For this blog post, I’m going to make the wild assumption that your sales have increased during these hectic November-December months. However, if your business isn’t quite to the point to be affected by the seasonal swings of shoppers, please don’t fret. There are still some good nuggets of advice within this article that, when put into practice, can help you push your business forward and help you maintain your customers after you start getting them.
Getting new customers and sales during the busy holiday season is awesome. Keeping those new customers for even more sales throughout the year is awesome-er.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent your new-found friends from becoming one-night stands. Or, in business terms, one-time purchasers.
Get ’em on your list.
Make your newsletter sign-up box easy to notice on your website. This means giving it a pop-up (if you’re okay with that sort of thing), a prominent place above the fold, and have it on more than just the home page of your site. (Put it on your blog, your sales pages, your About Page, etc.) As an incentive to get more people to sign up, offer an exclusive coupon, free shipping, or member-only items.
If you are also including your sign up link on the confirmation and shipping notification e-mails you send out to customers, they are that much more likely to sign up to keep hearing more from you.
Invite ’em to connect on social media.
Some people are hesitant o sign up for e-mail lists, what with all of the junk mail they have to sort though every day in their inboxes. But they will easily click the “like” button for a brand they care about on Facebook, or hit the “follow” on twitter. If you can’t get ’em to sign up for your list, then getting them to follow you on social media can be another option to keep them interested.
Include a thank you coupon.
With every order I mail out, I include a business card with a thank you coupon code on the back of it. The extra discount often gives almost-return customers the nudge they need to go ahead and pick up that one thing they wish they would have bought the last time.
Wow the crap out of ’em.
Nothing improves your chances of snagging repeat customers than by going above and beyond their expectations. This means shipping quickly, packaging carefully but with a flair that represents you brand and makes your customer feel special. Include a hand-written thank-you note. Have a generous return policy. Include a free gift. Etc.
Think about what companies you just LOVE getting packages from and why. Consider how you can incorporate some ideas from these larger companies into your own small business. Going just a little bit farther can go a long way.
Provide helpful content on your website.
After purchasing your item, the buyer or the receiver of the gift item may way to know more. That’s where your blog content comes in. By providing posts on how to style your item, use it, incorporate it, care for it, etc., your previous customers will have a valid reason to keep coming back to your site for more information. Along the way, they’ll probably get introduced to your new lines of products as you release them, hence providing the perfect environment to breed a re-peat customer.