Time is precious—and people must choose wisely how to best spend their hours.
Many marketers today feel that focusing on acquiring new customers is the most worthwhile investment.
While that’s certainly a priority, adding net-new logos isn’t the only way to generate revenue. And it’s far from the most lucrative option you have.
According to this Invesp infographic:
- It’s five times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.
- The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5–20%—compared with 60–70% for an existing customer.
- Current customers are 50% more likely to try new products and 31% more likely to spend more than new customers.
So, if you continue dedicating too much time to customer acquisition, you risk leaving opportunity (and money) on the table.
What’s the alternative? Developing a comprehensive customer engagement strategy to generate additional revenue through your current customers—at a fraction of the cost.
Shifting your focus from customer acquisition to customer marketing will help you in three key areas:
1. Retaining your customers
Keeping customers requires satisfying them at every turn. But how do you do that?
First, make sure your product or service works as advertised. File this under “Duh” if you want, but it’s true. If you consistently fail to deliver what you promise, your current customers will quickly turn into former customers.
Of course, there will always be occasional hiccups. So, you’ll need to have a strong support system in place to respond to your customers and meet their needs.
When a product breaks, buyers want a quick, easy way to engage with your company and remedy the situation. They want your business to clearly communicate with them, provide a solution to their problem, and maybe even go the extra mile by offering a credit, discount, or freebie for their trouble.
It’s also important to establish open, ongoing engagement with your customers. By regularly giving them valuable information on how to use your product or service and sending thought leadership that demonstrates your expertise, you can reinforce their decision of doing business with your company.
2. Cross-selling and upselling your customers
If you can convince your customers they made the right choice by picking your brand over others, you’ll discover a world of cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Customers purchase a product to solve a problem. But rarely are they dealing with a single problem—they have a whole host of them. And your company likely sells a portfolio of products aimed at solving related issues.
By proving to your customers that they’ve started a relationship with the most trusted, reliable vendor, your business will become the first place they turn when looking for a complementary product.
But how do you spot these cross-selling and upselling opportunities? Well, it’s not much different than recognizing when new customers want to make a purchase.
Analyze what content your current customers are engaging with. Are they visiting product pages, watching solution demos, and checking out prices? Great! You can capitalize on that information by sending them custom-tailored content touting the benefits of the products they’re interested in. And you can notify your sales team to reach out to them and offer a deal.
Another method to consider when cross-selling and upselling is account-based marketing. If one department of an enterprise customer is using your product, you can target others within the company that aren’t.
This is especially effective because you can highlight how their business is already reaping the rewards of your product—and you have empirical evidence to prove it. Surely, your product would benefit their division, as well.
3. Turning your customers into advocates
As powerful as modern marketing is, it can hardly compete with the mighty word of mouth. People are much more likely to purchase from a brand after hearing a friend, colleague, or family member rave about it.
The numbers back it up, too. Word-of-mouth marketing generates two times as many sales as paid advertising, according to a McKinsey study.
Unfortunately, getting people to speak out on your behalf doesn’t happen as often as companies would like. But there is a simple way to incentivize your customer base to share all the positive things they’ve got to say about your business.
By establishing a referral program, you can reward customers for generating strong leads. And if you’re willing to compensate your customers for promoting your company’s products to their networks, you can inject a much-needed boost into your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.
Not to mention, customers proactively seeking out contacts who might be interested in your products deserve something for their efforts—whether a discount on a new purchase or free entry to one of your upcoming events. A well-oiled customer advocacy program is essential for nurturing your customers into seasoned advocates.
Creating a comprehensive customer engagement strategy
A truly inclusive customer engagement strategy leaves no customer behind—new or old.
So, whether you want to start an ongoing dialog with your buyers or reactivate dormant customers, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have a comprehensive strategy in place.
To achieve that, you have to assess how you’re currently managing client engagement. Start by asking yourself:
- How many new customers do you generate each month?
- Where do your customers come from?
- What is the range of products you offer?
- What key audience groups are your customers composed of?
- How do you communicate with your customers?
Answering these questions will help you identify and address areas for improvement.
You’ll also want to set qualitative and quantitative goals—from building more customer trust to improving email open rates by a certain percentage.
The final thing you’ll need to do is leverage a customer engagement platform. These powerful tools help you implement a strategy in phases, allowing you to incrementally measure and improve.
That’s it. Just a few small steps for a mighty big impact. And now, with a fully developed strategy at the core of your marketing operations, all the time you spend engaging customers—both new and old—will be time well spent.