This article was originally published in the Bookmark blog

 

As a small business owner, the only true way to generate profitable sales through your website traffic is to keep customers coming back to your website.

So, how do you make sure your customers repeatedly come back to your website? The answer is to build a customer retention strategy. You have to give customers a reason to keep visiting your website. There are many ways to promote these repeated visits.

In this post, you’ll learn effective, tried-and-tested strategies you can use to keep your website visitors coming back for more. Below, you’ll find different methods for online customer retention; however, they all may not be to your liking. For this reason, you should either try all of them or choose a few that best suit your operational style.

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Customer Retention Strategy: Keep Customers Coming Back

  |   July 14, 2019   |   Share this:  

Run Promotions and Contests on Your Site

Most customers of small businesses like promotions and contests. If there is a promise to win anything, you can bet people will keep coming back to check if they have won.

Even when the prize is small such as a discount or free swag, you’ll be surprised how many visitors you’ll attract. If you look at some of the most successful companies in your niche, you will notice they always offer up something for grabs to their customers.

In some cases, businesses don’t even have to announce it because their online customers already know when they will run their promotions and expect it.

One of the best ways to run a promotion is by giving away discount codes. Anyone that wins these codes will shop for goods and services on your site and be able to purchase products or services at a discounted price. The fact that vouchers will be used to shop on your website means you will be able to track how many people use them, so you can measure your success. Any discount code applied on your shopping cart will have a code name. Simply check how many shoppers have used the code name against the entirety of your website traffic and you’ll be able to understand how successful your promotion is. If 5 percent of your website traffic converts from your promotion, you’re doing very well for yourself. Remember, It only takes a business to convert at 2 percent to be operating successfully.

Another good idea is to run a contest whereby the existing customers can refer new clients to your site through a special code or by sharing the promotion on social networks. Through this method, you’ll attract new customers and build a loyal following by rewarding those who refer you customers.

Start Opinion Polling

submitting a vote into a ballet boxHave you ever wondered what your customers think about your business?

It’s traditionally not easy to solicit feedback from your customers through a normal contact form on your website. There’s no real incentive provided to visitors who do this.

In order to get anyone to do anything, they need to be motivated. With the contact form in place, you’ve already established the behaviour for them to fulfill; however, if there’s very little motivation for them to complete your action, you’ll never achieve any results.

This is why creating polls can be highly effective. Polling can ask your visitors to help choose a direction for your business. Since people like to be involved, you’ll immediately see an increase in feedback output. This works because you are validating your visitors desire to be heard, and that’s a very human quality. In addition to asking them about their opinion, provide them with the results of the poll as well. People are naturally curious, and an email expressing the results of a poll they previously completed leading them back to your website will more than likely work to get them re-engaging with your content.

Send out Customer Satisfaction Surveys

In addition to a simple poll, you can also send out customer satisfaction surveys.

Receiving feedback through customer surveys are a great way to understand the emotional triggers behind why a customer uses your business. Just be careful to come up with well thought out survey questions to ask.

The questions should be focused around their pain points and how you can potentially further address them in relation to your product or service, favourite features, and how satisfied they are with your business.

When sending out customer satisfaction surveys, always be sure to include something for their trouble. By including something such as a discount or a free item, you’ll be showing your visitors your appreciation and playing on the principle of reciprocity.

The bottom line is, however, you want your clients to feel that you are there for them and that you have their best interest at heart, even if you have to lose money. The monetary exchange for the value of the information is the trade you will be making here.

 

Add New Content Regularly

Your customers often come to your site because they are looking for solutions to their problem. Those who find you through search engines click-through to your site because they believe they will find the solutions there. You, therefore, should not disappoint them. It’s a good idea to keep adding new content geared towards solving every emerging challenge your customers are facing. Keep on top of the issues that garner the most interest by examining the blog pages that generate the most traffic for your website.

You can see these top performing pages by going into your Google Analytics and looking at “Behaviour,” clicking “Site Content,” and clicking “Content Drilldown.”

Here, you can see which pages have accrued the most traffic within your given time frames. Three months, one fiscal quarter, is a good time frame to check which pages are performing the best. You can do a comparative analysis from three months prior to your selected time frame to see which pages are on the rise and on the decline. Keep these pages in mind for the future because you can always add new content to existing pages.

You don’t have to create entirely new content. Instead, you can simply update an old post that has received traffic in the past and has been proven to be a good topic. A simple update of new content to an already existing page is enough to keep customers coming back.

You might also want to use videos, infographics, and images as learning tools. You may also want to hire a freelancer to produce content for your website regularly, to keep content churning and not your customers.

At the end of the day, you will find that not only do existing customers keep coming back for more, but you will attract new visitors to your website.

Highlight New Content

highlighted passage in textFeature and highlight new content on your home page, so it’s easily accessible for new users.

Showcase new and popular content in the header section of your website, so you can present the information right away. Presenting the information on the top of your home page before the fold will help to show every visitor about your latest content immediately.

If you find putting new content into your header to abrupt for your visitors, create a new dedicated section on your home page where you can post updated content. By reducing the amount of clicks it takes for a visitor to access new and updated content, the more likely you’ll successfully encourage them to engage with your content.

By making new content accessible right from your home page, you’ll see an uptick in the number of users engaging with your content and for longer periods of time.

Pro tip: put new content side by side with existing popular content, so it attracts visitors as well. If you showcase your most popular content on your home page, it’ll give new and returning visitors the impression your audience is large enough to warrant popular content curation on your site.

Customized Landing Pages

Sending out customized landing pages with top selling or best performing products or services is a great way to generate interest and, potentially, sales.

If you have collected your visitors’ emails, you can remarket to them. Most small businesses don’t understand remarketing is the most essential and overlooked part of an online business. Therefore, collect visitor emails by asking them to sign up for your newsletter. This can be done through a pop-up or through its own dedicated page.

After you have your visitors’ emails, create an email newsletter campaign for sending out product and or service catalogues. In order to do this, you’ll need an email service provider (ESP) or customer relationship management tool (CRM) for automated email marketing. We, at Bookmark, use Intercom for segmenting our users based on their activity. However, it is paid. We understand small businesses don’t have a lot of money to spend; therefore, we recommend using Drip. It’s relatively cheap for the amount of features it contains.

Upload your list and segment your users by their purchasing habits. Once they’ve already bought from you, you can determine which products or services they bought, segment them accordingly, and determine which items to recommend to them based on their previous buying activity.

The next step is to include visitors in a newsletter campaign encouraging them to visit a customized landing page, specific to each of their previous buying habits, offering discounts to products or services they are most likely to need or want.

For example, your business sells furniture. If you have one set of visitors who purchase beds from you and another set who purchase couches, you can put each of these two customer types in their own campaign and send them to two different customized landing pages upselling them on complimentary items for either beds or couches.

Create a Content Journey

woman sitting on cliff overlooking the roadTreat your pieces of content like a journey taking your customer from someone who has just laid their eyes on your product or entered your market niche for the first time to expert.

Instead of creating a piece of content that exist independently, structure them as a destination on your customer journey. By creating multiple posts to one dedicated topic, you can easily qualify your potential customer through multiple touch points. This approach works to educate your potential customer to the point where they’re informed enough to make a purchase decision.

For example, if you are a search engine optimization (SEO) company such Ahrefs or SEMrush, you can structure content into lessons based on how to efficiently do on-page and off-page SEO. Since these are two different kinds of SEO journeys that both affect overall SEO, you can structure entire educational content series off each journey.

Think about what areas of your business you can turn into a journey for your customer. Once you find what that journey is, create three to five articles that educate your potential customer on the area and take them from beginner to expert. By the third to fifth article, they should have a complete understanding of the landscape and be informed well enough to make their purchase decision.

Use Content Oriented Micro-conversions

Build content centered around visitors completing micro-conversions leading them closer and closer to becoming a qualified customer

Creating micro-conversions will be dependent on your business type, but some general micro-conversions goals are things like newsletter sign-ups, visiting certain pages like an e-learning or best-sellers page, and downloads of free website assets.

As these are points in your funnel where you capture leads, you’ll be able to then remarket to your leads and push them even further down your funnel.

For that reason, you should create or determine assets you can leverage that generate leads, and form content in your customer journey that eventually points leads towards some sort of monetization at the end of your funnel.

Send Customer Reminders

stickies with red and blue highlightersWe can lose our heads and forget about things quite easily in today’s age. That’s why gentle reminders through your email drips or in-apps can be a great way to encourage a user to complete an action they have left uncompleted.

Automation programs such as ESPs or chatbots can easily remind users to complete an action in daily, weekly or monthly intervals. At the very least, create one reminder for your users in weekly intervals up to a month’s time. This will give you enough interactions to determine if your message is working or not.

If you are an eCommerce business and your user has left an item in their cart, you can automate a reminder to be sent to them to encourage a purchase by offering a discount. Save the discounted message reminder as the last attempt to incentivize a purchase. If you have setup weekly reminders for a month, the last reminder of the month should contain the discount.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve been given some tried-and-tested strategies, implement the most logical ones into your business website. You can re-use these same tactics over and over again to keep your website visitors coming back for more.

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