Do you know that any business typically has 20-60% of customers becoming inactive in any given year? But do we do anything about them? Rarely. It’s time to change that.
We all want our customers to continuously buy from us. But it is not always the case. Some customers leave on purpose and some find a better alternative. We call such customers dormant or inactive customers.
So what do we do? Should we leave them and keep finding new customers or should we try and bring them back? Ofcourse, working to bring them back is an economical option rather than finding new customers. By now we all know that attracting a new customer can cost you five times more than retaining an existing customer. (Lee Resources 2010).
This is why businesses should focus on inactive customers and try to win them back. Since these customers interacted with your business, you still have their data and you can use it for your benefit to re-engage these customers. Keeping that in mind, let us see some effective ways to reactivate dormant customers.
#1 Understand why & when your customers dropped off
Firstly, you need to identify who your dormant customers are and what could be the reasons for their abandonment.
Every customer has different expectations & different reasons for dropping off. You need to study your customer data & use that information to draw patterns & identify when & why a customer has become inactive.
Now, you need to find out whether they are interacting with your business in any way or not. For instance, whether they open or respond to your emails or whether they have interacted with your customer service in the past. Then, you can think of conducting the relevant re-engagement campaign for them.
#2 Start a loyalty/reward program
Your first re-engagement strategy should be a loyalty/rewards program. In fact, 75% of customers say that they would like to purchase from a brand that offers a loyalty program.
A loyalty program will not only encourage customers to buy from your brand but will also make them come back again and again. You can even include gamified elements like VIP tiers, progress bars, personalized rewards & gifts to make your loyalty program more appealing to customers.
One thing that you must consider here is to make the sign-up process simple. The easier it is for your customers to be a part of your loyalty program, the better results you will get. You can also provide bonus points to get customers excited and re-engage with your brand. For instance, you can start with a 40% discount to attract dormant customers which can eventually lead to dormant win-backs
#3 Cross-sell And Upsell Intelligently
Cross-selling is another great way to encourage people to buy more from your brand. Here’s how:
- You showcase to your customer a variety of products that complement what they have bought from you or what they are looking for.
- For example, if a customer buys cushion covers, the related products could be sofa covers, table mats, rugs, etc.
- You can display these complementary items at the time of checkout or on the product page itself. (Now, wonder why you end up buying so much from Amazon or why you always buy fries at McDonalds!)
Just like cross-selling, upselling is also a great technique to encourage a customer to buy more from you. Here’s how:
- In upselling you convince the customer to buy something else than what they have chosen. This something else is much better and more useful than the product that the customer chose in the first place.
- For example, suppose your budget to buy a smartphone is INR 15,000. You are getting a smartphone with 64GB memory space in that budget. But, the shopkeeper shows you a smartphone with a memory of 128GB that you can get by just paying an additional INR 2,000. So, in a way, you will be getting a better product by paying some extra money.
- You might have seen comparison charts on e-commerce websites comparing two or more products just to give you an idea of their features and prices. It is an upselling technique, my friend!
Both these techniques are an easy and sure-shot way to bring dormant customers back. Try them once and thank us later.
#4 Abandoned Cart Reminder
An abandonment cart reminder is sent to someone who has added items to their cart but has not completed the purchase yet. Some reports suggest that most ecommerce sites have an abandoned cart rate of 15%. This shows that abandonment carts are an issue to be tackled. Here’s how you can handle it:
- Create an abandoned cart reminder in which you remind your customer that they have forgotten to buy the items. You can also add an additional discount to encourage them to buy from you this time.
- If a discount was already applied in the cart, remind your customer about the expiring discount and encourage them to buy from you.
- Focus on one product only if the abandoned cart has many products. It has been seen that customers generally add multiple products to their cart to decide later what they should buy. So, instead of diluting the effect of your reminder by talking about all the products, focus on any one product and try to attract the customer again.
- Confirm whether they want to hear more from you or not. You cannot keep nudging your customers regarding cart abandonment. So just to save your relationship, take their consent on whether they want to still hear from you or not.
Sending a series of abandoned cart reminder emails is a tried and tested way to activate dormant customers once again.
#5 Stay in touch, but with a purpose
If a customer is not buying from you now, it does not mean that they will not buy from you ever. They might just be waiting for the right product. So, you must stay connected with your dormant customers by sending them the latest updates about your products, special deals that are coming up, and if something exciting happens.
So, even if someone is not buying from you yet, you must consider them a part of your community only and keep sending out your content to them. You never know what will catch their attention and they will return to you!
Finally, tell them what you want!
As you use the strategies mentioned above, here’s one thing that is very important for you. Make sure you are very clear to the inactive customers that you are eagerly waiting for them to buy again. You might have often received emails stating that “We miss you!” or “We have reserved your cart”. Such emails clearly say how much you value your customers even if they have not bought anything for a long time from your brand.
Do not let your customers just go away so easily. Your business has earned them and you must do everything to keep them. Give discounts, send convincing messages, sell what your customers actually need, and make your voice heard.