The lifeblood of any business is a steady stream of repeat customers willing to come back and spend money. Bricks and mortar businesses in particular rely on this in order to make sure that all their monthly expenses will be covered, with some profit left over.
There are several things you and your staff can do to encourage customers and prospective customers to come back regularly. Here are some suggestions.
1. Keep an Email List
Ask everyone who comes into the store for their email address so you can connect with them any time you wish.
There are two main types of emails you can send:
* Autoresponder emails
* Broadcast emails
Autoresponder emails are “evergreen” emails of general interest to the people on your list. Autoresponder emails are very useful because all you have to do is upload the content once, and it will keep on marketing for you over and over again. Every time a new person comes on your list, they will get the same series of emails that tell them more about your company, your base of products, and your mission to keep your customers happy.
Autoresponder emails are amongst the best ways to automate your marketing online so you have time for the many other activities you need to do to run your business.
Broadcast emails are like news broadcasts on radio or TV. They are used to tell people the latest news. You can send your list information about your latest product launch, special sales, seasonal deals, and more.
2. Entice Your Social Media Followers
The social networks are useful to get people onto your email marketing list, and to tell your followers all about what’s new at your business.
3. Create a Customer Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program will keep your guests coming back for more. Pareto’s principle says that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers, so treat paying customers like gold by rewarding them. After all, they have many different options for doing their shopping these days, both online and offline.
4. Regular Changes of the Window Display
Rotate displays in your window regularly so your place of business always looks as if there is something exciting going on.
5. Regular Changes of the In-Store Displays
This is a trick used by many supermarkets. They deliberately move items to different aisles or areas of the store in order to stop “automatic shoppers” from breezing through without stopping to look at other items besides the thing they came in for. Making them look in a different aisle forces them to walk past other items that might catch their eye and get them to buy.
6. In-Store Events
Create regular events on a certain day of the month (like the first Thursday) – for example in-store demonstrations, sampling, or public talks. The aim is to get your customers to come in, look around, and/or buy the recommendations that will be featured at the event.
7. Regular Online Marketing
Regular online marketing through social media will help keep you on your customers’ radar. Online advertising through Facebook and Google can target people in your zip code or adjacent ones so you can market specifically to consumers who will be able to come into your location.
8. Regular Offline Marketing
Advertise or offer free content in your local newspaper. Approach the radio and TV producers of your local station with story or program ideas. Run ads with coupons that have an expiry date to get them into the store. Advertise in your local pennysaver and include coupons you can clip.
Use these ideas to make sure your customers will keep coming back.