Why do we spend so much of our adver­tis­ing bud­gets on acqui­si­tion rather than woo­ing our exist­ing customers?

Mar­ket­ing bud­gets are biased towards acqui­si­tion. The well-established knowl­edge of the supe­rior value of exist­ing cus­tomers sits in the back of our minds while we allo­cate large chunks of bud­get to new customers.

Research has shown that, within Europe, it takes 7 new cus­tomers to equal the rev­enue of 1 repeat shopper.

Equal revenue: 7 new customers to 1 repeat customer.

Research can’t tell us why mar­keters are spend­ing so much on new cus­tomers, but it can pro­vide a com­pelling case for why this is not the right direc­tion for retail marketing.

While the major­ity of peo­ple vis­it­ing your site are new shop­pers they are also the most likely to leave with­out buy­ing. Your repeat cus­tomers may only be 10% of your web­site vis­i­tors, but they are more likely to com­plete a purchase.

Some of the best ways to reach your exist­ing cus­tomers are not through dis­play and search ads – they already know where to find you – but through social media and cus­tomised email marketing.

The inclu­sion of social media in your mar­ket­ing plans also helps bring exist­ing cus­tomers back for more. If they already know and like your brand, they are more likely to fol­low you on Twit­ter or like you on Face­book too. Spe­cial ‘social only’ offers for your fans will keep their atten­tion on social media and help you keep their cus­tom. So be sure to add your social chan­nels to your web­site, emails and dis­play ads.

A great exam­ple of cus­tomised email mar­ket­ing is Ama­zon. Ama­zon tracks user jour­neys, prod­uct views, wish lists and incom­plete shop­ping carts to gen­er­ate cus­tomised emails for their exist­ing customers.

Why does this work? Cus­tomers are see­ing per­son­alised emails geared towards their pur­chase habits; they see updated pric­ing for prod­ucts they’ve added to wish lists and even stock updates for items in their bas­ket. These reminders are no doubt help­ing Ama­zon har­vest what could have been lost income due to cus­tomer forgetfulness.

Amazon markets directly to existing customers via email

Let’s break old habits and keep exist­ing cus­tomers keen with tar­geted, per­son­alised cam­paigns. We’re work­ing in an era of “prove it” or lose it, so if you need some data to back up your repeat cus­tomer pitch, check out our recent Adobe Dig­i­tal Index Report: The ROI from Mar­ket­ing to Exist­ing Online Cus­tomers.