Building long term customers online

Brendan Byrne Written by | Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tags: More Often

Building long term customers online

Lets assume you have good numbers of visitors coming to your site. To secure buying customers and keep the flow of money coming in it pays to understand techniques on turning one-off shopping into recurring sales. Here are a few ideas to keep revenue consistently surging in.

If they buy something the first time, a big accomplishment has been achieved. Getting them to buy again is the next part of the puzzle. There are a variety of concepts to turn first time customer dollars into a continuous flow of sales. The more the sales ooze in on its own, the easier it will be to realise bigger profits. Look at it as working smarter instead of harder.

In business, the basic philosophy is once you get the attention of a customer and they buy something, the key is keeping them. Once you secure a satisfied buying consumer market, all of the energies can be spent on marketing to sustain what you have and drive newcomers to the site.

There are a lot of free tools to make this a successful task. Utilize all of these helpful aids to your full advantage. One of the first rules is to have a way to store information in a database. Capturing the name, email, physical address and telephone number is crucial. This gives you a bigger advantage and helps stay in touch.

Having auto responders to emails and an email database of those who have invited you to send them information can be a gold mine and a great way to maintain a continue relationship. Depending on the products and services promoted would depend on the message you send to develop recurring sales.

For websites selling products, a tiered coupon on the next visit may work. An example would be offering a ten percent discount on the first purchase, a fifteen percent off on the second, twenty percent off on the third, twenty five percent off on the fourth, thirty percent off on the fifth, forty off on the sixth, and fifty off on the seventh. This would keep a consumer coming back at least until they get the fifty percent off. Be sure to include time frames and expiration dates, and of course you need to ensure the discount structure is still profitable.

Another method would be promoting a refer-a-friend bonus program. At the end of the purchase during checkout a special code can be assigned to the shopper. This concept is something similar to an affiliate code. The code can be used by the customers to give a friend when they shop. The new referred customer can get something like a five percent discount for using the code and the referring customer can get a percentage on what their friend purchased. Word of mouth advertising even online has extraordinary benefits.

For consulting and other services like tech support, administrative services, and other related areas in the service industry tiered pricing subscriptions can be lucrative if priced right. This structure may sound familiar. For customers who just want to "try it" and are interested in the one month plan, that should be looked at as an ala carte rate which is generally higher. The annual plan is usually very quickly identified as the best value and is extremely enticing.

A good example would be the way insurance companies have structured tiers. If you pay monthly the cost may be one hundred and twenty five dollars a month. The pricing for three consecutive months may go down to one hundred and ten dollars a month. For six months it may decrease to one hundred dollars a month. The annual price may be a nice savings going down to eighty five dollars a month. The difference in the ala carte monthly rate and the annual rate is forty dollars a month or a whopping four hundred and eighty dollars a year. Pricing like this will keep your customers for at least twelve months. Staying in touch with them through emails with updates and news on your company and the industry that is beneficial to them will keep them and make the renewal process for the following year part of your recurring sales.

If you are not set up for offering downloads and mobile text message alerts, this is a huge market. Sending customers a promotion and promotional codes via text with the capability to include a link back to your site containing the promotion and order form is an excellent way to keep customer spending more. They will often come back. The good thing about the text message is if they cannot respond at the moment it is received, it will still be stored in their phone to look at later.

The mobile text messaging and email marketing process can be used to alert customers of new coupons, weekly specials, contest or any other advertising messages you want them to know about. This will keep them interested in your site and will keep them watching for more. There is a careful line you are treading, between annoying them and not saying enough. If you spend most of your content on educating your customers, you are less likely to loose them as a subscriber.