1. Repeat buyers spend more
Up to 300% more. Repeat customers buy more over time than new customers. They also are more likely to trust you enough to buy your more expensive products or services.
2. Repeat buyers close easier
Marketing to prospects only closes 13% of the time. Repeat customers buy 60-70% of the time.
3. New customers cost more
It costs 5 times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer. Bringing that new customer to your existing customers’ spending level costs 16 times more.
4. Repeat customers promote your business
Focusing on repeat business creates a group of loyal customers that sing your praises and promote your business. Repeat customers refer 50% more people than one-time buyers.
Investing in repeat business costs you less and makes you more!
So, with that motivation, how did we double our repeat buyers in 3 months? By following these steps:
1. Send valuable content.📧
Provide unique content to your customers in the context of your offering. Running an online store takes a lot of specific knowledge that you should use in your campaigns. Establish yourself as a subject matter expert (SME) in your field, be it healthcare, fashion, travel or even handmade Christmas-tree mobiles.
Of course we still sent promos, but not exclusively. By alternating between hard sells and soft sells, limited-time discounts and evergreen specialized knowledge, earnest appeals and holiday celebrations, we kept our readership guessing. They never knew what exactly they would get, but they knew it would be topical, and that kept them opening.
We filled our newsletters with the who, what, where, when, why and how of our niche, healing collectibles. We provided history, advice and personal stories our subscribers could relate to and benefit from. We got better and better at it, and now many can’t wait for our emails. They know they will find something useful about a subject for which we share a deep passion.
Though it’s true that high open rates in nurturing emails don’t usually translate to high revenue, they have a big impact over time. Why? High open rates mean more see your email and more like your information.
This, in turn, means recipients are more likely to begin to know, like and trust your brand That does ultimately translate to more referrals and more sales. Dripping meaningful content over time helps you go from being a stranger, to an acquaintance, to a friend, to a trusted advisor.
2. Build relationships. 💑
We made stories in which we invited our readers to interact. We let them know we genuinely care about them.
When they reply to your inbox, reply back. This has two benefits. The first is building the relationship between you and your prospect.
The second is improving your deliverability. When inbox providers recognize interaction, algorithms identify you as a desirable content provider, not a spammer.
We rewarded buyers with better offers. This served as both a thankyou and an incentive, accelerating the repeat-purchase cycle.
First, we segmented buyers from non-buyers. Then we delineated a VIP segment out of buyers in general. We defined VIPs as those who have spent more than a predefined amount or purchased more than a certain number of times. By targeting each of these segments with personalized messages and tailored incentives, we converted more non-buyers to buyers and more buyers to VIPs.
4. Track Your Repeat Buyers Metric. 📏
Review this statistic regularly. You can’t improve what you don’t track nearly as well as when you focus your eyes on the prize. Make a concerted effort to see how your various campaigns and split tests affect progress toward your goal. Report the information weekly.
For us, every Monday we reviewed with the client how the prior week’s emails improved repeat buyer numbers. Progress began incrementally at first, then became more pronounced. Progress remained steady as the number of repeat buyers grew.
Following these steps combined premium content based on unique, industry-specific knowledge with consistent messaging. This messaging understood, per the quotation attributed to Teddy Roosevelt, that they “don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” This differentiated our emails from so many other less personal and less relevant marketing messages.
As a result, our open rates, clickthrough rates, and, most importantly, repeat buyers climbed, the latter doubling in three months. What Key Performance Indicators have steadily improved in your recent email campaigns? Comment below and let us know.
Marko Kojadinovic and Thomas McClintock