The answer is simple, boring, and something far from sexy.
One of the most important assets ALL businesses should have is a CUSTOMER LIST, and it should ALWAYS be growing. But before you stop reading, bare with me. There are golden nuggets strewn throughout this article that’s super relevant in today’s digital world.
For those of you not familiar with Customer Lists, FYI, successful business owners and expert marketers know that a customer list is GOLD. It’s more important than any individual order or inventory because a customer list can generate revenue, if used properly, even during the slowest time of the year.
According to Multichannelmerchant.com – “… a cataloger’s most-prized asset in the eyes of the investment community is its house file. Appraising your customer list helps financial experts estimate the overall value of your company.”
In recent years, businesses have developed various methods and strategies when it comes to building their customer list and utilizing it to generate revenue, grow their reviews, and building loyalty for their brand. We’ll cover some of the intelligent ways local businesses can put it into practice and increase the value of their company.
Customer Lists are critical to the survival of any business, but why are so many businesses NOT making this a priority?
After speaking with 100s of local business owners recently, only about 2 out of 10 made a real effort growing their customer list. Below are the top reasons why growing a customer list was not a priority:
- Most local businesses, retail & food specifically, believe they are not in an industry that can benefit from a customer list. They believe Customer Lists are for B2B businesses, not B2C.
- They have no idea on how to efficiently grow their customer list without feeling like they are being intrusive to the customer.
- If they are growing their customer list, most businesses don’t have the expertise to take advantage of their customer list, so it becomes less of a priority.
After convincing some of them to focus on their customer list and teaching them how to USE the customer list, 100% of the businesses I’ve worked with who started growing their customer list saw a 10 – 60% increase in their monthly sales within the first 90 days.
Facts about Current Customer List for ANY Business in ANY Industry
Common knowledge is, customers who have purchased a product or service are more likely to spend more money with that same business. By simply tapping into an existing customer base, businesses have seen a rapid growth in profits. But how likely, and how valuable are they?
According to Marketing Metrics,
“the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%”
Bain & Company, along with Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School.
“Businesses which boosted customer retention rates by as little as 5% saw increases in their profits ranging from 5% to a whopping 95%.”
Comparing New Customer to Current Customer…
“Acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing customer”
If these numbers aren’t convincing enough to focus on growing a customer list with current customers, then you can stop reading right here.
What’s a Good Customer List VS. a GREAT Customer List?
A good customer list is a list of people that have purchased a product or service from a specific business. The information should consist of:
- Your customer’s name (must)
- Your customer’s mobile phone number (must)
- Your customer’s Email (must)
- Your customer’s Address (recommended)
But today, with the ability to reach audiences through numerous digital channels, a customer list includes POTENTIAL customers (leads) who have yet to spend a single dime for a product or service with a specific business.
Current Customers + Leads = GREAT CUSTOMER LIST
Many small businesses might think a LEAD is only important for a sales team in the B2B space or the service industry, like home improvement or financial services. But, leads are also extremely powerful for any retail or restaurant business.
How to Grow Customer List on Auto-Pilot
There are many ways to grow a customer list, but the three I am about to share is the easiest way to start collecting customer information on auto-pilot, and the cost is minuscule once you realize the return you will be getting.
- Using Sponsored Ads to get in front of customers and potential customers on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Local Search – Business can easily collect at least an email in exchange for a juicy offer.
- Train and reward employees to collect information from customers – You’ll be surprised how many customers are willing to give up an email or phone number for a small discount.
- Add a pop-up box on the website with an offer or entry into a contest in exchange for an email and/or phone number.
The key to a successful growth of a customer list is to be consistent and deliberate. If businesses don’t ask for the information they won’t ever get it.
Yes, there is an added cost to implementing these methods, as there is with upgrading most things in a business. But, it’s only a one-time cost for a customer that will be loyal to a business, if the customer list is utilized properly.
How to Generate Revenue with A Customer List
With a customer list, the key to revenue generation is communication with the people on that list. There are three popular ways successful businesses are communicating with customers on that list, at a very low cost.
- Retargeting them on social media using Sponsored Ads – Retargeting customers using Sponsored Ads are very inexpensive compared to Sponsored Ads to a cold audience. Businesses can and are not limited to:
- Email Marketing – Using email marketing services to send segmented emails to specific customers.
- Text Messages – Using text message marketing services to send segmented text messages to specific customers.
Using the above methods of communication, business can:
- Ask for reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other review platforms
- Promote a new menu item or product
- Promote popular or older menu item or product
- Offer a time-sensitive promotion
- Broadcast a special event
- Ask to share the business with friends
- The opportunities are endless…
Growing a customer list and using the list as a source of revenue is not rocket science, and any business owner can and should implement a system in collecting customer information.
If you have any questions about anything I shared in this article, or if you would like to share other tips and tricks on how your business is growing your customer list, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below!