Turn new customers into regular shoppers in 7 easy steps

What takes priority - reaching new customers, or looking after the loyal customers you already have? The truth is, I don’t think it’s a one or the other type of question and answer, it’s a little bit of both.

My Dad turned up to his and my Mum’s first date suited and booted, flowers in hand, and with a fresh haircut. Thirty-eight years later, he still surprises her with flowers, takes her out on dates, and gets his – very thinning – hair cut every 6 weeks without fail. Translating this into email marketing spiel – while a great first impression is important towards a continuing relationship; you need to go that extra step to continually show your existing customers how important they are to you if you’re to turn them into regular shoppers and gain their loyalty.

Investing in customer relationships and keeping in touch with them through omnichannel marketing reinforces how important your customers are to you. When you invest in these relationships, they’ll return the favor by staying loyal to your brand.

So, how do you turn new customers in to regular shoppers? Follow these seven easy steps:

1. Welcome your new subscribers

Similar to my Dad winning over my Mum – and as the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression – dotdigital’s automation templates can help you guarantee that your first contact with new subscribers sets you up for success.

I usually advise a two- or a three-campaign welcome automation. If you’d like to understand what I suggest goes into each campaign, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Essentially, with a welcome program, you want to drive engagement and learn more about your customers. You need to know their interests, so you can send them relevant content. Enriching your customer insight at this stage will help you build a foundation on which you can leverage leading to lifetime value.

2. Send personalized transactional emails

Transactional emails are non-marketing, administrative-style emails that you send out to individual contacts once. For example, if they’ve bought something from you, or have forgotten their password and want to reset it, you would send them a transactional email. They’re things like order confirmations, shipping notifications, and password reminder/reset emails.

Important: Transactional emails should not contain any marketing content.

If you sell products online, you should send transactional-style emails.

Our transactional email module enables you to send your non-marketing emails to contacts via SMTP or via our API, allowing you to manage and track your transactional email using the platform. 

Using dotdigital’s omnichannel marketing automation platform ensures that the campaigns match the look at feel of your brand.

Transactional style emails earn some of the highest open rates of any email type, so make sure you’re getting the most out of them.

3. Use the right channel

If you’ve been with dotdigital a while, you’ll know we always talk about ‘sending the right message, at the right time, to the right people, using the right channel’.

How do you know which channel your recipients prefer? Simple… Ask them!

Use a preference center and historical behavioral data to deliver your messages on the right channel, whether that be email, SMS, social media or push. It may also be a combination of two or three of those channels. You need to accommodate your contacts as much as you can and I assure you, you will see an increase in engagement and, in turn, conversion.

Regular customers
References: DMA, 2018 (2); dotdigital, 2018 (3); eMarketer, 2018 (4); eMarketer, 2018 (5).

4. Consistent branding

There’s a high chance that your email campaigns aren’t the only interaction or communication your recipients will have with your brand. In fact, your recipients probably visited your website before signing up to receive campaigns from you.

Because of this customer journey, it’s important that your email campaigns are aligned with the colors, fonts, and branding you use across your other channels.

It helps your customers to know that the email campaign is from you and it creates a level of trust and credibility which reassures people it’s safe to click through.

One of dotdigital’s customers, Daisy London, provides effective consistency between its website and its email campaigns. Take a look…

If you’re a dotdigital customer, this can be achieved with ease using our drag-and-drop email marketing tool. You can choose from a range of designer-selected, web-safe fonts, and select your brand’s hex color. With these features, creating a high-converting email campaign that instills trust among your recipients is effortless.

5. Reward customer loyalty

With 91% of customers checking their inboxes daily, email and SMS offer the perfect opportunity for the direct person-to-brand relationship customers crave. On top of this, emails paired with your loyalty program perform 14 times better than regular marketing emails.

Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.

On average, loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones. With carefully crafted and segmented loyalty emails or SMS, you can target these customers with the right message, encouraging them to become regular shoppers who spend with you again. Send messages that keep these customers updated about their points balance, the rewards they’ve gained and the new offers that are available to them. This way, they’ll be reminded of the benefits of shopping with you and will be more likely to return.

Try and go above and beyond by thanking them for their loyalty. It goes a long way in customer retention. We have a library of loyalty automations you can utilise within dotdigital Engagement Cloud.

Want to know the ins and outs of customer loyalty? dotdigital’s partners can help you out:

  • LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of growing ecommerce merchants to increase customer retention and spend through effective loyalty programs.
  • Yotpo enables brands to build customized, on-brand loyalty and referral programs to incentivize repeat purchases, referrals, and social engagement.

6. Segment, segment, and segment some more

If you’re a customer of mine, or have been in the past, you will have heard me harp on about how important and crucial segmentation is. Gone are the days of batch and blast or spray and pray (they’re the same thing!) and you need to break your data in to relevant segments to ensure you are sending relevant content.

Learn as much as you can about your recipients.

Be organized with your data from the very start and I assure you it’ll stand you in good stead further down the line when you want to send targeted emails. Learn as much as you can about your recipients and what they’re looking for and use this vital information to send messages that are relevant to them.

Your preference center will help with segmentation. Look at your campaign report data and segment based off those results. Check out the ecommerce module within your dotdigital Engagement Cloud platform and segment based off RFM – we make it SO easy for you to segment, so you don’t really have any excuse not to do it.

Segment rant over.

7. Say happy birthday

Who doesn’t like a birthday? Perhaps my aforementioned Dad now that he’s hit 64, but in general, it doesn’t matter how old we get, we all love a freebie on our birthday. We have almost come to expect some sort of birthday gift, voucher or discount code from the likes of restaurants and retail brands.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, wishing someone ‘Happy Birthday’ with a great deal is always a winner. Just add a date data-field to your dotdigital Engagement Cloud signup form and create an automation which includes a celebratory message or gift. We have a template all ready for you to customize.

dotdigital provides you with all the tools to ensure your new customers become regular shoppers, no matter where they are in their lifecycle journey. We want to make sure your customers keep coming back.

Now that you’re ready to persuade your customers to stay connected to your brand… What’s stopping you?!


Check out this best practice guide for more tips on how to turn new customers into regular shoppers:

Regular shoppers

Avoiding spam traps and other revenue risks

Deliverability risk alert: We get it – the c-level execs are clamoring for bigger databases and more potential customers to squeeze some revenue from. The temptation to send a quick, cheeky email to that list from 2016…

Supercharging your marketing communication with in-store customer data

Businesses with a retail presence know very well that a strong omnichannel strategy lives and dies on having a single customer view. Storing offline and online shopping history in one place sounds awesome on paper but collecting…

dotties connected: award entries now open

dotties connected is our first ever virtual marketing awards. You can submit your campaign entry now!

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site you agree to these cookies being set. To find out more see our cookies policy.