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Attracting new customers is certainly an essential for any business, but in all the effort to reach new audiences, business leaders often forget to address existing customers. In many industries, return customers account for the bulk of a company’s success, so it is only right that potential returning customers are treated just as enthusiastically as the newer crowd.

Unfortunately, keeping older customers engaged can be a bit of a more complicated process than attracting new customers. Simple flash may be enough to bring on a new customer or client, but it won’t work on its own in the long run. Instead, you will need to utilize a combination of techniques. A few of the more effective methods for retaining customers are detailed below.

Social media

Social media is a proven, effective tool for building a community of dedicated customers. Through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can keep customers interested in your company and excited to engage with you on a regular basis. Social media will not bring back return customers if you fail to use correctly, though. Your social media pages need to be consistently updated at least once per week. Anything less and customers begin to lose interest. Additionally, when your pages are updated, these updates need to add value to the viewer’s social media experience. A page that only includes reasons for shopping at a company’s store or making a deal with a particular client is very boring. Add something of value, whether it’s a link to a well-written blog post or a funny picture. Obviously, it’s best if this content relates to your main product or service, but it should still have intrinsic value outside of the sales pitch.

Web design

Social media is a helpful tool for keeping your customer base interested, but you should avoid the common mistake of heavily investing in social media at the expense of your company’s website. Although seemingly archaic compared to today’s flashy social networking sites, a professional website is still an effective tool for both recruiting and retaining customers. However, while your social media page comes pre-designed for the most part, websites don’t. In order to attract and retain customers, you will need to present a vibrant and organized design space. If design is not your forte, hire a graphic designer.


You’ve got a website and you’re attracting visitors: mission accomplished, right? Not really. Take a look at your visitors’ browsing habits. How many people add an item or two to their cart and then leave without checking out? Find those people and the ones who view multiple items and start retargeting them. Maybe they left to go check out another site and forgot to go back or are still trying to decide whether they really need that blue sundress with pink polka dots. Keep reminding them that their items are still available and they have a better chance of coming back and completing a purchase.

Online coupons

At one time, coupon clippers were viewed as unfortunate souls from the working class. This perception may still exist to some extent, but it is no longer true of those utilizing online coupons. In fact, electronic coupons are most commonly used among those with high incomes, and they are becoming more popular by the day. In a 2009 survey from, coupon use was revealed to be at an all-time high, with 47 percent of respondents claiming to use coupons on at least an occasional basis.

Hanging on to customers is not impossible, but you can’t attract return customers the same way you find new ones. You have to show them they need to come back and that it’s worth their time. Don’t just show them pictures, give them a deal or let them know when the product they recently viewed drops in price. If you find the right mix for your customers, you’ll have happier, repeat business and a more stable customer base.




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