Did you know that it costs six to seven times more in marketing efforts to land a new customer than it does to keep an existing one? According to Epsilon, the voice of authority on data-driven marketing for business growth, a company misses out on big profit every time a customer loses interest.
Many businesses make the mistake of focusing on engaged and new customers at the expense of inactive accounts. But a customer’s inactivity can provide valuable insight on how you could better meet the needs of your client base. Proactively handling feedback, for example, is a surefire way to increase customer satisfaction and help your business grow.
Are your customer retention numbers slipping? Stop overlooking potential revenue gains and follow these steps to help re-engage with inactive advertisers today!
- Identify inactive accounts. First and foremost, you need to determine what qualifies as an “inactive” account. In other words, establish an appropriate timeline to help you pinpoint which companies have gone cold turkey, as well as those that are likely to disengage based on their sporadic activity. Do you target customers who haven’t advertised in the past two years? Twelve months? Six months? One thing to remember: advertising frequency will fluctuate from industry to industry. A pool installation company certainly won’t advertise as often in a given year as, say, a family dentist—pearly whites are always in season!
- Understand why customers have disengaged. Was the company dissatisfied with the services provided? Did a competitor undercut your prices? Has the company subscribed to other advertising channels? Thanks to technological advances and the rise of social media, brands now have more opportunities to connect with customers than ever before. Do a little digging and use their previous activity to drive interactions. Furthermore, if you provide an option to unsubscribe to email campaigns, include a short survey asking why the client has chosen to unsubscribe. The more information you have at your disposal, the better prepared you’ll be to give inactives another reason to reactive their account.
- Determine advertisers’ needs. Similarly, look at an inactive customer’s ad history to determine their advertising needs, and suggest an appropriate solution at a competitive price. For example, if a realtor always used to buy ad space during moving season, send them a sample of an exclusive real estate campaign that will soon grace the pages of your community-loved paper. However, never assume their needs haven’t changed. It’s possible that their business has evolved and so too has their target demographic, product offering, etc. Instead of assuming you know exactly what they need, politely inquire and make suggestions to help steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go.
- Create an irresistible offer. Now that you have a wealth of information at your fingertips, it’s time to reel your former customers back in. Some proven incentives include discounted products, loyalty programs and personalized email campaigns. Why not invite your past customers to try your product or service again at a discounted rate? It’s a common tactic used by many marketers and sales agents across various industries. However, “winback” promos should be employed sparingly. Customers who re-engage off a low price alone tend to lack stickiness—they’re always out for the next best deal and are more likely to fall off the grid… again.
- Reach out. The last step involves determining the best means of communication. Emails are significant drivers of traffic to business websites; however, without a strong subject line, they’re easily cast aside unread. To increase the likelihood of engagement, always go with a memorable heading that speaks directly to the advertiser’s needs. For example, a subject line that reads “Let us help grow your business! Here’s an exclusive 25% off your next ad purchase” communicates with customers on a genuine level and shows that their business is valued. Reserve phone calls for your best former clients—those who placed the most profitable orders. These calls are time consuming and can take up significant resources, but it’s this sort of devoted approach to customer loyalty that drives the best results. Whatever your choice of medium, make sure your message is personalized and authentic to build trust and forge a lasting, positive reputation.
Yes, acquiring new customers is central to any business’s operations; however, retention and re-engagement should also be key areas of focus for any company looking to increase revenue. While it’s not a given that a cancelled customer will re-enlist, no matter how much wooing you do, the feedback you’ll obtain in the process is invaluable.
This new information will help you better predict which customers can be re-engaged and enable you to fine-tune your approach accordingly. Furthermore, a company that regularly audits its inactive list is in a better position to detect a lapse in customer activity early on and rectify the situation before the inevitable occurs.
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