How to increase customer loyalty through direct marketing
We all receive countless emails, flyers, text messages and adverts in various forms each day, and sifting through them to find those few that offer us any interest or value takes time. Trying to get the attention of customers is the first big hurdle, getting them to read what you have to say is an even bigger one – but what about actually engendering loyalty? How is that possible given the wealth of competition and marketing noise everyone is surrounded by?
STEP 1 – Right Data Right Approach
The first step to increase customer loyalty is to look at your database of information. Begin by making sure your information is accurate, complete and up to date. Take a note of how people have selected to be contacted, because these days direct marketing offers a wealth of choices, from traditional postal mail and leaflets to email and texting. Making sure you contact people in the right way is the first step towards success.
STEP 2 – Different Strokes for Different Folks
The second step is to make sure that you divide your customers into many small groups. There are two good reasons for this. Firstly, by dividing people into smaller groups you can categorise them more effectively, ensuring that information sent out to them is much more targeted to their specific needs, lifestyle or circumstances. Secondly, you can test out marketing approaches with smaller groups, analysing the response rates so that you can see methods and approaches that worked and those that didn’t, helping you to improve your approach in future.
STEP 3 – Just saying ‘Hello’
The third step is to make sure that you aren’t just selling stuff to people every time you contact them. Begin not by shouting at them about your low prices, your new products or your delivery charges. Try offering them a reason to read what you have to say by making it relevant, and providing something of value. Exactly what you offer will vary, perhaps it is a coupon, or a free service, a discount voucher or a heads-up about a special launch or event.
STEP 4 – No Shouting
By helping people to recognise that when they see something from you, it will contain something of relevance, of interest and of value, you’ll stand out from the crowd of those just shouting about their prices and asking why on earth they haven’t bought anything lately. ‘Speak’ quietly, ‘speak’ calmly, and ‘speak’ clearly, offering what they really need, and be thankful, expressing your appreciation for their loyalty. Even if they’re not especially loyal yet.
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