Every business wants customers that bring a lot of website traffic and profits. A strong customer base is the foundation of a successful business. Whether you’re marketing for a blog or for a huge brand, every business needs to focus on its customers. Rome was not built in a day, and it’s the same with business; building a customer base will take time and effort, but it is necessary. To attract customers, make yourself visible and give them access to you. Your customers will eventually become the champions of your brand.
When doing any work, it is beneficial to maintain a task list and to set goals. This article will discuss how to do certain tasks and reach simple goals in order to help you build a customer base from which you’ll eventually reap benefits.
Establishing Brand Recognition and Using Email Marketing
Every business owner should advertise their brand, and they can do it with email marketing. Hither-and-thither emails or advertisements won’t accomplish anything; even emails should have objectives if you expect them to bring traffic to you or serve as something worthy for both your customers and yourself. Know your objectives.
The main purpose of almost every business is to make money, and you’ll be more likely to do that the more people recognize your brand. These should be your ultimate objectives. Keep them in mind and stay focused on them. These goals, however broad in scope they sound, will help you make decisions.
Define your other objectives as well. Here are a few objectives associated with email marketing:
Put Good Content in Your Emails
The content of your emails will become familiar to your customers. When they like the content of your email, they’ll forward it to their contacts, which will help your brand spread. When they don’t like the emails, they might ignore or delete them, and they might leave future mails unread. Make sure your emails are worth opening.
Write Catchy Email Subject Lines
The email content is important, but the subject line might be more so. Most email programs display only the subject line and the “from” line in the inbox; use that space well if you expect recipients to read your email.
Send Just the Right Number of Emails
Pick a number, any number—no, not any number. Repetitive or too-frequent emails might bore or irritate recipients, and they could ignore or delete your emails. At worst, they’ll unsubscribe. Yet recipients will forget you if you send too few. Set a number or determine a suitable frequency for sending emails based on your update schedule or other business strategies.
Manage Your Email List Wisely
This is another important step in email marketing. Speak to the appropriate audience; your efforts will be wasted if you don’t. Make different lists to address different groups of people (based on their interests, demographics or psychographics).
Building Traffic and Increasing Sales
Your immediate objective, after making money, is to make a profit, and email marketing is one of the easiest and best ways to increase sales and build traffic. To increase traffic to your website or blog, follow certain techniques in your email messages. A few are discussed below.
Add Links to Your Email Content
Include links in your emails if you want customers to go further than their inboxes. You can’t write every useful thing in one email, but you also need to equip your customers with the knowledge they’ll need to go forward. Recipients can click on your links to visit your website or blog, follow your news updates or learn about a new launch. Useful linking teaches your customers to trust you as a source, and their trust becomes your profit.
Write Easy-to-Follow Email Copy
Don’t make anything difficult for your customers. Provide steps to follow that make tasks simple. For example, send special offers or distribute coupons via phone messages so that the coupons are easy to use. Set up online registration, online payment methods or home delivery to make purchasing easy. In one word: simplify.
If possible, offer more than one option for every task you want your customers doing. For example, offer a variety of ways to pay: debit, credit, payment after delivery and so on. Let them place orders by email or over the phone. Options let people feel in control, and customers will return if they feel they’ve gotten their way.
Encourage Repeat Business
Building a customer base will be possible only when your customers become regular. It’s important that your customers like and trust you, especially if you want them to return. Show a customer that they’re important and the relationship is already established. Say someone buys a watch from your website. Don’t forget about them. Send them emails to let them know about other offers, updates or product details. Ask for feedback about the watch; do they like it? These things motivate customers to trust and recommend you to others. To increase your repeat traffic, use the following techniques in your emails:
- Stay in touch, and never be out of touch for long. Send regular emails and be visible so as not to fade from your customers’ minds. But don’t bore or irritate them; put creative content and updates in your emails.
- Reward repeat and regular customers with giveaways or other incentives. They’ll feel valued and special, and it will probably remind them to stick with you.
- Giveaways bring new traffic and repeat traffic. Announce offers with free gifts or gift coupons. This will invite new people to try your products and regular customers to come back for more.
- Lower your prices. It’s one of the easiest ways to bring traffic.
Maintaining Your Customer Relationships
A customer base—perhaps this is obvious—is a list of customers, which means a list of people who have already bought your product. It’s not a list of leads.
In marketing, you’ll be explaining the same two things over and over again in different ways: how buying your product will help people, and why they should choose you and not others. Explain these things in a straightforward and informative manner.
While making yourself accessible, stay on top of your contact list. Provide reminders and options for updating personal information for your website customers (let them change their email addresses or phone numbers if need be, or you could end up sending emails to unused or deleted accounts). In the process of building a customer base, you cannot afford to lose any customer.
Write Interactive Emails
Establish interactive relationships. When you send emails to your customers, include a typing field in which they can give you feedback or ask questions. Participate in discussions with them, and avoid automated or repetitious emails. Automated emails can upset the balance of a personal relationship. Here are few ways to make your emails interactive.
- Ask for reviews and feedback about products, content, user experience or anything;
- Ask questions or offer fodder for debate on contentious issues to get readers thinking through their own opinions and responding to yours;
- Ask for confirmation emails with purchases, and follow up with thank-you emails;
- Answer common questions from customers in newsletters or emails;
- Provide a link from your email to your help center or support system.
Maintain Your Online Presence
Maximize the activity of your blog, if you have one. Your content is no good if it’s too old. Update often. Share useful information, launch new products, make announcements and so on to keep your website fresh. It will help you stay ahead of your competition.
Give your audience a voice on your blog or website. Have one-on-one sessions with your customers if possible, and you’ll gain their trust and repeat visits. Always respond to comments on your blog and queries on your website.
Summary: The Steps
The importance of setting goals has been discussed in the earlier section of the article. To summarize:
- Determine your ultimate goals. State and support them with reason and strategic thinking.
- List your customers. Organize the information you have, and keep track of your target audience. Address different audiences according to their various needs.
- Draw up a schedule, and decide what steps you’ll take at which junctures.
Now, how to build a customer base:
- Spread the word about your business. Send emails, advertise and ask for referrals from your existing customers. Offer referral incentives or gifts to build goodwill.
- Ask for the contact details of your customers and keep them updated. For example, when a customer buys a cell phone from you, collect their number. You can do so through a feedback form as well. If you manage a website, you can ask for contact details through registration or a log-in form. This will enable you to send emails to your customers.
- When your customers share their contact details, they expect something valuable in return, so provide useful information in your emails.
- Offering coupons is a great way to build traffic. Offer coupons for anything that might benefit your customers, and put limitations on such coupons to make your customers take an immediate action.
- Offer free gifts or incentives to existing customers. Announce such offers on your website or in emails so that new customers know the benefits of becoming a registered or regular customer.
- Create a new website or a sister website to support your established website or business. This will help you to build more links and contacts.
- Advertise your business through online or offline advertisements. Make yourself visible.
- Create a logo or slogan for your business. They’re memorable and they communicate your message quickly and succinctly.
- Send festive emails or offers on special occasions such as Christmas and New Year.
- Gather testimonials; ask others to speak well of you and use it to your advantage.