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Why You Should Market to Existing Customers

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A study by Adobe has revealed an important reminder for marketers. When it comes to increasing revenue, you shouldn't focus only on acquiring new customers; you should also focus on marketing to existing customers.

An Adobe Digital Index report, “The ROI from Marketing to Existing Online Customers,” reveals important data about the revenue businesses and brands can pull from their current customer base. Here are some of the most interesting takeaways from the study and what you can do to tap into the potential of marketing to existing customers.

The Value Of Marketing to Existing Customers

The Adobe report looks at how digital customers interact with brands. They reviewed 33 billion anonymous visits to 180 online retail websites in the United States and Europe to analyze customer purchasing habits.

What they discovered was that retailers could see a significant increase in overall revenue, especially in downtimes and slow sales periods, if they shifted their focus to marketing to existing customers rather than acquiring new customers.

The study revealed that:

  • Repeat customers provided the most revenue. Forty percent of the revenue to brands in the study came from 8% of the website visitors. Repeat customers provided more revenue throughout the year and during holidays and slow shopping periods.
  • New customers don’t spend as much as repeat customers. The study found that marketers must bring in five new shoppers to equal the revenue of one repeat buyer
  • Repeat customers had a direct impact on increasing revenue. For every 1% of shoppers who return for a repeat visit, revenue increases 10%.

Findings from the study show that retailers need to take a closer look at their marketing if they are spending most of their budgets on acquiring new customers. They should shift their marketing efforts toward increasing revenue from existing customers.

How To Start Marketing to Existing Customers

If this information has inspired you to start marketing to existing customers, take two approaches as you go forward with your plan.

  1. Increase Conversions When Customers Are Engaged

Marketers place a lot of emphasis on getting people interested in their business. They spend 96% of their marketing budgets on efforts to get people to call their business, then leave just 4% for managing what happens when they actually call.

Don’t make this mistake. Continue to market to customers once you have their attention and they are in your store, on your website, or on the phone.

  • Make sure your visual and digital messaging contains info for both new shoppers and repeat customers.
  • Utilize an on-hold messaging system that maximizes your potential for upselling to your already highly engaged audience.
  • Set up your showroom in a way that will promote products and services, impress customers, and increase sales.
  • Use a silent salesperson who can continually soft sell to customers while they are in your store.

Getting engaged shoppers to make a purchase or spend more is a way to increase revenue from existing customers. The other half of the equation is getting customers to return to the store and re-engage with your brand in order to sell to them again.

  1. Motivate Customers to Come Back

You can increase your sales while spending less on marketing costs by getting your existing customer base to return to your store. Encourage customers to come back by using the following incentives and strategies.

  • Collect data on customers so you can send targeted ads based on their interests and shopping habits.
  • Create customer profiles so you can provide customized, personalized experiences when shoppers interact with your brand.
  • Offer rewards and exclusive specials through customer loyalty programs.  
  • Retarget website visitors to draw them back to your digital platforms.

While the Adobe report looked closely at the shopping habits of online shoppers, these tips and findings transcend into in-store experiences as well.

So as you plan to increase revenue, don’t get lasered focused on bringing in new customers. Begin marketing to existing customers to get them back in the store to produce a higher ROI and uplift in sales.


Want more tips on how to market to existing customers? Find out how you can improve the customer experience inside your retail store and build loyalty, encourage sales, and trigger repeat visits. Get our free ebook, “How to Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences Using Audio and Video.”

download how to create exceptional customer experiences using audio and video in your retail store now

Tags: marketing

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