The ultimate guide to long-lasting customer relationships
Employing the latest relationship marketing techniques can build long-lasting customer loyalty and sustainable growth.
If you want your brand to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace, here are some customer relationship marketing ideas to explore.
What is relationship marketing?
Relationship marketing is a customer-centric approach that puts each customer’s specific needs and preferences at the heart of your marketing activity.
The goal of relationship marketing is to create loyal customers who not only come back time and time again, but also become powerful advocates for your brand.
Why is relationship marketing important?
Organizations and brands that take full advantage of relationship marketing techniques differentiate themselves from their competitors.
As more brands successfully employ customer relationship marketing, the more your customers will come to expect the same level of service and satisfaction in all their interactions.
If your organization isn’t delivering the same customer experience, you risk losing your competitive advantage.
What are the benefits of relationship marketing?
Relationship marketing techniques ensure customers feel properly seen, resulting in repeat business and word of mouth referrals that are authentic, and customer driven.
In a market where referrals and recommendations are increasingly valued as markers of quality, relationship marketing is an effective way to increase your marketing ROI.
5 reasons to implement a relationship marketing strategy
Here are 5 powerful reasons to implement a relationship marketing strategy in your organization:
1. Improved customer retention
By delivering personalized products and services, you increase customer satisfaction and reduce churn.
2. Increased sales
Using relationship marketing means you’re reaching more new customers and generating repeat sales from your growing customer base.
3. Lower customer acquisition costs
The more effective your customer relationship marketing strategy is, the greater the percentage of new customers coming to you from word of mouth and referrals.
4. Better customer insights
Relationship marketing involves collecting and analyzing customer data, providing you with valuable insights into actual customer behavior. You can then use these preferences to further personalize your marketing efforts.
5. Higher lifetime value
Loyal customers tend to spend more money over time, plus relationship marketing activities create more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
Relationship marketing tactics
So, what tactics can you apply right now to kickstart your customer relationship marketing?
Customizing for the customer
Successful relationship marketing is built on creating a customized experience that feels natural, tailored, and genuinely helpful.
The better you know your customer, the better you can tailor your communications, deliver specific advice and support, and offer discounts on the products and services they love.
So, make sure you’re collecting data at every customer touch point, within the letter of data protection law, of course.
And then it’s essential to analyze and use that data to inform your marketing communications. There’s no point gathering data if you’re not making use of it.
Connecting on a personal level
As the relationship grows, you can connect on an even more personal level.
When a customer has willingly given you valuable data like their birthday, fitness goals, or other personal facts, use that knowledge with care.
Send them personalized emails with exclusive promotions, reminders around key dates specific to them, and offers on products designed specifically for them.
Using customer loyalty
You can use customer loyalty to incentivize and reward customers in different ways, depending on what they value.
Introduce a loyalty program or points scheme for customers who love to save money, with higher rewards for those who shop more frequently.
Other customers might value early-bird access to new product launches or an invitation to an exclusive VIP event. Use this customer data to personalize how you reward their loyalty.
Real world relationship marketing examples
You don’t have to look far to see relationship marketing examples in the real world.
Starbucks gamifies the loyalty scheme
The Starbucks rewards scheme works because collecting points as you spend feels like getting something for nothing.
Having clear rewards to aim for and track easily via a handy app both help to create a sense of achievement for customers that’s fun and rewarding.
Reach 150 stars and you get a free drink. Hit 450 stars and you unlock their Gold Level where perks such as extra shots of syrup await. Tell Starbucks your date of birth, and if you’re a Gold Level customer, you can enjoy a free birthday drink.
This kind of scheme encourages customers to visit more often, spend more money, and share more details, while also creating a sense of community that goes beyond a basic coffee purchase. Crucially, it also gives Starbucks frequent opportunities to reach out to their customers and learn about their preferences.
Amazon’s real-time customization
Amazon uses customer data to personalize the shopping experience for each individual customer.
This includes personalized product recommendations based on a customer’s purchase and browsing history, served up alongside product search results tailored to the customer’s interests.
Amazon also uses dynamic algorithms to adjust prices in real-time to offer customized offers, and promotions based on the customer’s location, browsing history, and other factors.
Next level personalization from Nike
Nike introduced their ‘Nike By You’ program to foster deeper brand loyalty by handing creative control over to their customers.
Choose the style, color, and material of your shoe. Then, add custom text and graphics to create a unique product that expresses your own personal style.
This level of customization gives customers a sense of ownership and exclusivity they can’t get from an off-the-shelf product, while still being part of the global Nike brand and everything it stands for.
Transforming shoe shopping into an experience creates a strong emotional connection to the brand, which in turn builds loyalty and repeat business.
Using email signature management to build customer relationships
Staying in contact with your customers over email is essential in any relationship marketing strategy. So, it’s vital you don’t overlook the role email signatures play in helping to build those long-lasting customer relationships.
Using Exclaimer to centrally manage your email signatures ensures brand consistency in every communication. What’s more, the data you gather elsewhere can be used to drive how you customize and personalize your email signatures for each customer.
For example, if a customer has recently bought a particular solution, your email signature can serve up a graphical banner promoting an additional service or product add-on.
If they’ve recently attended an event, you can use your email signature to deliver follow-up customer service or request feedback.
Whatever your customer’s needs and preferences, Exclaimer allows you to quickly and easily personalize your messaging as often as needed.
Building long-term customer relationships - key takeaways
Relationship marketing is a must for building long-lasting customer relationships.
Relationship marketing puts the customer at the heart of your marketing activities.
By customizing and personalizing your communications, you build trust and customer loyalty.
Loyal customers are powerful advocates of your brand and reduce your customer acquisition costs.
Technology is your friend when it comes to gathering, storing, analyzing, and using customer data to customize your customers’ experience.
Don’t overlook your email signatures: use that real estate to deliver customized messages that reinforce your relationship management strategy.
Every day, we securely process billions of emails for over 50,000 organizations using a platform built on data-protection, reliability, and trust.