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Digital marketing is kinda like romance.

Seven Steps to a Happy Long-Term Customer Relationship

Digital marketing professionals love throwing words around like sales funnel, awareness, or conversion. But what do those words even mean? How do they help you?

Digital marketing is a lot like starting a romantic relationship. Your online presence lets the other party know you exist and ignites a spark of attraction. Your branding is what makes them fall in love with you and stick around long-term. But there are still a lot of steps between that first click or swipe and a healthy successful relationship!

We want you to experience a love of the ages, so we created a step-by-step guide that will guide you through the marketing life-cycle in a world where swipes are worth far more than sneaky glances in a bar. Here’s how win your client’s digital heart forever.

Sick of trying to find the right connection? We can help you find (client-related) love.

Step 1: First Impression

Grabbing the attention of your ideal customer in the busy world of digital marketing and social media, it’s not an easy mission! But we have faith in you. We know that you’ve worked hard on creating your brand and that you have a beautiful schedule of organic content ready to go. In other words, you’re more than ready to make a good first impression.

First things, first. How are you going to get a date? They don’t even know you exist, right? Whether it’s Tinder or Facebook, the battle against the algorithms is real! Your best way to reach new potential clients in your niche will be through paid media. This can include Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google My Business, or other platforms.

Organic social media could also allow you to reach new clients through going viral or through posting consistently, however, this method is far less efficient and predictable. Paid ads will be much better in getting you in front of those potential new dates.

In this awareness stage, your main focus will be on gaining their interest and building that initial trust. You want to show off how nice your brand is, how valuable your organic content is, how great your Google Reviews are, and how promising your business values are. What you don’t want to do yet is talking about getting hitched (aka trying to get them to purchase), heck, you don’t even want to lean in for a kiss (getting them on your email list).

The awareness stage is all about leaving a positive impression without asking too much of your potential client. Push too far, too soon and you might never get that coveted second date.

Step 2: Send Some Flowers

Alright, good job! You’ve left the first date and you’re positive that they’re interested. You were careful about not being too pushy and put your best foot forward. They now know that you exist and they might have even hit the follow or like button on social media, score!

Now it’s time to take it to the next level. What about sending the marketing-equivalent of some flowers to get their most valuable contact details, their email address, through lead generation. A beautiful bouquet here would take shape in the form of a FREE e-book or opt-in that is filled with value for your ideal customer. The important word here is “free”.

It’s way too early in the relationship to ask your date to meet the parents (or in your case, asking them to spend money with you). Another option here is inviting customers into your mailing list by offering them a first purchase discount to your online shop. Just don’t be too disappointed if they don’t take you up on this offer just yet. After all, they just met you.

Step 3: Second Date

We know that you’ve started this relationship with good intentions. You’re ready for a committed relationship and you’ve done some work on yourself to get ready for this.

You’ve developed a content marketing plan with lots of great blog posts that provide fantastic value and you’ve thought about a carefully planned organic social media campaign. You even have a range of great videos to show off! You know that you have a lot to offer the client.

During the second date, it’s the perfect time to prepare a beautiful picnic (show some of that great organic social media content), talk about the things you both love (video, video, video!), and maybe even go in for a quick kiss (send a targeted email).

In the education phase, it’s important to have all of the valuable content ready to go so that your potential client has everything at their fingertips to get to know you better.

Step 4: Fairy-Tale Romance

In the middle stage of the sales funnel (we’ve officially reached the consideration phase), we can assume that your date knows a little bit about your business and that they are interested in keeping the conversation going. Time to keep building that relationship and to nurture your leads. You’ve worked hard to get them and they’re as valuable as Cinderella’s slipper.

Keep showing off your organic content! Email them more interesting promotions! Have they read those valuable blog posts yet? This is a great time to introduce them to your beautifully designed home page on your website, the landing page that you would love them to convert on, or to show off those beautifully branded case studies. This stage is about convincing them that you’re ready to go steady (and that your product or service is the best fit for them).

Step 5: Will You Marry Me?

You’ve been together for some time now. It’s time to pop the question! Will you… buy my product or service? Yay, that’s a yes! After careful relationship building and showing that you are the perfect match, your ideal customer has finally converted and made that purchase.

The added bonus? They are super happy with what they just bought. Whether they bought through your landing page, your website, or by clicking on a link (in an email, a blog post, or through a swipe up on Instagram), they’re excited because they got the chance to get to know you. They just know that whatever they bought, it is just perfect for them.

Step 6: Now Come The Kids

That’s it, congratulations, you’ve done the impossible! You’ve popped the question and they said yes. But we all know that there is no such thing as happily ever after without working on the relationship. In marketing terms, we call this retention. While your customer did the impossible and bought your product, we want them to stay in the relationship, right? The aim of the game is to keep them engaged, whether this is through email or social media. Ideally, we even want them to start bragging about what a gem they just discovered.

Whether in-person or through social media (55% of consumers share their purchases through social media) word-of-mouth is still the most powerful conversion method. In fact, a Boston Consulting Group research showed that consumers trust word-of-mouth two to ten times more than they do with paid media. That means that we really want to encourage our satisfied customers to share their new purchases through social media!

Here are a few ingenious ways brand are tackling this problem:

  • Girlfriend, a sustainable activewear brand, has a rewards system in place where you can gain points for sharing their product on social media. Not only does it keep customers coming back (high retention rate), it also provides free word-of-mouth.
  • Audible, selling a subscription to audiobooks via Amazon, uses an abundance of Youtube stars, such as Sailing La Vagabonde, to talk about their favorite audiobooks and consequently promote their free trials and promotions. The influencers work on building trust and the brands benefit from it.

Step 7: Happily Ever After

We’re so happy for you that you got to this point. The kids are out of their diapers and you’ve celebrated many referrals and follow-up purchases. Retention is still where it’s at. Nobody wants their relationship to break up and let’s not even talk about having to start over again.

Let’s be honest, dating is terrible. The same goes for trying to find new customers. Repeat customers have shown to be a lot less expensive to acquire and in addition to that, they also tend to spend more when repurchasing from your business! Talk about a win-win.

To retain your customers, keep engaging with them. Keep talking to your customer through organic social media (and maybe a sneaky Facebook Ad every now and again) and through email. Other ways to keep retention high is to keep releasing new content on the blog that is relevant to your audience. And why not send them a discount code every now and then?

But whatever you do, don’t forget about relationship counselling. About 82% of US-based consumers have broke off the relationship with a business due to poor customer experience. Trained professionals in your customer service department will be able to keep disgruntled customers happy and might even be able to turn a negative review into a positive.

Keen to start digitally dating? Consider us your matchmaker.