Any successful Relationship Marketing exercise will help you to build relationships with both your existing customers and potential customers. You can use your website, your blog, your social media networks or email marketing to keep in touch with your targets online.
The objective should be to build long-term relationships via regular communication. It is well known that people prefer to buy from people that they know and trust. Most businesses will typically allocate as much as 70% of their marketing budget to attract new customers, leaving only 30% to nurture and retain their existing customers.
In our view it is easy to ‘neglect’ what you have already and the importance of having a solid relationship with your existing customers cannot be over stated. An existing customer is more likely to buy from you again and again if they feel that they are valued and being looked after.
We give below a couple of tips to help you keep in touch with your customers:
With a blog, you can reach and engage with your readers regularly, on a conversation level. By giving regular content that adds value and is helpful to them you can quickly build your reputation as an expert in your field and someone who can be trusted. Through your blog you can help to solve your customers’ problems, give them helpful insights into your industry and provide them with sound business advice. We would go so far as to say that in our own line of work our blog is more important to us in building and retaining trust than our website!
We recommend that you design and develop your website from you customers’ perspective rather than your own. To do this effectively we recommend that you present your web visitors with a warm, friendly and memorable user experience Your website should be easy to navigate and should include ‘value’ offers such as e-book downloads, downloadable pdf brochures, information sheets etc. Don’t be shy in demonstrating your hospitality to your visitors.
We usually recommend the inclusion of a well structured and searchable FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) section to make it easy for your visitors to find the answers to the most common questions asked about your products or services. A two-way dialogue can be encouraged with the inclusion of a ‘Live-Chat’ or ‘Call back’ function, if appropriate. Your Contact us page should ideally be form-based and include a section where your visitors can describe their unique needs and problems and receive a personalised response from your team.
You can use email marketing to stay in touch with your clients. You should offer them the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter or receive ‘whitepapers’ etc. Your email needs to be tailored to the reader’s specific needs and interests. If all your customers do not share the same interests set up categories or groups of customers with similar interests and send out a different email to each group. This is about creating a positive experience for your list, not spamming. Everyone hates spam so always offer an easy way for them to opt out from future emails so that they remain in control of what they want to read.
The popular social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube allow you to interact and network with your customers and prospects. There are literally thousands of social media sites out there, find and join those that are relevant to your business and you will be able to exchange views and ideas with other people interested in your industry.
You can also start building relationships and your online reputation for your business, website or blog, through the social media networks.. The best way to use and engage via social networking is to choose those networks that are most relevant to your market and niche. New social networks are continually being developed so try searching on Google for the ones best for you.
With relationship marketing you are aiming to differentiate yourself from your competitors. You should be willing to do what others are not willing to do. To succeed you need to “Dare to be Different”.
If you would like to know more about relationship marketing please leave a message below or visit WSI IMS – WSI Internet Marketing Services for Businesses in Surrey, Sussex, Kent & throughout the South East of England.