Customer loyalty is at the heart of many business strategies, with returning clients often spending more and even advocating your brand to others. But generating this relationship between you and your clients can be difficult, especially if you only have a few months for a marketing campaign.
So how can you gain that same level of loyalty without having to invest years into client relations?
1. Make the value of loyalty clear
You can start showing customers the value of loyalty right from your first interaction with them. Many brands now offer some form of loyalty scheme to promote retention and loyalty. From McDonald's to Target, brands from a variety of industries use them to offer people an incentive to come back after the first purchase. Of course, it's more straightforward if you offer low-cost items that are bought regularly but this is still a technique that can be used in a service industry.
Giving customers a discount if they sign a rolling contract or offering a 'VIP' service to accounts that exceed a certain benchmark value can be good ways of creating a loyalty scheme without the need to consistently make purchases. You can also run a digital-based initiative that rewards customers who share your social posts or use specific hashtags. This not only creates loyalty but allows brands to understand more about the type of content their audience wants to read.
2. Make every interaction matter
Loyalty comes from customers feeling valued by companies and achieving this really isn't that complicated. Regardless of whether they're registering a complaint, inquiring about a product or service, asking for more information or something else, your client and sales teams need to work together to ensure that every customer - or lead - goes away feeling like they are valued by your brand.
Marketing can be a great way of showcasing this to consumers. Choosing a strategy that highlights the reasons why customer might need your brand, like McDonald's shows in its 'We are awake' ad, tells your audience that you value the interactions you have with them.
3. Make it emotional
Using your branding to make an emotional connection with your audience is a tried-and-tested strategy to encourage loyalty and advocacy. Dove's major 'Choose Beautiful' campaign did exactly this, reaching out to its customers and showing their stories. This isn't just important because of the sentiment - and its success - but because it's not actually product focused. Instead the brand focuses on their ethos and what matters to them, connecting with their consumers and creating a community feel of shared values.
4. Make it personal
Consumers want to feel as though companies see them as the unique individuals they are. Most bad customer experiences relate to feeling unimportant or overlooked by brands so doing the opposite is a fantastic opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition and win loyalty.
Email marketing campaigns can be easily personalized to individual personas or consumers. For example, you could use data collected from the user journey to identify visitors who have browsed your products or services but then left before converting. With this information, you can show them targeted adverts or create a list of suggested content for them. This not only builds a more meaningful connection between you and customers but also helps them to make a purchase.