Marketing to Lapsed Customers to Prompt Repeat Business

Marketing lapsed customers

Though brand switchers are often the target of sales, I find that the biggest boost can come from brand loyals. What are ways to bring back customers whose interest has waned?

As part of a project with a medical supplies company, I took aim at just that group.

At the time of the study, the company had 5,809 customers who had last placed an order between four and 12 months earlier. Another 5,120 customers had last placed an order 13 to 33 months earlier.

To reactivate customers, I encouraged the company to identify its best-selling items and offer a few of them each month as free rewards with a qualifying purchase. As lapsed customers returned to the fold, the company extended its reach, each month mailing out 3,000 fliers to customers who had placed no recent orders. The spending levels per customer increased from $83 to $145.98 during the study period.

By the end of the trial period, 987 of the targeted customers had placed orders totaling more than $140,000. This level of reactivation was achieved at a cost of $29,000 over the course of three months.

Like many companies, the medical supplies company has few new customers from one month to the next. For it, the benefits of trying to win back lapsed customers came at a reasonable price – and offered hope for increasing loyalty. After seeing that they would be rewarded for their purchases, the reactivated customers can be expected to become repeat buyers.

Along with prospecting for new leads, businesses need to remember to reward the people who have helped them succeed in the past. With a little initial investment to address the needs of customers who have fallen by the wayside, you can actually bring them back to the fold and grow your business.

Mike Hardman (@HardmanGroup) is the president of Hardman Group, a B2B marketing agency. He has 30+ years of experience in marketing, advertising and sales promotion. Mike has extensive expertise in consumer behavior research and strategic business.

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