Developing a lasting relationship with your customers

If you are using common online marketing practices you could be alienating more than half of your website visitors!  Every unsubscribe notice your business gets can be like a dagger to the heart. Let’s look into why your business is getting them and how to retain virtually ALL your new and existing customers and leads. Sure, I can write SEO rich web content and articles for your company but be very careful how you handle the increased traffic.

While I am a marketing professional, I, like you, am also a consumer. I challenge you to go visit 10 websites right now and see how many do NOT have an immediate pop up asking for your email address.  If you are a first time visitor you don’t even have a chance to navigate the site to see if the business has a service or product that resonates with you. It can feel anywhere from annoying to dehumanizing and even downright violating. What does a company do with your info? Market to you of course.

Companies are using mass marketing tools like auto responders and pop ups that collect your information and sell to you. It can make you feel like a cog and make the company look desperate and perhaps worse: unoriginal.  This is not to say there isn’t value in giving your email address as a consumer. Signing can often give you one or more of the following:

Newsletters (like every other company sends out and will get lost or filtered in inbox)

Discount offers- if you like the product or service this has value

Tips and expert advice-another good benefit if the company is doing this

Selling you on holidays (although it gets tough to hear about why the perfect gift for dad is monogrammed disposable napkins and why Easter baskets are a great vessel for handmade oak cutting boards)

I remember not long ago I consciously began to avoiding shopping in stores in person (other than the grocery or drugstore) because of the constant barrage of upselling and marketing of credit cards.  Of course businesses need to make money to stay in business but isn’t there a gentler way make their customers want to keep coming back? Of course there is. 

Let’s look at webhost platform, Squarespace.com.  The landing page of the site shows you what they do, transparent pricing and why you should want to be a customer. They are selling themselves to you. Not begging for your business.  Before you give them any personal information you see very plainly that you will get:

·         Award winning customer care (I can vouch for this)

·         Beautiful images of template samples. Templates customer care will help you set up so your site will look the way you imagine it.

·         A little name dropping (because if your business can, then do. Just don’t do it at cocktail parties and weddings)

·         Free 14 day trial  (this is always a brilliant marketing tactic)

Squarespace also sends out handwritten thank you notes. These are the non-automated touches that maintain customer loyalty. It takes more time but what is one customer worth to you? Especially the type of service that has a monthly recurring fee? Those hand written notes are worth every minute they take to write.

 

Less aggressive ways to build your client base and keep them.

You certainly can -and should- still collect your website visitor’s information. Have a header or footer that links to a sign up page and what benefit the customer will get from it OR make a stand out link/button that takes the visitor to an information page that invites the reader in by showing your company mission and promise very succinctly. Remember these days readers have a very short attention span.

Examples:

1.       Get insider tips every season from our fashion expert on how to change seasonal styles on a budget

2.       Special discount offers on your birthday/holidays

3.       Invitations to try our new product(s) before the public can buy

4.       Mr. Mom answers reader’s questions about parenting woes in our newsletter

5.       Other unique marketing ideas specific to your industry niche

All these are inviting the site visitor to see how you engage with your audience and makes them more inclined to want to be part of it.  Before you put these up on your site, make sure you have a solid marketing plan and calendar to execute.  Newsletters have lost their impact due to the overwhelming amount of information each of us gets in our waking hours but when done correctly and no more than once a quarter, they can still be relevant and impactful.

Remember when marketing a business the ones that don’t follow the pack are the ones that stand out.