The holidays have come and gone and hopefully, you were able to capitalize somewhat on consumer sentiment towards supporting small businesses and were fortunate enough to acquire new customers. Now, how to keep them?

Retaining customers is crucial as it’s far more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain existing customers. Additionally, studies have shown that it’s making a sale to an existing customer has a higher success rate (as much as 60-70%) than the success rate of selling to a new one (5-20%).

But how?

Keep in Touch

Hopefully you’ve amassed contact information for your customers throughout the past year, if you hadn’t already, now’s a good time to start utilizing email lists to spread awareness to your existing customers regarding new products, sales, or operational changes. This helps keep your business top of mind, and top of email box.

Consider a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs today extend far beyond the punch cards of yesteryear. Free programs may include a program that allows those customers who opt in to receive first dibs on new products while a paid program could take a page from Sephora’s Flash program that offers upgraded shipping, or you could offer local delivery on qualifying purchases.

Make it Personal

Include handwritten thank you notes with certain orders or send thank you emails to let your best customers know how much you appreciate their business. It’s often said that you have to ask for the sale but it’s also important to show how much you appreciate it when you get it. Additionally, many consumers, particularly the millennial generation (keep in mind, these people are now in their 30s), are more likely to share creatively packaged purchases and personal notes on social media which provides additional exposure for your brand.