Customers- Your Most Valuable Asset
29 Ways to Maximize Your Customer Investment
What's your business's most-valuable asset? It's not bricks, mortar or inventory—it's your customers.
Repeat customers can be worth up to 10 times more than one-time triers. That's why savvy direct marketers spend time and money on maximizing their investments in their customer bases.
If you want to make your best customers more profitable, implement some of the following ideas:
1 Segment your customers and communicate with them based on their profitability. After all, all customers are not equal.
2 Apply the old 80-20 rule: 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.
3 Increase the frequency with which you send promotions to customers—whether delivered by traditional mail or e-mail. The more opportunities you give customers to buy, the more likely it is they'll buy more.
4 Stuff outgoing statements with cross-selling offers or new product tests. Then test placing package inserts in your own outgoing orders. Promote special product offers from the same category as the product being shipped.
5 Use e-mail and Web site links to cross-sell related products and make purchasing recommendations.
Court the First-timers
6 Acknowledge a customer's first purchase with a personal letter. Or send a less expensive—but every bit as sincere—postcard.
7 Send a strong sales-oriented and relationship-building customer newsletter to first-time buyers. Customer newsletters shouldn't be full of company fluff.
Instead, use them to position your products against your competition, build customer relationships and sell products. Make a new customer feel special by introducing a special offer to encourage that all-important second purchase.
Woo the Faithful
8 Send a customer newsletter to segments other than "newbies." Use this newsletter to make exclusive offers unavailable to the masses. Also use it as a clearance vehicle for bargain buys and one-of-a-kinds.
9 Treat your best customer "advocates" as solid gold. Make them exclusive offers. Send them promotions meant to make them feel special and important to the future of your business.