Many businesses lose focus on returning customers while spending large portions of their budgets on new customer acquisition. The Harvard Business Review noted that the cost of acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times higher than keeping one. A research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company shows that increasing customer retention rate by 5% increases profits by 25% – 95%.
Another statistic to get your imagination going? According to Retargeter, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit to your site. But what if the first visit is their last?
These numbers all suggest the following thesis – companies should pay extreme attention to returning customers.
In the following article, we’re going to share with you several simple, yet very useful ways to interact with returning customers.
If you’re new to the concept, here’s a very brief introduction on how you can start tracking returning visitors – you’ll find it immensely useful as a starting point to the steps specified below. If you’re already aware of your returning vs. new visitors proportions, you can jump straight to the “Welcome your visitors back” section below.
Let’s take a look.
Checking the number of returning visitors
The most universal method to check returning user retention is by using Google Analytics. This can be easily done through selecting “Audience” on the left-hand menu, and then choosing “Audiences”. You’ll see a pie chart on the right side of the screen, showing proportions of all your traffic.
If you want to do a little more investigation into how often users tend to come back to your side, you can also head to Audience -> User Explorer. This will show you how many sessions returning visitors, identified by their respective IPs, have initiated with your website in the selected period.
If you’re a user of a CRM such as Intercom and HubSpot, you’ll also be able to compare the date when users first registered to when they were last active.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can increase those “returning visitors” numbers…
Welcome your visitors back
Might sound trivial, right? Highlighting that you are happy to see your loyal customers or regular visitors is a great way to personalize your website experience. Combining greetings with targeted content based on what they’ve previously viewed, bought or told about themselves gives you a huge possibility of a positive attitude towards further actions.
So how do we build this custom communication strategy? The answer is…
Personalizing the experience
Do you know what your visitors are most interested in? Have you done a survey to verify that? Have you gathered any valuable information about them via feedback or CRMs?
People love to feel exceptional, so start addressing their needs. Producing targeted content that is both timely and relevant can make a difference.
And it also creates huge potential in reaching your visitors offsite.
Grow mailing lists
If your website visitor finds your website engaging (and there’s an educational value to it), he/she might consider subscribing to your newsletter or special offers’ mailing list. To maximize the impact of your emails, we advise that you run a reader interest survey like this one here to ask your site visitors directly what kind of content they’d like to see more of.
If you deliver upon their expectations, you’ll likely notice your visitors’ engagement on your website and visit frequency increase.
Just remember to make sure your mailing strategy is GDPR-compliant and it respects the consents your audience gave you upon subscribing to your newsletter.
What about all those users who’ve visited your site but abandoned it halfway through reading an article or product page? Want to make sure how much hidden potential there is?
Retargeting your website content
Ever heard of retargeting? As mentioned at the beginning of the post, only 2% of website visitors convert on their first visit. Regardless whether your goals are to sell your service/product or grow your newsletter list, retargeting will remind visitors of your site. Perhaps, they’ll realize they’ve got unfinished business there?
Prompting visitors to return to your website or a specific piece of content might establish (or re-establish) a connection between you and them.
Last, but not least…
Offer incentives to returning visitors
As mentioned previously, we all love feeling appreciated and recognized. Many e-commerce managers seek to increase the average lifetime value of the online customer. A great way to achieve this goal is to offer returning visitors a small discount for another purchase. If you’re a SaaS business, you can also think of giving your subscription-based clients early access to new features and products in Beta. This will make your returning visitors feel that they have a say in things, which might lead to strengthening their bond with your brand.
There are many ways to engage your returning visitors. The greater the knowledge about your website visitors, the higher the chance that you will know how to meet their needs precisely and in real-time. Personalized experience on your website significantly increases not only your sales, but also results in better quality leads.