5 Ways to Keep Clients Engaged
The sales and marketing process does not end at the close. In fact, the vast majority of your income is earned after the first closed deal.
Most of your lifetime income will be from the long-term relationship with your best clients.
So managing and maintaining those long-term relationships is critical to your overall sales and business growth.
Here are some ways to maintain those relationships and keep clients engaged.
Content is not just for creating awareness of your business. It’s also an extremely powerful way to keep your followers and clients engaged.
There are 3 ways to keep existing clients engaged with content: (1) create content just for paid clients, (2) create content just for a segment of paid clients, (3) create content for your entire network.
For example, a health and diet coach might have a bunch of customers who have purchased her video course on losing weight. She can send them additional info on exercise techniques or helpful diet supplements.
A lawyer who provides trademark and patent services might inform their clients in the food and drink space about new government food regulations.
In the case of content for your entire network, the information is more general. It will appeal to everyone, regardless of whether they have purchased or not. For example a marketing consultant might provide information on new social media marketing techniques that are relevant to anyone, client or not.
Examples of specific types of content:
Company updates: you can share updates on new projects, changes to your office decor, new hires, new clients, products in development and a lot more.
Holiday messages: every month has holidays or occasions that can be used as an easy excuse to reach out to clients with well wishes, special offers or entertaining content. Here are some examples:
- January: Happy New Year, New Years Resolutions
- February: Valentines Day, Super Bowl, the Oscars, Mardi Gras
- March: St Patrick’s Day, March Madness (college basketball)
- April: April Fools, Start of Spring, Easter, Taxes
- May: Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo
- June: Start of Summer
- July: Independence Day
- September: Labor Day, Start of School
- October: Oktoberfest, Halloween
- November: Thanksgiving, Black Friday
- December: Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s Eve
Original research: your company’s own internal surveys/ polls, market research or other valuable insights you are acquiring in the course of interacting with colleagues, clients and business partners.
Curated content: Interesting and informative content from other sources, that you simply copy and share (with attribution) to your network. Make sure to choose your sources wisely: sources that are well-known and high-authority in your field will increase your own authority, while obscure or low-quality sources will drag your authority down.
Guest posting from professional writers/ bloggers: Related to the previous strategy, but this time you have the exclusive rights to the content, created by someone else. This can be a great option if you have limited time to create quality content or are just not that good at creating the kind of content you want.
Important information: new government regulations, industry news, new technology.
Checking in: a simple check-in to see how they are using your product or service, and any comments, questions or complaints they have. Seems simple, but it’s that extra effort that many businesses don’t bother with.
Opinions and insights: especially if it’s coming from the CEO or the “star” expert of the brand, giving their perspective on current trends and news.
Interviews: with industry leaders, partners, collaborators, or team members
Ongoing “tutorials”: especially for complex SAAS products, apps or online courses that have tons of features that a client may not be aware of, but wants to discover over time.
2. Gifts and thank you notes
One of the classic strategies for customer engagement. These can be anywhere from cheap or almost free, to very expensive. It all depends on how valuable the client relationship is, how much they might spend in the future, or how important the relationship is strategically.
Holidays and birthdays are the prime opportunity for gift-giving. But they are great any time of the year.
You are free to choose any type of gift that will be relevant or appreciated by your client:
- Toys and knicknacks
- Jewelry and accessories
- Food and drinks
- Tickets to an event (from a baseball game to a concert to a fashion show)
- Vacation packages
- Gift cards
Just keep in mind that some clients may be limited or even prohibited from accepting gifts by their company’s policies.
3. Membership in a community or “club”
This requires more work on your part to make it quality. But if done well it can lead to massive revenue and growth opportunities.
You can build partnerships with third-party suppliers to provide benefits and goodies to members.
A personal trainer might partner with a yoga studio to offer a free yoga class for his personal training clients.
An accountant might connect with a business attorney or insurance agent to offer additional financial services at a preferential rate for his tax and payroll clients.
You can get a lower rate for some product or service by buying in bulk and providing that to members of your premium club.
You can offer access to an online forum or private group on Facebook or Meetup that is reserved just for clients who have purchased a specific product or service.
4. Host Special Events
Live in-person or online events can be offered just for specific clients. These can include:
- Panel discussions
- Weekend boot camps
- Workshops and seminars
- Holiday parties
- Networking events
- Charity events
In the course of promoting yourself you are going to expand your network. You will make contact with new individuals and businesses.
You can leverage those relationships to provide further value for your clients by finding overlapping connections.
Even if someone is not an immediate potential client for you, they might be a great candidate for someone else you know. Over time they may become interested in your specific services.
Referrals are especially valuable for B2B clients who are themselves trying to grow their business.
Value and attention
It all comes down to developing new ways to add value to your existing clients while keeping their attention.
You need to know your clients, understand their needs and challenges, and connect the dots to figure out what extra content, gifts, experiences or connections they will appreciate.
If you know your audience, you will also know how frequently to engage them: daily, weekly, monthly, or longer. For some businesses the ideal frequency is several times a day. For others, only several times a year.
When in doubt, experiment with different types of engagement and different levels of frequency and see what results you get.