How To Get Repeat Art Customers – why it’s important and one way to do it
Generating repeat art customers is essential to creating a strong, sustainable business that grows year on year. Here are a few little tricks that not only generate more sales on the back of existing sales they can lead to repeat customers and sales that can continue for months or even years but before I tell you – here are some interesting facts.
Its Easier To Sell To Existing Customers
Did you know that it is something like 6 times easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one? This is because an existing customer is a known entity. You already know they like your work and like and trust you enough to buy from you. Does it not therefore make sense that you focus effort on trying to sell to them again rather than just find new customers who you haven’t quantified yet and with whom you haven’t built that relationship with to buy from you yet?
Another fact – over 60% of small businesses suggest that over half of their revenue comes from repeat business. If you are not focused on repeat business how much money are you leaving on the table? How much harder are you making things for yourself by not targeting people who have already bought from you previously?
Here is another interesting statistic for you – did you know that the average number of art pieces a collector will buy in a lifetime is 3? Now I know from experience this can be much higher if you market your work well to previous customers and much less if you don’t. That is why the average is only 3 – you can do much better than the industry average believe me!
Focus On Lifetime Value Not Initial Purchase
Did you know that a loyal customer is also worth up to 10 times their initial purchase value? Think about it – how many people purchase something at the lower end of your range? Then they show the product to family and friends who make positive comments. This encourages them to come back next year and buy a bigger and more expensive piece. A year or two later something even bigger perhaps? In the meantime how many products do they also buy for family and friends? They buy again because they already have some themselves and they know others like them too.
It is therefore essential that you have regular contact with customers who have already bought from you. You can then be sure that you create further opportunities to sell to them again and again and again!
How To Sell To Customers Who Have Already Bought From You?
The easiest way to get repeat art customers is to get them onto one of your lists. Once they are on one of your lists you can then continue to direct content to them. This will keep you and your products in their mind. It won’t always be the best time for them to buy. That doesn’t really matter, you need to be in this for the long term not the short term. You need to get yourself in front of them consistently from the moment of their first purchase. When the conditions are right you will be in their mind and they will make further purchases.
The advantage of getting in front of people on a list is that whether you have 10 people, 100 people or 1000 people on your list the effort is the same once they are on there. You produce your content once and you direct it to all of them. You keep doing it consistently until it hits them at the right time and they purchase from you again.
So Which List Should You Get Repeat Art Customers Onto?
Well you probably have a number of lists in your art, craft or photography business. You maybe have people who follow you in social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on. These are lists and you get in front of those lists through posts, stories, reels, lives and other social media features. You have people who have favourited your shop or products in Etsy, Redbubble, Fine Art America, Saatchi Art and other platforms. You get in front of those by posting shop updates, adding new products, being picked up by editors, ads and so on. Then of course you have your mailing list. I hope you have one of these – if not read all about why you need one in 15 – Do I Need A Mailing List For My Art Business?.
The number of lists can seem overwhelming at first but they can be broken down into 2 types – owned and rented. In an owned list your message is much more likely to get through. You own this list, you are in control. No 3rd party is filtering the content or wanting you to pay to advertise to get your message through etc. To read more about rented vs owned list and some great ways to grow your lists checkout my download 20 Best Ways To Grow our Art Following.
The Power Of Your Mailing List
Now here is another interesting fact. Did you know that at the moment each of your social media posts in Instagram and Facebook are seen by between 2 and 5% of your followers on average. It used to be 10% until fairly recently but dropped further for reasons discussed in 134 – Why Has Instagram Engagement Dropped Recently)? That means to ensure something is seen by everyone you need to post about it maybe 20 times during which you still risk some not seeing it and others seeing it multiple times.
With your mailing list, however, the industry average is around 25% of your mailing list open emails that you send to them. I regularly experience 50-70% open rates, however. I have seen customers with the occasional 75% open rates. Open rates are the number of people that are detected as opening a specific email. In my opinion, therefore your mailing list is your most effective list by a long way if you want people to read something. You should do everything you can to encourage customers who purchase from you onto there. You should, however, continue to use social media as a recruiting ground for your mailing list don’t ignore it!
So How Do I Get People Onto My Mailing List
There are many ways to get repeat art customers onto your mailing list and I discuss several of them in 20 Best Ways To Grow our Art Following. I would encourage you to download this valuable resource if you have not already done so. You can employ sign up forms on your website. Links can be added in your social media. You can hold prize draws and giveaways and many more. What you need to remember, however, is that it isn’t about the quantity on your list it is the quality. 1 person on your mailing list can easily be worth 10 or even 20 on your social media list. It is, however, key to engage consistently with them.
Why Is It So Important To Target New Customers
People can join your list for many reasons. They might be interested in your craft. Perhaps they are a competitor checking you out. They might want some information you are providing. If somebody purchases from you, however, they are one of the most valuable contacts you can have on your list. Not only have they already invested in you and your products they are very likely to want to do again given the right set of circumstances. It is therefore important that you try to encourage them onto your list regardless of however many other people you have on your list.
How Do You Get Repeat Art Customers Onto Your List?
In 18 – How To Get More Mailing List Subscribers I discussed introducing a discount (eg 10% of your 1st online order) on your website to encourage people that are intending to make a purchase from your shop to sign up to your mailing list in order to get that discount right away as they make their purchase. This works really effectively and you can get lots of new sign ups with this very simple technique. It does not, however, catch everybody that purchases from you. Many customers will purchase anyway at full price either because they came straight to the product page. They didn’t see the discount offer. They don’t want to join your mailing list right now. Maybe they are in a hurry or many other reasons. You might miss the opportunity before the sale, therefore, it is important to try to get it after the sale.
Discount For Signing Up Voucher With Product
One way to achieve this is to offer a ‘discount on your next order‘ coupon to customers. You package this with your product. It doesn’t have to be a huge discount – 10% again is probably sufficient to do the trick. The condition, however, is that the customer joins your mailing list in order to get that discount.
The code isn’t on the coupon, instead you simply have a website link to your signup page. You could even create a website link such as www.yoursite.com/10nextorder or something similar to redirect them. Once they sign up they will automatically be emailed your mailing list ‘welcome’ email with the discount code.
Discount Off Next Order If Already Signed Up
Every time you process an order you should check your mailing list to see if that customer is already on your mailing list. Search for the order email address in your mailing system. If they are already on your mailing list you might want to send them a discount coupon to encourage further sales. Again 10% might still work here. If the customer has a good order history with you you might feel even more generous.
The key here though is to create a sense of urgency so that the customer makes the purchase sooner rather than later. If you leave them to make the purchase in their own time they might forget about it. They might lose the coupon and so on. If you put a timescale on it such as a month or 3 months, before Christmas etc they are more likely to use your coupon.
Experiment with your customers finding what works and what doesn’t with them. Ensure that you insert a slip with every purchase. If they are not on your list use a link that encourages them to sign up to get a discount on the next order. If they are already on then use a time critical discount coupon to encourage a repeat sale sooner rather than later and which rewards repeat customers.
Cross Sell Products To Get Repeat Art Customers
Has a customer purchased something that suggests they might also like something else? Consider other vouchers that you could include with the purchase. These could be related products, however, they could also be workshops that show you how a product they purchased is actually made.
But Doesn’t That Reduce Profits?
Some people will tell you that you shouldn’t discount, it costs too much and devalues your work. I am here to tell you that is not the case and every successful business uses discounting. Discounting is simply a marketing tool and a very effective one at that. The key is to make sure that your product prices are high enough to allow discounting. This often this means inflating them to allow discounting.
Discounting encourages purchases but it can also create feel good factors for the customer too. Imagine a product you sell for £100 now. It is much better to increase that product price to £110 so that you can regularly discount it to £100. Doing so you never lose out because you always get the £100 you wanted for that product. When your customer gets it for £100 instead of £110, however, they appreciate it so much more because they feel they have a bargain.
Will You Get Repeat Art Customers Just By Being On The Mailing List
Of course not. The key is to get in front of your contacts consistently so that you stay in mind and then simply wait for the right email to land at the right time for them. Deliver useful and interesting content throughout the year. Do this at least monthly most months and bi weekly in the last quarter as a minimum but more frequently if possible. Chat with customers and encourage feedback. Let them help you to stay on track with your content delivering what they want to see. Reward them regularly with discounts and promotions.
It will take a while. You need to stick at this. As your list grows you will start to see how effectively it generates repeat art customers and sales. Black Friday, Christmas, Valentines Day, Mothers Day etc are great opportunities for repeat sales. Customers also have special events of their own throughout the year such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, retirements and so on on which are also likely to coincide with your regular mailings so that you are the forefront of their minds.