Repeat Business: There’s More of You to Love

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Curtis Stevens

By Curtis Stevens

Are you familiar with the following concept?  It is much easier and more cost effective to sell to existing customers than it is to acquirer a new one.  Which one would you rather have?  Sell 50 items to 5 people or 50 items to 50 people.  When you are designing and tweaking your marketing campaigns, be sure to include your current customer base and maximum their profit potential.  Here are several ways to do just that, give your customers a reason to come back for more.

Special Discount Offers

I recently purchased something from an online retailer.  When I received my package, I noticed there was a discount coupon inside that I could use on my next purchase.  I’m a sucker for coupons and many consumers are.  It is a great way to encourage and entice your customers to order again.  For best results, the coupon should have a higher discount value than what is normally offered to the general public on sites like  The discount should also be a one-time use coupon.  This will prevent others from sharing it online and reduce the perceived value.

Make them Feel Good by Giving Back

Everyone likes to feel good and there are lots of ways you can make your customer’s day.  For example, have you ever been to a bar, had a few drinks and then the bartender says “This one is on me.”?  Did it not put a smile on your face and make you love that bar even more so?  Now, I’m sure the bartender doesn’t actually pay for the drink, but has the authority from the owner to give out free drinks as he/she sees fit.  Customers also do not like to feel inconvenienced.  When was the last time this happened to you?  You walk into a store and your purchase comes out to $4.04.  You hand the cashier five ones and she gives you back 96 cents in change.  Don’t you just love all that change?  Why couldn’t the cashier simply say “The 4 cents is on us.”?  Not only would it speed up the checkout process, but also make the customer feel valued.

Email Clubs

Many businesses, especially restaurants are starting to see the value behind email clubs.  An email club should be designed to notify customers of special promotions, pricing and discount offers.  This type of communication creates a unique connection with your clients.  Not only does it allow you to directly contact your clients on an ongoing basis, but constantly reminds them of your brand.


The well known 80/20 business rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% 0f your customers.  Whether this applies to you or not, you should give your most profitable clients the VIP treatment.  The customers that love you the most by spending the most money with your company are the ones that have the most to give back.  Those customers are more likely to tell others about your products or services.   There are countless ways to give your customers the VIP treatment.  Some examples could be an exclusive customer service number, special VIP discounts, higher reward points or a personal relationship manager if you sell an ongoing service.

Reward Programs

Reward / loyalty card programs seem to be very popular today.  There can be a lot of value in this type of program, but it is also the least favorite of mine for several reasons.  Most reward programs require the customer to keep track of their rewards.  They also usually require multiple visits or purchases before any type of reward kicks in.  Take JCPenney’s rewards program.  You earn one point for every dollar you spend.  Once you reach 250 points, you receive a $10 store credit.  The kicker is you must earn the 250 points within 30 days.  This is not very appealing unless you have a major purchase.  Consumers like instant gratification.  The closest you have to it, the better.

So give your loyal customers more reasons to love you.  By doing so, you increase your chance of them telling their friends about your company.
Creative Commons License photo credit: seanmcgrath

Lo importante es el camino que recorremos, las metas son apenas el resultado de ese recorrido. Llegar generalmente significa, volver a empezar!

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Gabriel Catalano

agosto 2010
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