Ask any online business broker for a list of things that will help you sell an online business for a top price, and growing sales volume and strong profitability are sure to be on the top of the list. To achieve those numbers, you need satisfied customers. Studies show that it’s much more expensive for any business to attract a new customer than it is for one to retain a current one, and that’s even truer in the world of online businesses where more inexpensive forms of marketing like signage and flyers just aren’t possible.
To keep your business growing and profitable, you simply must focus on keeping your current customers happy. One simply way to do that is to periodically let them know how much their business means to you. Here are eight ways that your online business can show your appreciation in a way that will have a real impact on your customers:
1. Reward Their Loyalty. The customers that buy from you the most often are the ones that you want to remain the most satisfied. Starting a customer loyalty program is a great way to thank them and encourage them to continue shopping with you. Send an email to your best customers and ask them if they wish to opt in for the club. Use reports from your checkout system to track the frequency of purchases and send discount coupons or gift cards when they achieve different dollar amount or purchase frequency levels.
2. Say Happy Birthday. Collect customer’s birthdays when they make their first purchase. When the big day rolls around, send along an e-card that wishes them a happy birthday and gives them a gift card or a substantial discount. Want to make an even bigger impression? Make it a traditional greeting card that you send via snail mail!
3. Mailing List Promotions. A mailing list is an important marketing tool for any business, so many online companies already offer a discount for agreeing to be added to theirs; however, the discounts and incentives often stop after that. Don’t make that mistake! Reward customers who sign up for your mailing list at least once per month with a private sale or coupon. This will let them know you appreciate them and cut down on the risk that they’ll ever opt out of your list.
4. Give Something Away. Social media marketing is also vital to the success of your business, so you want to keep your followers and fans engaged and feeling appreciated. One simple way to do that is to hold contests on a regular basis. You can have the contest be related to a theme. For example, you can have them submit photos of a pet or their family dressed for Halloween in October. Alternatively, you can simply accept entries for anyone who likes or shares a post and then just choose a name at random to be the winner. Make sure to recognize the winner on your social media accounts and on your website if he or she gives you permission.
5. Don’t forget the holidays. Sending greeting cards during the winter holiday season with a coupon or small denomination gift card inside can be a wonderful way to say thanks. To stand out, make your card a Thanksgiving card! This way, you may attract some holiday purchases, and your card is sure to get noticed.
6. Offer Surprise Gifts. Periodically, send an email to every customer and offer a completely free gift. You could send it out on the anniversary of their first purchase from you or to every customer at once. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, so long as it has a high perceived value.
7. Say Thanks. Picking up the phone and giving your customers a call a few days after they receive their product or use your service can be incredibly powerful. Write a script for your team to use to say thanks for doing business with you. Even if most of the calls end up being messages left on answering machines, you’re sure to get the point across that their business is important to you.
8. Interact with Your Customers. Asking customers for feedback on a regular basis through email surveys and social media posts and surveys shows that you value their opinion and want their business. Don’t just ask about their satisfaction. Try sending a survey to ask what they’d like to see you add to your inventory, or allow customers to vote on what new products you start to carry.
Satisfied customers that feel appreciated will definitely help to drive the growth of your company, so that when it comes time to sell, you’ll be able to get the best possible price. To learn more about how you can start managing your business now with a future sale in mind, contact one of our website business brokers! An ecommerce business broker can help you develop a winning strategy and even help you time the sale to help you get the best price.