Every business out there has at some point tried out different customer acquisition strategies with the goal of growing the business. However, if you focus all your efforts on finding new clients and not on maintaining previous clients, your business and brand will struggle to grow. If you wish to effectively grow your customer base, you have to also focus on retaining your current list of customers.
By engaging with your current customer base consistently, you will be able to build trust and loyalty between your brand and its customers. If done correctly, your current customer base will keep coming back for more, while referring more customers to your brand.
The repeat business, referrals, and your current customer acquisition strategy can work together to build a strong sustainable business.
What this article will cover:
- Why customer engagement is important to maximize revenue
- How the funnel works (traffic -> leads -> customer -> advocates)
- How to get leads (using vyper)
- How to turn those leads into customers (using Gist)
- How to engage them (using vyper ambassador program)
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement can be defined as the interactions between a customer and a brand. Engagement can be simple, as in a customer liking a social media post from a brand, or it can be a month-long discussion that a brand undergoes with a single customer.
Customer engagement allows brands to build personal connections with their customers. Engaged customers are loyal customers that are more likely to keep on supporting a brand. Engaged customers are also more likely to spread the word and influence others to purchase your products.
Because of the power behind engaging a loyal customer, marketers are not just relying on traditional advertising and experiences, as effective customer engagement has the potential of reaching two-thirds of a brand’s profits.
Why Customer Engagement Is Important to Maximize Revenue
According to Gallup, “Fully engaged customers are 23% more likely than average customers to spend with you.” Not having a customer engagement strategy will mean that your brand will miss out on plenty of opportunities to build solid relationships with loyal customers.
Ray Wang of Constellation Research conducted a study on customer engagement. The results show that companies with improved customer engagement tend to:
- Increase up-sell revenue from 13% to 51%
- Increase cross-sell by 22%
- Increase order sizes from 5% to 85%
The statistics show that there’s definitely a direct relationship between a brand’s customer engagement levels and the profitability of the business.
Focusing only on acquiring new customers won’t necessarily be enough to grow your customer base. Engaging customers between purchases will allow you to strengthen your customers’ emotional relationship with your brand. Retaining a loyal current customer base while acquiring new ones is the key to growing a sustainable business.
Customer engagement helps to build loyal and trustworthy relationships between a brand and its customers. This is the relationship you want your brand to have with customers that frequently shop on your store, as they won’t hesitate to add more products to their carts.
How the funnel works (traffic -> leads -> customer -> advocates)
Behind every successful business is a sales funnel that is fine-tuned to convert traffic into paying customers. Online traffic is directed to your website, where they are converted to leads and then converted to customers.
Traffic to Leads
Depending on your strategy, you can direct paid or organic traffic to your website from other online platforms such as social media, Google search engine, or growth hacking services such as Vyper. These platforms have tons of daily traffic. With the right strategy, you can find a suitable target audience for your products.
When you successfully direct targeted traffic to your website, customers will have the option to purchase one of your products. These customers can be considered leads as they do have some form of interest in your products, otherwise, they wouldn’t have clicked through to your website.
Leads to Customers
People who frequently visit your website and show interest in your product or service by downloading a free lead magnet or reading up on blog posts are considered leads. Leads will have a great interest in your brand, but will not necessarily purchase anything, yet. You will have to keep convincing your leads to make that first purchase which will convert them into customers.
Newly acquired leads can be difficult to convert into customers right away. People need to develop trust with a brand before they are comfortable with letting go of their cash. You can optimize your landing page and tweak your website to show visitors that your brand has what they are looking for and can be trusted in delivering on its promises.
However, relationships are not built instantly, which is why you have to be in it for the long run and consistently build your brand with your leads. This can be done through email marketing, or through social media with the goal of having a lead click through to your website and make a purchase.
Customer to Advocates
The ultimate goal for any brand is to have a loyal customer base that is willing to stick with their brand through thick and thin. You would have put in all the work to acquire new customers, now its time to convert those customers into loyal advocates of your brand, which is just as important as acquiring them.
One method of forming advocates for your brand is (you guessed it!) through customer engagement.
This last step of the funnel is usually something that is left out of most marketing strategies as brands are focused primarily on boosting their sales by acquiring new customers. As mentioned earlier, engaging your customers between purchases can assist you in improving your revenue.
You can manage your customer engagement with services from Gist that offer email marketing and live chat. These services can assist you in convincing leads to become customers. Lead generation services such as Vyper can assist you in acquiring new leads and referrals through giveaways and ambassador programs.
As mentioned earlier, there are multiple lead generation strategies. However, it’s a long wait until you see great results from acquiring leads from social media, and paid traffic can be costly if not done correctly. Viral giveaways, on the other hand, is a quick and effective means of generating leads.
Viral giveaways (the examples in this post are hosted on our new partners VYPER platform) have the potential to produce massive amounts of organic leads within a short space of time.
Niche products that are restricted on platforms like Facebook and Google can still manage to get a great response from a contest.
By hosting a giveaway over a short period, you can request that leads supply their emails for a chance to win the grand prize. As a bonus entry, leads can select to follow your brand on social media, thus improving their chances of winning.
Recording all this data over a small window of time can be difficult. However, Vyper has the tools to manage giveaways smoothly.
With Vyper you can:
- Create giveaways that generate lead emails
- Create a contest landing page
- Create an optional contest leaderboard to boost traffic to your website
- Bonus entry option that requests contestants to follow you on social media
- Request referral entries from contestant so that you can receive referral traffic
- Send follow-up and reminder emails
How to Turn Those Leads into Customers (Using Gist)
Once you have built up a solid list of emails from leads, you can begin marketing your products to those leads through email. The goal being, to convert leads into customers. Again, this can be a tedious process for brands to have to track manually, which is why some form of automation can certainly be a lifesaver.
Gist offers an all-in-one solution for companies that wish to interact with leads effectively. Gist offers email marketing and live chat solutions that hugely automate most of your daily marketing requirements, such as tracking email campaigns.
With the data you receive from email campaigns, you can further personalize your next campaign to suit your lead’s behavior. This adds a much needed personal touch to your brand’s email, as it makes it seem as if someone from your company took the time to craft out an email relevant to the lead’s needs.
Gist also offers event tracking, a feature that tracks user interactions on your website. Eg. when someone signs up for a free trial, Gist will notify you so you can then put in place a relevant marketing strategy for that lead.
Retaining your current customers can be achieved through customer engagement. Think of it as talking to customers in a physical store. You treat customers as friends and you try to build great relationships with them so that they will come back. If you are good friends with someone, you would want to see that person more often right?
Customer engagement can also assist in opening the door for referrals. If a customer loves a brand, they are going to tell everyone about it. They will probably argue with anyone that opposes your brand (Apple vs. Android or Star Wars vs. Star Trek fanboys). These highly engaged customers are your brand ambassadors.
If your brand can continue to build on its relationship with these ambassadors, you will be able to create a community of ambassadors that will assist your brand in spreading the word.
How to Engage Them (Using Ambassador Programs)
VYPER features a Referral/Ambassador Program template that allows you to easily create an ambassador program. The process is simple and only requires you to make minor changes to the template to suit your brand’s requirements.
You can get started with VYPER for free and try designing your own ambassador program.
Once you have selected the Ambassador template, you will be taken to the template editor.
A pre-loaded template will load allowing you to edit the following steps:
- Sign Up Page
- Thank You Page
Sign Up Page
The ‘Sign Up’ landing page allows users to sign up and activate your brand’s ambassador program. This page can easily be edited by clicking on the elements you want to edit. There are additional customization options on the left that will help you to build a page that will suit your brand’s theme.
What you choose to put into your landing page is totally up to you. However, a well-designed landing page is more likely to convert visitors into customers. It’s crucial that you add images, branding, and benefits of the program to the landing page.
Once a user has signed up for the program, their email address will be entered into the campaign results page. You can export the list of emails into marketing software like Gist, to be used in your next email marketing campaign.
Thank You Page
On the ‘Thank You’ page, members will be able to view their points, ambassador rankings, and create actions for users to earn more points. The actions you set can assist you in getting referrals, followers on social media, and website traffic.
You can edit your actions further by adding bonus actions. Bonus actions can be tailored to suit your next marketing campaign. An example would be to set up actions that will help you generate new leads.
VYPER and Gist are two powerful platforms that offer companies to innovatively acquire new leads and turn them into customers. Vyper allows you to create an ambassador program that will assist you in building up your lead list and Gist has the tools to assist you in effectively engaging with leads to convert them into customers.
Both platforms serve different purposes. However, integrating them both into a marketing strategy can potentially increase new leads and customers. Both Gist and Vyper also have free plans that are great for testing out their services and features.
Do you have a strategy in place to grow your customer base? How are you engaging with your leads and customers? Let us know in the comments below.