By Christoforos Zafeiris
There is little debate surrounding the fact that e-commerce has become the norm. Every brand imaginable has a presence in the digital landscape. At the same time, many online-only companies are thriving by operating only in the digital world. And some companies attempt to combine a physical and digital presence to leverage multiple channels at once.
No matter where a business lives, customer loyalty, and deep engagement is critical in keeping the lights on. For those companies that live primarily online, often new customer acquisition through digital marketing is the company’s primary strategy. However, for a company to thrive, retaining customers is just as (some would argue more) important. But the question remains: what are the most effective ways for an online brand to drive customer loyalty?
Below are some of the best tactics online brands can use to drive loyalty, proving that keeping existing customers engaged can be successfully achieved if brands are willing to walk the extra mile.
To create customer loyalty, you need to design an effective system to nurture customer relationships. Loyalty is emotional and can be cultivated by making your business more human. If customers feel connected, appreciated, recognized, and valued, they return those positive feelings through continued purchase and engagement with the brand.
A free email marketing service can be a critical asset in helping companies communicate with and inform customers. Email marketing campaigns help brands build and maintain customer relationships to the max. Run different campaigns, automated or not, to inform customers about new products, offers, and sales. You run generic or even personalized campaigns to ensure that customers feel some extra love.
When it comes to fashion, experts say that less is more. But is that sentiment accurate when it comes to marketing? It’s not (even if it would make our lives easier). When marketing is concerned, more is more, and brands should strive to over-deliver when it comes to wooing their customers.
For example, if a customer ordered anti-aging products, give them free samples of beauty products that match their purchased products. If you provide services, knockout brand experiences and amazing customer support may be the extra touch that you need to stand out and keep people in your ecosystem. Create personalized support features based on their needs and preferences. This will make it easier for them to get the help they need, all while feeling as though you value them as a customer and a human being.
With more and more companies investing in customer loyalty programs, you will need to step it up to encourage buy-in to your own program.
You need to create an open, authentic, high-quality relationship with your customers, which will be based on honesty, mutual respect, and free expression.
Send your loyalty members free products or free access to certain new services, and ask for their feedback. Make them feel valued and respected. Then, use their critiques to redesign, reform, and reshape your products and marketing campaigns. Then circle back and let them know exactly what you did in response to their critical input.
Surprise and delight by sending gifts to loyalty program members, for no particular reason at all. For online companies, sending a digital gift with a prompt to post on social will encourage loyalty, all while spreading the love for your brand across their networks.
Another tactic is to add a “favorites” section on your site that is personalized for each loyalty program member that logs in. Based on their activities, purchases, and interests, you can curate a personal shopping experience to keep customers happy and promote your products.
Many online companies fail to recognize the power of human contact and physical connection in bringing people closer and feeling connected to the brand.
So, here is the most magic tactic of them all.
Organize experiential marketing events in locations that are in line with your brand identity. In these environments, use brand ambassadors to personify and bring your brand to life. This allows your brand to stand out from the “faceless” online-only competition and build a sense of community surrounding your brand.
While brand events are ideal places to catch the attention of new customers, they are an opportunity to roll out the red carpet for existing ones. Inform your customers, through social media and targeted email marketing campaigns, that you will have special elements or features reserved for them at your event.
A brand activation is also a great opportunity to introduce new products and features while providing samples and/or demos.
Pro tip: This is also a great time to receive feedback and explore product improvements straight from those who buy your products. You can make data capture fun through gamification, quizzes, and more.
These are four of the best tactics online brands can use to drive customer loyalty, a key aspect of your brand’s development. Whether you are a small start-up or a larger brand that has a strong market presence, you can take advantage of these tactics and improve your business development strategy.
What are your thoughts? What have you already implemented and what do you aspire to do to increase customer loyalty?
Guest author Christoforos Zafeiris works as the SEO Copywriter for the email marketing software company Moosend. He has always been eager to change the narrative and influence trends with his words; thus, copywriting is the only natural choice for him. Besides that, he has been an enthusiast of human communication, long walks, and emotional storytelling.