How Your Business Can Re-Engage Estranged Customers

The business world is full of enough cliches and colloquialisms to make any account executive groan. But many times, those hoary old sayings stand up to changes in technology, products, and even customer preferences. One such saying is “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” This isn’t just your grandpa’s business musing — it’s a reminder that your current customers are often your most valuable.

While there’s certainly a place for new customer acquisition, it’s more important to ensure the ones you already have are happy. Repeat business can lower costs, influence product lineups, and help you establish authority in your industry. If your team has been more focused on growth over retention, it’s time to build out a customer re-engagement strategy.

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1. Hack Your Customers’ Needs And Deliver Solutions

By now, you know that business isn’t a one-way street. It takes relationships to build a reputation that’s worthy of loyal customers. Take stock of how much you know and understand about your customers and what you do to nurture your relationships. When a customer makes a profile on your site or allows cookies, what are you doing with the information they share?

Customer relationship management isn’t just a common type of enterprise software; it’s an essential business philosophy. Depending on your line of business, your relationship management strategies will differ. But one thing will intersect all industries: understanding your customers’ needs and seeking to meet them at the right time. And it’s something you can do even if you don’t know your customer’s name just yet.

For example, if you run an e-commerce skincare site, your customers may be buying to solve a myriad of issues. If a customer is browsing complexion-clearing serums on their lunch break, recapture their interest, even if they’ve abandoned their quest.

Using cookies or identity software, you can deploy a retention marketing campaign to re-engage them across channels. Now that you know they’re looking, you can make accurate suggestions across platforms, for both logged-in and stealth customers.

2. Secure Access to Essential Data And Use It Wisely

Data is everything, so make sure you know what data you need to re-engage estranged customers. Securing an accurate customer database is important for both product delivery and communication.

Make sure your customer data sets capture essential information and comply with regulatory requirements. You want to re-engage customers, not spam them, so getting permission is a must. Beyond just getting approvals for email and SMS notifications, you’ll need to take permission seriously.

Just because you have permission doesn’t mean you can be lazy with your messaging. Customers are inundated with marketing pitches and requests for their attention. Differentiate your approach so your re-engagement strategy lands as a welcome message in their inbox.

For example, if your skincare customer purchased an 8-ounce cleanser, you can initiate a repurchase campaign. Blend what you know about customer purchase history for that product to set a baseline for reorders. Then set the campaign schedule so your customer can make a purchase that’ll arrive exactly when they need it. Include all the information they require to make a new purchase, which will reduce friction and can increase your conversion rate.

3. Recalibrate How You Allocate Resources

Client pursuit is exciting, and your leadership team may love to hear about growth and expanding market share. But you can’t sleep on total customer value. Customer loyalty is the foundation that big brands are built upon. There may be tons of options in the cereal aisle, but customers repeatedly buy the brands they know. Nostalgia and taste are factors, but so is the way successful brands devote resources to retaining existing customers.

Acquiring new customers can cost anywhere from five to 25 times more than keeping the ones you have. If your sales and marketing teams focus the majority of their time on customer acquisition, it’s time for a shakeup. Upselling your existing customers and selling them products they know and love again and again just makes sense.

Especially for companies selling items that can become essentials, deepening relationships with existing customers can be a game-changer. Your cleanser-purchasing shopper might also benefit from a balancing toner and moisturizer to round out their regimen.

Using the historical sales data, build a recapture campaign to suggest useful and complementary products. Instead of devoting your budget toward wide-reaching new customer marketing, rethink how you can expand your current customers’ purchases.

Focus on Relevance Throughout Your Campaigns

There’s nothing worse than getting a sales pitch that doesn’t make sense. It’s even worse if that pitch comes from a company that should know you better. As you craft your re-engagement strategy, ensure you’re connecting data to client profiles to help you customize your campaigns. Utilize the personas you created to segment your audience and don’t be shy about ultra-personalizing your product suggestions.

Address your loyal fans by name through digital methods, just as you’d do if you encountered them in person. When you offer relevant and helpful suggestions for products and services, your customers will be more likely to accept them. By using data to drive your customizations, you’ll make it easy for your estranged customers to happily return.

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