How can businesses increase customer retention during a recession?
As consumers cut back on discretionary spending, businesses must continually seek innovative ways to drive new customers through their doors while maintaining the loyalty of their existing customer base, says Jeff Lipp, CEO of Chockstone. “Executed correctly, a loyalty program is an easy, cost-effective and creative way to attract new customers and encourage repeat visits from your current clientele,” he suggests.
Lipp says that personalization is key. “By focusing on customer data and analytics, you can cater to and influence consumer behavior to drive revenue,” he continues. “Once you understand your customer, you can deliver targeted rewards at the point of sale, solving the ‘final mile’ problem that plagues businesses.” Programs vary widely by industry, but the best ones offer analysis that allows merchants to get a clear window into their customers’ habits, Lipp says. In a slow economy, a business working with limited resources can identify its most profitable segments and customize real-time offers that encourage those customers.
How are mobile marketing solutions evolving to become more effective at the point of sale?
“Today’s mobile phones have been integrated into our daily lives more than ever before,” replies Steven Gray, COO of Money Mailer. Whether they are at their homes or in stores, he explains, consumers can be presented with opportunities to opt in to text messages or other marketing programs.
“Whether the mobile call to action is to enter a contest/sweepstakes, be notified of special sale alerts, or receive a coupon that can be used on the spot, the message can be relayed on in-store signage, Money Mailer shared mail or even product packages,” Gray points out. “In response, consumers can either text in, scan a bar code with their camera phone, or surf the mobile Web. When the consumer is at the point of sale, they can use their mobile phone to redeem an offer simply by showing a code from his phone to the clerk.”
We integrate e-mail with our outbound telemarketing lead generation efforts. Should we add direct mail to our mix too?
“One of the most interesting discoveries of a survey we analyzed was that a majority — 63.4% — of our ‘best in class’ hi-tech marketers integrate e-mail and direct mail into their telemarketing strategy 25% more often than other marketers, ” Kathy Rizzo, VP of marketing at TeleNet Marketing Solutions, responds.
She suggests expanding your media mix to include direct mail. “You may use it in advance of your calling effort — which is a traditional use of direct mail with telemarketing,” she explains. “Alternatively, you can utilize it as a print-on-demand, customized mailer based on the results of your telemarketing call and prospect profile. This is a great technique to use when you are nurturing contacts and providing relevant content.”