Retention and Reactivation Tips
Looking for fresh ways to get existing customers to buy again sooner or dormant customers to come back? Consider the following tips from Gina Valentino, president of Hemisphere Marketing, a Kansas City, Mo.-based catalog consultancy.
Immediately follow up with new customers. Thank customers and keep your company at the top of their minds by sending a short e-mail thanking them for their orders, Valentino says. Or try what The Territory Ahead catalog does: The apparel mailer sends postcards containing coupons to new customers. Valentino cautions that coupons shouldn’t be channel-specific, i.e., they should be usable on all channels (Web, phone or at retail).
Focus reactivation efforts during natural purchase periods. Lapsed buyers are more likely to come back to you during your seasonal shopping spikes, Valentino says. When testing segments of older buyers, look for response rates that rival your prospecting response rates. You can make a case for accepting a lower response rate because you’re not paying for the names. Determine your tolerance for non-responders.
If you sell gifts, send gift-giving reminders to your customers. The best gift reminders include a list of all previous gift recipients, what they received and an option to send the same gift again. Food catalogers Harry & David, Sees Candies and Wolferman’s are among the companies she’s seen do this in the past, but Valentino notes that this tactic works for anyone who sells gifts. “It’s one of the best retention tools,” she says. “It often yields a double-digit response rate.”