So you’ve thought about customer acquisition strategies before, and maybe you’ve even paid for ads to acquire new customers. You’ve probably also heard of customer retention and thought of ways you can encourage repeat shoppers. While these are all important for growing your ecommerce brand, what’s most important is learning how customer acquisition can also encourage repeat customers for long-term success.
Rather than focusing on strategies to get people to buy something from your brand once, or strategizing how to retain customers that are already familiar with your brand, it’s time to look into sustainable acquisition strategies that automatically transform customers into long-term advocates when they discover your brand online.
Acquiring for the long-term goes beyond regular customer satisfaction. In fact, “60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them.” That may be a striking stat to consider, but it’s actually not surprising when you consider how many other ecommerce brands are available for online shoppers. So the question becomes, how do you get these newly-acquired and satisfied customers to return?
The answer is rather simple: build personal, one-on-one relationships with every customer, before and after they make a purchase.
By working towards more personalized relationships, you’ll make yourself unforgettable to each individual prospect and customer. Below, we’ll share a few best practices so that you can start acquiring customers for long-term success.
Use social proof and engage with your audience online as much as they engage with you
If your ecommerce brand isn’t on the most popular social platforms, then you’re already behind. 92% of US companies use social media marketing, and you should be too. Creating an Instagram or Facebook page to showcase your products, brand messaging, and other value-added posts are key to offering an online space for people to discover and interact with your brand. This is what social media is all about, and it’s the perfect way to let customers discover you and continue to engage with you for a longer time period.
Take Nessentials’ Instagram page for example, not only do they share aesthetically-pleasing images of their products being used, but they also share other wellness-inspired photos and fact videos about skincare and treatments.
This offers a space for customers interested in skincare to discover Nessentials in an easy way, learn about their products, and take away a few new skincare routine tips. Nessentials’ Instagram goes beyond their products; it’s an entire community where customers can continue to find value before and after making a purchase.
Offer a loyalty program to show customer appreciation
Loyalty programs are a great way to acquire customers and get them to stick around. Not only is it a tool for you to collect information about who’s shopping with your brand, but it shows prospects and shoppers that you care about them. A few best practices are to make your loyalty program easily discoverable, properly brand it to match your store, and clearly explain how customers can start earning rewards.
Taking a look at Nessentials again, their loyalty program is visible through a launcher on the right-hand side of their website and mobile page. This is a common feature with loyalty programs powered by Smile, and it ensures the program is visible to anyone who visits Nessentials’ website. Also, it makes it easy to understand how customers can get started by earning and redeeming points and making referrals.
One important practice for loyalty is to go beyond just offering points for purchases. Enhance your program by offering rewards for referrals to increase brand awareness and offer points for tasks like social engagement and product reviews to create social proof.
Loyalty programs are a great acquisition and retention tool, so if you show your program right away on your website, customers will be more likely to engage with your brand and stick around long-term!
Create segmented email lists
One of the best things about email marketing is how personal you can get with your audience. Segmenting and setting up workflows is the perfect way to accomplish these personalized emails, and you can easily do that with tools like Omnisend. See how ECS Coffee sends a personalized email for a birthday segment.
When you create segments, you can use the emails you’ve captured from your audience to send them through a specific workflow that matches their current experience with you. Are you sending a win-back email to get them to return to your store? Maybe you’re reminding them of their points balance so that they redeem their points and make a purchase. You could also be emailing customers to wish them a happy birthday and give them points as a gift. Or, you could be reaching an audience that hasn’t fully engaged with you to let them know you offer rewards to encourage them to sign up.
Whatever the reason is, you can target a specific group of people, which allows you to share a personalized experience that customers will appreciate. Segmented emails show your customers that you’re paying attention to their interactions, so you can easily make them an offer to start engaging with you and remind them why they should come back.
Keep a consistent tone and always stay on brand
Staying on brand goes beyond sharing your logo consistently—it’s about the tone you use with your audience, the designs and colours you choose on social media and your website, and the messaging you choose to share with every interaction.
It’s important to stay consistent in all these areas, and the reason for this is because it’ll help customers remember you. It takes 5-7 impressions before your brand becomes memorable; we’ve said it before, but it’s easy for your store to get lost in all the online noise from other up-and-coming brands. You need something to help you stand out, so staying on-brand with your messaging, design, and tone is one way to help people remember and recognize you.
By being memorable, you’ll be able to encourage customers to continue shopping with you beyond one purchase because they’ll be more likely to think of your store when they need to make another similar purchase.
Start these strategies to acquire customers for the long-term!
Now that you’ve learned a few strategies to help you acquire and keep customers for their lifetime, it’s time to put those strategies into practice. There are many tools and integrations available to help you achieve some of these tips, and some you can definitely do on your own. Your work is your brand’s success, so don’t hesitate and start heading down the path toward lifetime profit.
This article originally appeared in the Smile.io blog and has been published here with permission.