Thursday, February 10, 2011

Market to your Current Clients!

One of your most important business assets is your customer list. You have established a level of trust with current clients, making it easier to get more business from them. But notice that I said easiernot effortless. You must make the commitment to market your business to your current customers in order for them to decide to purchase from you again.

Marketing to your current customers has two valuable results: It boosts your sales and builds client loyalty.

Maintaining meaningful contact with customers is important to your marketing success. It keeps you in the forefront of their minds so that when they are ready to buy, or when their colleagues need a referral, they think of you, your business, your product or your service.

So where do you start?

Know your customers. First you need to know your customers. Names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses are obvious pieces of information you must gather. What have they purchased from you in the past and what is the average dollar amount of those purchases? By integrating your  business or internet marketing systems with other internal systems such as accounting, point-of sale, and customer relationship management systems, you can track what they purchased in the past and project what they may need in the future. Additionally, information regarding individual customer buying preferences, favorite radio stations and magazines, sports team loyalties and other data are extremely helpful in marketing to your current customers. So capture as much information as possible in a system that allows you to access it easily.

Meaningful contact. Use the information you have about current customers to send them relevant messages to keep them coming back. What messages are relevant? The answer may be different for each customer but the key is to use the data that you have gathered to respond to their specific product and service needs. Every customer has a distinctive combination of preferences, interests and demands that make them unique. The closer you come to addressing those needs in your communications, the greater the likelihood that you will get additional business from those customers.

Build loyalty. Another way to market to your current customers is via a rewards-based customer loyalty program. One of the best-known and longest running loyalty programs is the airlines’ frequent flyer program. The theory behind these programs is that customers will want to spend more money with your company in anticipation of earning their rewards. Your business will benefit most from a loyalty program that entices repeat purchases from customers and encourages them to tell others about your product or service. An added benefit to loyalty programs is that they give you the opportunity to gather additional information about your customers’ buying preferences and specific needs, allowing you to further target your business and internet marketing efforts.

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