This post is written by Emma Shannon, a member of Vistaprint’s Social Media team.
No matter how long you’ve been operating your small business, creating and maintaining a loyal customer base can be a daunting task. And now, with the summer months upon us, the reality of customers “forgetting” about you while they’re on the beach is setting in. But not to worry! We have a few quick tips to increase your customer loyalty and keep you top of mind during the summer months.
1) Membership Program – By utilizing a membership program, and offering special “privileges” for your members, people will want to opt in to get exclusive promos and deals. It’s also another way to build a strong mailing list – ask members for personal information such as their phone number, email address, and home address in order to better stay in touch with them.
Hint: If you have a storefront, keep a mailing list sheet and a pen by the cash register. People checking out will definitely be interested in the deals!
2) Loyalty Cards – By simply ordering these punch cards and giving them to your customers, you will increase the chance that they will come back to you; you’ve created a mini-goal for them! (“I’m only 3 punches away from a free coffee!”) By offering a simple reward that makes sense for your business, you’ll, in turn, gain business and long term customer loyalty that’s worth more than that free cup of coffee.
Hint: Get a personal and unique stamp or hole-punch to update your cards.
3) Birthday Deals – Once you have information about your members, let them know that they’re important to you and your business by sending them a custom company birthday card with a special discount during their birthday month. Sending birthday cards with special deals will not only bring your business to the front of their mind, but it will also encourage them to use their deal during the month.
Hint: Include a loyalty card with one free punch in the birthday card…it will encourage the recipient to keep coming back!
4) Thank You Cards – Sending thank you cards to your top customers every few months is a fun way to remind them of you and your business, and to let them know you value them. Something as simple as: “Thank you for being a loyal customer! Enjoy 5% off your next purchase just by showing this card,” can help drive people to you and keep them coming back.
Hint: Hand-write the cards, or add a signature at the bottom to make them even more personal.
5) Networking – Networking is a great way to keep in contact with customers during your time apart. If you don’t already have one, create both a Twitter and Facebook account for your business to let your customers know what’s going on. Having these outlets is an easy way for you to keep your customers informed.
Hint: If you’re not sure where to start, try updating your page once a week with a photo related to your business; showcase a new product, a behind-the-scenes shot, images of your storefront and more!
And here’s some more advice about how to Stand Out Online.