Did you know it costs five times as much to capture a new customer as it does to keep an existing one? That’s right, you heard me correctly. It’s stupid expensive to capture new customers so what do you do? Where do you invest your time and resources at a time when everyone is being overly cautious with their marketing dollars? The answer is simple. Invest in both new and existing customers.
Three Strategies to Capture New Customers While Retaining Your Current Clients
1. Capturing New Customers with Paid Google Advertising
If you’ve read my previous post, Advertising Your Way Out of the Apocolypse: How to Survive and Thrive During COVID-19, then you already know advertising is on sale right now, and I’m talking about deep discounts. We’re seeing paid ads with as much as 65% off. In essence, you’re able to double the impact of every dollar you spend. This alone is a reason to invest in paid ads. But, I’ll give you another really good reason.
Your competitors are NOT advertising and they are NOT your friends, so don’t act like it! Strike now.
Years ago, I learned a valuable lesson about competitor marketing from a mentor of mine. He’d often reference a quote from Norm, a character from the famous American TV series Cheers. He’d say: “It’s a dog eat dog world, and I’m wearing Milkbone underwear”. What he meant by that is simple. Always stay on the offensive, and, most importantly, protect your jewels!
Since most businesses have either reduced or stopped spending advertising dollars on Google, your competitor’s online customers are now more accessible than ever, by using any of the following strategies:
- Competitor Ads – Begin to target your competitor’s brand terms, AKA “names” with paid ads. Include offers in your ads that make it appealing for them to call you instead of your competitors. For example: “New Customer Special – Insert Offer Here.”
- Call Centers – Train your call centers to flip competitor calls. All too often, call centers will simply let the caller know they’re not the business the customer was looking for and hang up. This is where most competitor calls are lost. You’ve already spent ad dollars generating these leads so make the most of it. Teach your teams to answer the phone in a way that 1) lets them know you’re not the intended company, and 2) you’d be happy to offer the same services at an even better value.
- Protect Your Company Name – One of the most overlooked advertising tactics is often the simplest. Make sure you are always bidding on your own company name with paid ads. You’re probably wondering why, and thinking to yourself: “but, they’re already looking for me.” Well, you’d be right, but just as we’re targeting the competitor’s customers, they have the ability to target yours. Since your company name, AKA “brand term” is your own, the cost for ads is relatively low. Most often, you’re paying a tenth of what a traditional ad would cost. An ad with your name, linking to your website will have the highest relevancy, thus, you’ll pay the least amount and lock in the first spot online. When looking at search results, the first 2-3 spots are most often ads. This is the prime real estate we’re competing for. That’s why you’ll want to use this opportunity, to block out your competitors.
2. Social Media – Targeting Your Competitors Followers
Unlike Google Ads, social media platforms are not as transparent about competitor targeting methods. Fortunately for you, you’ve stumbled upon this article and I’m going to walk you through the steps.
How it works
It’s not as simple as targeting the fans of your competitor pages. There is a level of sneakiness that is required to find these followers. The most important thing to remember is that platforms like Facebook have access to an enormous amount of user data and it is in their best interest to help you create the most effective ads possible, so that you continue to spend more of those sweet ad dollars with them.
You’ll want to create ads that are interest-based. Facebook describes interests as: “…hobbies of the people you want to reach.” Now here’s the super sneaky part. For interests, you’re going to list your competitor’s website first, then, if that doesn’t work, you’ll enter the name or product of your competitor. As an added bonus, since Instagram is a Facebook-owned company, you’re automatically covering a second social platform with competitor ads.
Once you have the ads in place, it’ll be important to circle back around to look for optimization opportunities. You’ll want to make sure you have all of the necessary trackings in place so you know what’s working, and what’s not.
3. Protecting the Jewels – Your Customers
All too often, businesses focus on new prospects while neglecting their current customers. Remember, It’s five times more expensive to capture a new customer, so treat your current customers like gold.
There’s a joke I was told years ago, that’s told best by Anthony Iannarino in the blog Go On a Charm Offensive.
A man dies and St. Peter greets him at the gates of Heaven. St. Peter tells the new arrival that his record is good, but that he still has free will and can choose between Heaven and Hell. But before he does, he’ll have the opportunity to explore both options. Then St. Peter gives the new arrival a tour of Heaven.
Heaven is a nice place. Everything is perfectly clean. A lot of angels are walking around singing hymns and such. But overall, Heaven is a pretty boring place. After touring Heaven the new arrival gets a chance to explore the alternative.
Hell is a very different place. It’s a party! There’s a lot of loud rock music. There are a lot of people dancing. There is a lot of drinking and smoking. Everyone’s having a great time.
After his tour of Hell, the new arrival goes back to visit St. Pete. And he says, “I apologize, but I’ve decided to spend the rest of eternity in Hell. It’s nothing personal. It’s just more my style.” And off the new arrival goes to Hell.
When the new arrival gets back to Hell, it’s nothing like it was during his tour. People are literally on fire; their flesh is burning. There’s screaming and suffering. It is Hell, after all. The new arrival says to Satan, “There must be some mistake. This isn’t what Hell was like when I visited yesterday.” Satan laughs and says, “Yes, but yesterday you were a prospect. Today you’re a customer!”
One of the most effective ways to retain customers is to simply communicate with them. You want to create as many touch-points as possible, so your brand is always top-of-mind. You can achieve this by following these simple steps:
- Check-In Calls – When is the last time you had a member of your team reach out to talk to your customers. Sometimes, just being there to listen is all that you need to do. This is especially helpful for your customers that have either gone silent or have been inactive. Ask them what you could do to serve them. Let them know you are open, servicing customers, following all safety protocols accordingly, and anything else you feel would add value to the conversation.
- Email Communications – If you’re not collecting your customer’s email addresses then start, right now! If you already have a database of emails then what are you waiting for? I always recommend, at minimum, one email per month but no more than two. In our experience at The Symphony Agency, we’ve run effective campaigns for over ten years. We already know what works best. Whatever you do, do NOT follow your instincts and use email to target your customers with your fantastic specials. If you do this, I promise you, they’ll never open them. They’ll see it as junk mail. Instead, use this as an opportunity to educate your customers. For example, if you’re an orthopedic practice share tips on exercises to help prevent injury, information on the latest cutting-edge procedures, or an announcement on a new center you’ve opened. We’ve seen the highest open-rates from educational email communications. Use this as an opportunity to further position yourself and your business as a thought leader.
- Website Updates – Your website is your digital storefront and it’s open 24/7, even when you’re not. Do you have an exciting announcement? Make sure to share it front and center on the homepage of your website. Also, take the time to continually optimize your website. Focus on how your customers are using the site, and look for ways to improve their experience. Ultimately, if your customers are enjoying their experience they’re more likely to stay with you.
Hopefully, I’ve provided you with a little more information than you had before. Over the years we have strategized and deployed thousands of campaigns and generated millions of leads. We understand what works, and what doesn’t so never hesitate to reach out to a member of our customer experience team by completing a contact form. We are here, we are open, we work with clients all over the US, and we’d be happy to have a conversation with you about your business and growth goals.