Too many local businesses put their efforts on one thing — getting new customers. They focus almost all of their marketing efforts on customer acquisition and bringing in new shoppers or clients. But to truly be successful, they need to also focus on something else — using remarketing strategies to bring existing customers back to their business again and again.
Why remarketing strategies matter
Local businesses thrive when they both regularly bring in new customers and consistently keep existing customers coming back, because this helps them save more and make more revenue.
A study by the Harvard Business School found that increasing customer retention rates by only 5 percent can increase profits from 25 to 95 percent depending on a business’s industry. There are multiple reasons why it pays to use remarketing strategies to bring back existing customers.
Returning customers may spend more than new customers. A Bain study found that returning customers may spend up to 67 percent more than new customers.
It cost less to get an existing customer to return than to bring in a new customer for the first time. Forrester reports that it can cost five times more to bring in a new customer than an existing one.
It’s easier to sell to returning customers than to sell to new customers. A Marketing Metrics study found that the probability of converting a new customer is 5 to 20 percent, whereas the probability of converting a returning customer is 60 to 70 percent.
Related: What drives customer loyalty?
Top remarketing strategies for local businesses
Now that you see the value in using remarketing strategies, let’s look at some tactics you can use to keep your local customers coming back to your business again and again.
Constantly collect customer contact information
The key to an effective remarketing plan is the ability to reconnect with customers once they do business with you. The best way to do this is via email.
Email marketing is an extremely effective way to stay in front of your customers and promote your business.
But you can only implement these remarketing strategies if you have the customer contact details in the first place. So start your remarketing plans by developing strategies to collect customer information.
Create a customer loyalty program
Design a structured program where shoppers sign up in exchange for deals, discounts and special offers. This type of program is extra powerful because it is usually tied to customer purchase history so you can collect data on customer shopping habits (what they buy, how often they buy, how much they spend, etc.). This information can help you segment audiences and provide more targeted communication and promotions.
Run a contest
People are usually eager to provide their information in exchange for entry into a contest that has a desirable prize. Put together a prize your target audience can’t refuse and then promote the offer to get customers to join your email marketing list.
Give something away for free
Another way to encourage customers to share their contact information is by immediately giving them something in return. Rather than make them win a prize, give them something right away for signing up. Build your email list by offering an immediate coupon to use on their purchase, an eBook or free digital content, a ticket to a special event, or some other offer your target customer can’t pass up.
Guide website visitors toward joining your list
While the primary purpose of your website may be to share information about your business or promote your products and services, remember that your business website should also have a goal to get users to join your list. Make it easy for users to sign up and give them a compelling reason to join.
Offer free WiFi to customers
Allow customers who are in your business to sign on to your WiFi network. In exchange for giving them access to your service, collect their contact information so you can add the customers to your contact database.
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Put customer email addresses to use
Once you have your customer’s email address, you can really dive into remarketing strategies. You can start using your direct line of communication to reconnect after they’ve come to your business location, visited your website or done business with you.
Segment your list
Remarketing strategies are far more effective if you remarket to customers based on what you know about them. Don’t send the same message to everyone on your list. Instead, build customer segments in your list based on shopper habits, preferences and purchase history.
Personalize as much as possible
Segmenting your list helps you create more personalized messages. You can send messages to customers based on specific preferences and past habits. For example, a pet store could send a coupon for cat food to a customer who just came in to buy kitty litter. Also when you can, use personalization to add personal details to correspondence such as the customer's name or in this case, the pet’s name.
Use email addresses to find your customers on Facebook
Customer email addresses can be put to use in a way other than allowing you to send emails. You can use email addresses to target customers on Facebook. When you upload a list of email addresses to Facebook, Facebook will match the emails with users on the site. It will then create an audience of those users and enable you to create Facebook ads that target only that specific audience.
Retarget online shoppers and website visitors
While using your customers’ contact information is the best way to stay in touch with them, you can also reconnect with interested audiences even if they don’t share their details.
You can use digital retargeting to put your brand back in front of audiences who visited your website. Digital targeting works like this:
- You add a line of code to your website that puts a cookie on a user who visits your site. Most often, the code comes from Google, Facebook, Twitter or other platforms that show ads to their users.
- The code creates an audience of people who visit your website.
- You create an ad that will only show to the audience of people who have visited your website.
You’ve probably experienced this type of retargeting. You visit a website and look at a pair of shoes you like. Later, while on Facebook, you see an ad for the shoes. This is retargeting at work.
Because you know the audience is aware of your brand and is interested in what you do, retargeting is a powerful way to remind users about your brand and encourage them to come back to visit your site or do business with you.
Keep local customers coming back with remarketing strategies
Remarketing strategies help a business save money while making more in revenue. So stop spending all of your marketing dollars and resources on strategies to bring in new customers. Use these remarketing strategies to keep existing customers coming back to your business again and again.