We’ve all been there (well, most of us*), dumped out of the blue for no apparent reason. “It’s not you, it’s me”. By the time we reach maturity we all know this is one big, fat, out and out lie. It was most definitely ‘you’. However, we all come to realise that it’s all part of the journey of life and no one is perfect after all. The same of course can be said for a brand’s relationship with its customers and their own marketing lifecycle.
So you’ve revamped your shop either online or offline, you have a new proposal, new offers and a shiny, exciting new look. You are more inviting than ever having addressed your weaknesses with a level headed approach to what is expected of you. You have also invited all your closest advocates who adore your latest propositions. Then you see your ex across the street…
What do you do? Potentially, they are still a friend on social media and they haven’t unsubscribed, although you haven’t heard from them in quite some time. Do you invite them in, do you go over and give them a hug? After all, they once spent money on you!
Most companies, regardless of industry have this dilemma. The majority of your now, very established, database is stagnant. Old friends you don’t see anymore. That leaky bucket of single purchasers or loyal customers who found you attractive at one time but have disappeared with no word or warning. Do they still like you? Why did they go away anyway?! Chatting to them now with the wrong message could send them packing for good.
The current marketplace for any industry is fierce, price-lead, customer service orientated and reputations can be smashed with negative testimonials and open gossip on the internet (which is always true, of course). What if your ex suddenly ‘likes’ one of your social media messages? It’s very tempting to suddenly open the floodgates and let them know everything they have missed in one fell swoop.
Our own research has found if you suddenly re-engage a ‘disinterested’ ex after six months with the wrong message, 30% will immediately unsubscribe. Too much, too soon of the same old story. This could be costly in the long run and if they complain via the ISPs this could have a direct impact on your active database - your engaged, paying customers.
So how do you avoid an argument and put your best foot forward? Be friends again? Having been through this several times* (with clients) there are four key recommendations to consider:
RELEVANCE – It’s an old cliché but you need to showcase why you are fabulous once again. Stronger, more empathetic, listening to their needs. Be light-hearted and engaging!
PREFERENCE – Flexibility is key. Allow your customers to say when and how often they want to hear from you. Give them only the content they want to receive.
FEEDBACK – Ouch! This can be difficult as nobody willingly embraces negativity and the truth can sometimes hurt. However, in order to move forward this can be the best remedy and regain customer loyalty.
INCENTIVE – Be nice! Take them out for a pizza or at least give them a discount in acknowledgement of your rekindled relationship.
Restraining yourself from indulging in sudden outbursts of correspondence is, of course, key. Avoiding loss can only occur if you can segment your exes when they suddenly pop back into your life. They have a history with you and are not going to accept the same message as your active database. Let’s face it, they dumped you before and have moved on already.
RedEye champions this level of detailed segmentation. “It’s great to see you again. How have you been?” One message, or perhaps two, inviting them back to your brand. No selling required. Allow them to set their preferences in terms of both frequency and content. Send them to a feedback portal; it will serve you well in the long run and provide valuable insight into your leaky bucket. Let them choose which channel of correspondence they prefer and on which device. Give them back some love; free delivery, a discount, a special offer for recommended friends.
Syphon off your frenemies and give them their own correspondence for a time and get them back on board to champion you once again. You may well find with your fabulous new attitude and understanding they regret ever leaving you in the first place!
*author has never knowingly been dumped (she claims).