As someone building an online business based upon your knowledge and expertise, you need to be laser-focused on figuring out ways to get people to buy from you more than once. In this post, we'll explore why repeat customers are crucial to your success
If I could give people one thing to think about at the beginning of their online building business journey, it’s this: create repeat customers.
As someone building an online business based upon your knowledge and expertise, you need to be laser-focused on figuring out ways to get people to buy from you more than once.
Now I’m not saying you have to have a system set up right away so that people can buy from you multiple times, but I do believe that should be your goal. Repeat customers create the path to building a business that’s successful and sustainable for the long term.
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What Is A Repeat Customer?
This might seem obvious, but I just want to be clear about what I’m talking about here.
When I talk about a repeat customer, I don’t mean someone who buys a single product from you on a payment plan. That’s a single customer.
I’m also going to exclude anything that happens quickly on the front end with a funnel. For example, they buy one thing and then there’s a series of upsells. That, to me, isn’t a repeat customer.
A repeat customer is someone who has bought multiple products from you. They buy from you today, and then they’re going to buy a different product or purchase another month of the same product down the road.
Why Repeat Customers Are Important In Business-Building
While specific numbers vary by industry, it can cost up to 15 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. That’s a big difference…
For example, I’ve been an Apple customer for several years now, and I’ve bought multiple products from them, including an iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro.
Here’s the thing… Apple doesn’t have to do anything to get me to buy again. As long as they keep offering me good service and products that I like, I keep buying from them. They’ve made a lot of money by acquiring me one time as a customer.
If they had a business where every time they wanted to sell any product, they had to get a new customer, that would be both expensive and a lot of work.
But that’s how many people are building their business online. They build their entire business on a single course because there’s this notion to keep things simple.
You Probably Need More Than One Product…
Some of the gurus are advising you not to build a complicated business and telling you to only have one product. In some cases, it might make sense to only have one offer, like if you’re a service provider. But in this particular model, people could purchase your services over and over again.
But if you’re a course creator, for example, and you only have a single course, you’re constantly chasing the next sale. Your first launch or promotion was great, but your second and third might not go so well because getting new people on your list and warming them up takes a lot of time and energy.
The Rising Cost Of Acquiring Leads
It’s also worth pointing out that getting new leads today has gotten much harder. For many people, the cost of acquiring a lead has doubled or even tripled.
That means every time you want to sell to a new group of people and outperform your previous sales, you’re going to run into problems, and scaling your business becomes quite a drag. It feels like you’re constantly on a treadmill.
Ironically, the people who are teaching you how to create a “scalable program” and telling you they’re getting you off the treadmill are just putting you on a new one. If you don’t build a system where you can get repeat customers, you’re still on a treadmill, it’s just a different one.
Why Repeat Customers Are Even More Important In An Online Business
For a majority of online business owners, the biggest line in their profit and loss statement is the cost to acquire a customer. It’s where most of your money goes, including ad costs, your time, and the money you spend on your team.
Content creation, social media, and sales funnels all have costs, and they’re all centered on acquiring customers. What happens on the customer journey before they buy from you the first time is your cost to acquire a customer.
In online businesses, we don’t have many fixed expenses. We don’t have to purchase raw materials or pay to produce our product. We don’t have physical locations. Because of that, you can assume that 50% of your costs are related to acquiring your customers.
But if you can take that 50% cost and knock it down to 10%, all of a sudden, you have a lot of money sitting around. You could use it to acquire new customers or implement systems that would make your business way more profitable.
Now if your business is built on a model where you’re constantly chasing new customers, you need to think about what would happen if your costs suddenly increase.
An Important Shift
The cost of acquiring a customer is such a big part of our budget. Creating ways for people to buy from you multiple times can have a significant impact on your bottom line. That’s why it’s important to think about this.
Also, if right now you’re only selling to people once and you’re making a small profit, what if you could add offers so you could sell additional products to those people? Then the value of a customer could go from $250 to $2,500 for you. That’s a huge increase and can have a dramatic impact on your business.
How to Create Repeat Customers
Creating ways for people to buy from you takes some strategic planning.
Have a plan for your product suite
You need to have a think about creating a product suite where people can buy from you multiple times. This means having multiple products or creating a subscription product.
Price your product in a way that makes sense
You also need to have your products priced in a way that makes sense. It’s always easier to acquire a customer for a lower-priced product than for a higher-priced product. The higher the demand, the more people will buy it, so you can get more customers for that lower-priced product.
You should also think through the journey of your customers. Some will be willing to spend more money. For instance, if your target customers who are business owners, those who are early in their journey might prefer the lower price products.
So your cheapest product will be targeting beginners. The product that targets the intermediate people will be a step up, and the product for the most experienced will be the most expensive.
Focus on customer experience
You need to make sure that people have a good experience buying from you. This is where so many online entrepreneurs fall flat because they overlook this. They make the classic mistake of overpromising and underdelivering.
Instead, you need to get people results and overdeliver. If you’re making promises to people based upon the top 1% of people who buy from you, that’s what people would expect from you.
If they get average results, they’re going to feel let down, and they’re not going to stick around and buy from you again. On the other hand, if you underpromise and overdeliver, those people will come back.
You need to make sure there’s alignment between what’s delivered and what your messaging is upfront. Don’t give people a false impression.
Think about how to surprise and delight people
It’s important to think about fulfillment from the get-go. It should be part of the sales process. You need to make sure that you can deliver and people who buy from you have a good experience.
Going the extra mile and doing things you didn’t even promise will surprise and delight people. That leads to repeat customers.
Think about retention
It’s also critical to think about how to retain people. How can you make a special offer to people who are already in?
One thing you can do is create structure. For example, you can establish with your audience that the people who get in on any of your offers early will get the best deal and lock in that rate.
Retention is about thinking about how to provide a reason to keep people in. There are plenty of other ways you can do it, but you need to be conscientious.
Don’t Feel Overwhelmed
I want to be clear… I’m not saying you need to come out of the gates with multiple products. You should focus on one to start, like a course or a membership. Eventually, you’ll want to create evergreen digital products that are just there and don’t require support.
Another important offer to create is one-on-one coaching or one-on-one services. These higher ticket options will help you prove your offer and make more money so you can fuel other parts of your business.
Don’t feel overwhelmed because you don’t have all of these products created at the beginning. Your goal should be to create a plan and strategy so that people can buy from you more than once.
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