Monday, April 14, 2008

10 Ways to Keep Customers Buying

It's one thing to get customers to purchase your products and another to have customers continue to buy from you. This article is going share with you the top 10 ways to keep your customers coming back for more.

1. Offer a freebie with each purchase Offering something free with each purchase is a great marketing technique and customers love it. It doesn't have to be something expensive either. It could simply be a small token showing your appreciation for them being a valued patron. Depending on the product you offer it's important to keep the free item somewhat related to what you sell in general. It could also be something with your website name on it such as; a pen, small notepad, calendar, key chain, fridge magnet, etc.

2. Quality is essential Offering quality products is truly the only way to go. Regardless whether you buy products wholesale or make your own products such as crafts, it's important that they be of high quality. Offering products that are not of high quality may earn you a first sale from a customer but rarely a second. Customers will return and purchase more products from you if they can tell they are high quality items.

3. Value Quality and value go hand in hand. Every customer is looking to purchase products that are a good value to them. This doesn't mean they have to be dirt cheap by any means. But it does mean that you need to be competitive and offer them a quality product at a reasonable price. Let's say you sell e-books. An e-book of course is a product that consists of no overhead for you and can be resold an infinite number of times. So instead of pricing that e-book at $39.99, offer the e-book for $9.99. Your jaw may have dropped at this point but let me explain why. It makes much more sense to sell 50 e-books at $9.99 and be ahead with $499.50 verses selling only 3 of the same e-books for $39.99 and only being ahead with $119.97.

4. Uniqueness You probably wouldn't be too happy if you went to a trade show only to realize that half of the vendors sold the exact products you also sell. Customers feel the same way. They want something that is unique. This could simply be a variation on an existing product. For example you sell handmade pet garments. Since there are a large amount of pet garments for potential customers choose from, what is it about yours that make them unique? Perhaps you make yours with a certain type of fabric or make them in a unique style. Be creative and don't be a carbon copy of the next guy.

5. Customer testimonials If your not utilizing past customer testimonials you are really missing out on a powerful selling tool. Everyone wants to know the product they are thinking about buying is going to be a high quality product. Testimonials from past customers can ease their minds and give them that extra nudge to go from thinking about buying your product to actually buying it.

6. Money back guarantee Consider offering a money back guarantee if your customers are not satisfied with your product. Like customer testimonials, having a money back guarantee can give your potential customers confidence in the quality of your product and perhaps that little nudge they need to go ahead and purchase it. If you offer a money back guarantee and a customer is not satisfied you must be prompt and return their money.

7. Sales and time sensitive offers If you utilize a mailing list, announce to your list when you have a sale. Another thing to do is to offer a time sensitive offer. For example tell your list members that they can purchase a certain item at a discounted price until a certain date and/or time. The sense of urgency helps to create impulse buying. Or you can even offer a discount on a product to the first 10 customers that purchase it.

8. Refer a friend campaign A creative way to offer your customers an extra bonus is to set up a refer a friend campaign. You can do this by setting up an affiliate type program where each participating customer would receive an affiliate code which would have your website URL and their affiliate code at the end. Or if you prefer you could simply issue the participating customers an affiliate number. If they have a friend that purchases a product from you, they would simply input that code number into a referrer box upon checkout. The customer participating in the refer a friend campaign would receive the point for the referral. You could set it up where when they reach a certain number of points they get a certain percentage off their order. This could be graduating for example; 10 refer a friend points would equal 10% off their entire order. 20 refer a friend points would equal 20% off their entire purchase and so on.

9. Coupons with purchases When your customers order from you consider adding a coupon to their order that they can use on their next purchase. For tangible products, the coupon could be placed in the package of their order or attached to their receipt. For non-tangible products like e-goods you can set up an autoresponder that will send out an automatic email to the customer after their purchase and contain the coupon. This non-tangible coupon could be a code containing letters and numbers. They would redeem their coupons during the checkout process of their next purchase through your website.

10. Customer loyalty programs Customers love to be rewarded so why not reward them for their loyalty? This can be done by rewarding them with something extra after so many purchases they make. This can work for both tangible and non-tangible purchases. For tangible product purchases you would include the loyalty reward item in with their package. For non-tangible items it could be in the form of sending them an email offering them 20-30% off their next purchase as a part of your customer loyalty rewards program.

© 2008 Kelle Arvay is the owner of Pattern Mart with offers customers access to thousands of craft patterns that they can purchase and download instantly. In addition to running several other online businesses, she is the co-publisher of a online magazine called Creative Times. She utilizes her own advice that she has gained over the years in her businesses.

You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author byline above is included. Copy and Paste the article including authors byline to use this article.

No comments: