus on delivering exceptional customer experience. Here, I am going to share some quick wins for you to build a re-engagement strategy and maximize the return on investment you’ve made when acquiring customers.

The easiest way to reach your customers is still by email. In fact, today, emails are still the most effective marketing channels and accelerate the buying processWhen crafting emails, you should focus your message on what your customers want to hear about. This may sound very basic but if you go to your inbox and check some of your promotional emails, I guarantee you that most of them are just about products and services.

The example above is a newsletter from Zoocasa, a real estate search site. I’ve been getting their emails for 2+ years now and the only reason I’m still subscribed is because I find their content relevant. The difference with other realtors who simply send listings after listings, Zoocasa compiles articles and reports on the latest industry trends. Which means that even if I’m not ready to buy yet – and this could apply to any industry – there’s something for me in these emails. 

Another important point here, build your emails as a campaign not a series of one-offs. This way allows you to craft a more holistic story. And remember the goal of this story is simple (but more complex to execute), it connects your brand with customers. 

Tip #1: Design email campaigns to re-engage your customers. Test different types of content and headlines until you find the right formula. Your goal here is to build a relationship with them, so focus on what they crave. Not your products, not your brand (directly) but what they want. 

Everyone wants to feel special. Delight your customers

First, let’s define the concept of customer delight. According to Hubspot it consists of “exceeding a customer’s expectations to create a positive customer experience with a product or brand”. In other words, delivering the service expected during the transaction has little to do with customer delight. To achieve this, you need to go above and beyond, and truly show some appreciation to your customers. 

There are many simple ways to do this. Once or twice a year, you could organize a Customer Appreciation day, where specific customers will receive an exclusive discount. Some businesses use this technique to acquire new customers. But in this case, we want to focus on existing customers, so they can feel part of an exclusive group. You lose the sense of exclusiveness as soon as the offer becomes available to anyone. Furthermore, your customers will surely spread the word for you, and new customers will come to your door looking to score one of those deals. So if you were to offer a discount to the public, just name this event appropriately.

But delighting your customers does not necessarily rhyme with incentives. After a transaction, send a personalized email to express your gratitude and let them know that they can reach out to you if needed. You want to be genuine and human here. The same applies if your business is offline. You may also want to target your most important customers and send them a note, a cookbook, or whatever gift that could surprise them and make them feel special.

Tip #2: Regardless of if you’re in B2B or B2C, when it comes to delighting your customers, it becomes H2H, human to human. Not only your notes, emails, or gifts has to be personalized, but they have to give the impression that they’re from an actual person (you) and not a company. Side note, if you send a gift, don’t brand it. A branded gift is a swag, not a gift. 

Turn your customers into a marketing channel

Trust in brands and media is at an all-time low. And scandals such as Facebook- Cambridge Analytica are not going to help people change their mind on this. While in the past, marketing was as a one-way communication stream; social media and the Internet 2.0 have changed the interactions between brands and customers.

Today, it’s a completely different game. The Internet and social media gives customers – and really anyone, for the best or worst – a tribune so they can have a voice. They can now share their experience with a brand with a broad audience. But how significantly goes this impact businesses? Well, 81% of customers trust advice from their friends and family over business advice. Going even further, customers do no longer trust press release, ads, or most content from brands. 

So far this doesn’t look promising at all but bear with me.  We already eluded the solution for your business – your existing customers – and the key here is to deliver to your customers an experience worth sharing it with their network. In other words, let them do marketing for you.

Here are two easy ways to do it. The first one, simple, make sure you deliver the best possible experience to your customers. And here’s an example. Last summer, I took my wife and 14-month old son to an Italian restaurant in downtown Toronto. The service and food were decent. Unfortunately for us, that day our son was agitated and the experience turned out to be not so enjoyable. Two months later, we tried another restaurant. And this time the experience was 10x better. And it’s all due to a little detail. The staff brought a box of toys so our son could play while we eat. So you see here, it’s all about these little things that can really change your perception of your services or products.

The second point is about creating talk triggers. In an era where every moment is shared on social media and where individuals have more influence on their friends and family, this is an opportunity for you to gain more exposure. Spark conversations by throwing into the experience an extra piece and build a memorable interaction for your customers with your brand.  And having your customers talking about you (positively) is a huge win for your business. Remember that 50% of all purchases are influenced by word of mouth. Why? It comes out more genuine and more importantly, through the lens of your customers.

Tip #3: Talk triggers and memorable experiences don’t necessarily come with a steep price for businesses. Look at your business, your industry, and what excites your customers. Then add this additional piece that would make this interaction with your brand worth sharing. And don’t forget that whatever you come up with has to be scalable.

These are some initial steps for you to follow if you haven’t fully capitalize on your existing customers. If you want more tips or are willing to learn more on how to grow your business, drop us a line at contact@dotgrowth.co. Until then, see ya.

More tips for business pioneers