24 customer marketing ideas you can do right now

Successful customer marketing is made up of hundreds of small components all working together to achieve a goal.

That goal is happy customers that stay longer, buy more and refer new customers.

Here are 24 easy to do, quick win customer marketing ideas you can start doing today.

Use it as a checklist to make sure you are presenting the right information at the right time and everything is fully optimised.

  1. Run Reddit style Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with senior members of your management. Make it no holds barred so customers know you are honest and open. Do not put any restrictions in place, it is better not to do it if you have any reservations.
  2. Stop treating each customer equally. 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers. That 20% should be treated like gold. Create a VIP membership which includes useful benefits and rewards e.g. Beta testing, extended support, free resources, discounts, onboarding support…
  3. Get your CEO/managing director involved and turn him/her into a customer ambassador. Answering customer support tickets, writing blog posts (and responding to comments), engaging with forum comments… make them accessible and put a face to your company.
  4. Sponsor events that cater to your customers and are related to what you do. The best way to research which events to get involved with is ask your customers any they attend. You’ll be seen as supporting the community and raise your awareness amongst your target audience.
  5. Educate customers through simple gamification. Google did this  a couple of years ago through a New Year challenge. Upon signing up, each week in January they sent three tasks to perform in your AdWords account. If you completed a task in each of the four weeks you entered a prize draw. A great way to draw your customers’ attention to features they may not know about.
  6. Segment your email subscriber list based on their level of engagement with your email marketing and tailor your content accordingly. e.g. Low engagement = competitions, offers etc.
  7. Pick out your power users for each product tier (e.g. using 90% of their allowance) and give them an incentive to upgrade now.
  8. Survey your customers asking them to describe the challenges they face, and then create content to help them solve those problems. (See my post about supporting customer micro-moments).
  9. Incentivise your promoters (from an NPS survey) to refer you to new customers through a mutual discount.
  10. Proactively gather positive testimonials and quotes to use in your pre-sales collateral via a feedback form.
  11. Ask a power user a non-sales question on Twitter e.g. “How are you getting on with XYZ?” – Turn them from a customer into a friend.
  12. Interview your customers on your blog – Use it as an opportunity for them to promote themselves and for readers to see how their peers approach shared challenges.
  13. Crowdsource your support database asking your customers to contribute with in-depth ‘how-to’ articles (for £100 per published article). This has two benefits; you become a community driver and you quickly beef up your knowledge base.
  14. Spending quickly becomes a habit. Using the RFM model, identify customers dropping down the scale and incentivise them to get them back into the routine of spending with you.
  15. Showcase your customers to the rest of your base – Be that through a monthly award (e.g. website of the month), a blog interview (see idea No. 7), a profile in your monthly newsletter… You’ll quickly find other customers want to be part of it as well.
  16. Send a custom design Christmas card/e-card that integrates your branding. From my own experiences of doing this, customers soon start looking forward to them and commenting on them.
  17. Campaign to your lost customers – Why did they leave and what can you do the bring them back? Ask them, and then do it!
  18. Renergise your inactive accounts – It is easy to ignore this group but these are your churn danger pot. Find out from the horse’s mouth what can you do to bring back the love.
  19. Send a physical pack of exclusive goodies to your top 100 VIP customers/brand fans. Don’t just send bog standard branded pens, t-shirts etc. Be more creative and use a custom design/message e.g. “A friend of ours [logo]” and cool items e.g. a branded badge.
  20. Create “customer success stories” NOT “case studies”. No one reads sales focused case studies, but they do like to find out more about how their peers became successful (with you at the heart of it, naturally).
  21. Ask if they need help. If you are a service based business or sell technical products, always follow-up with a “Do you need any help?” message within 24 hours of purchase. Successful customers renew/buy again. It is in your interests to make sure they know how to use your product correctly.
  22. Send personal performance reports. Every month, quarter, or year (depending on what fits your product) send a summary of their account totally free, with useful stats about the previous time period. Useful, informative and interesting.
  23. Wow them. And I mean REALLY wow them! Here is a great anecdote from this article showing it in action: One of my favorite examples of this happened at Rackspace, the managed hosting and cloud computing company. An employee on the phone with a customer during a marathon troubleshooting session heard the customer tell someone in the background that they were getting hungry. As she tells it, “So I put them on hold, and I ordered them a pizza. About 30 minutes later we were still on the phone, and there was a knock on their door. I told them to go answer it because it was pizza! They were so excited.”
  24. Give customers public credit if you make any improvements or launch any new features because of their feedback.
Bonus idea: 25. Run your own conference
If you’ve thought about running a conference for your customers, have a read of my ultimate guide to running your own customer conference.

Do you have any customer marketing quick wins you’d recommend people try?

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