Why You Need More Than ‘First Time Customer Only’ Offers
Friends, let’s get one thing straight: your current customers are just as important as a new customer! They all use the same money after all. So why is it so popular to only offer discounts to new customers? We understand the allure of drawing in customers with a good offer - that is what FetchRev is all about after all - but successful customer marketing requires a lot more if you want them to come back.
While first time offers can help to draw in new customers, they are not profitable in the long run. Why? Because you’re not the only location offering first time customer offers. Your service and location could have both been great, but there is still a (pretty high) chance they will go to another location just so they can save money. That's why it is crucial to also provide offers that entice customers to return to your business, after their first visit. Some options:
Buy one, get one offers are almost always successful. They can be used by both new and current customers, as well as encourages either multi-person visits or return visits, depending on what is offered for free. For example, a roller rink can offer free entrance for 1 kid with the purchase of 2 other kids, which encourages multi-family visits. Whereas a spa can offer 50% off massage with the purchase of a massage which encourages a return visit for the second massage.
Gift Card Offers
Another offer available for both new and current customers, these are offers that require either (a) a purchase of a certain value to qualify for a free gift card or (b) a purchase of a certain number of gift cards to qualify for a prize of a certain value. These types of offers are especially successful during the holiday season, but can be used year-round as well. Seen often in the health and beauty industry, customers can purchase $100 in gift cards or services and get a $10 gift card for free. Other industries also take advantage of this, like food and beverage. For example, during Christmas season Chipotle runs an offer where you get a free gift card with the purchase of 5 other ones.
The classic punch card, where you stamp or hole-punch a loyalty card, is a very common method in the entertainment industry. These are highly recommended for business looking to break out of the one-time customer cycle, as they are built specifically to provide value on a returned visit. For example, a trampoline park may provide a stamp every time a customer buys a jump pass, and after 10 stamps the 11th jump is free.
Another great way to encourage new and return customers is to build a loyalty program, where customers acquire points for visits or purchases and then later uses those points to redeem products or services. This is a bit harder to set up, as it requires a system capable of tracking customers and assigning points, but we highly recommend as it is one of the easiest ways to encourage customer return and spending.
Set up a day where anyone wearing a shirt with your company logo on it (this only works if you sell shirts by the way) gets a discount. Pick a slower day for your business, like “T-Shirt Tuesday”, be sure your offer is enticing enough, and be sure to properly market it in-store and online. This is a fun and not-completely digital way to get customers back in your door, as well as build brand loyalty.
We don't want to put shame to first time customer offers, because as we said before they are successful at bringing in new customers - but it takes a lot more to keep them coming back.