Direct marketing, also known as relationship marketing is concerned with establishing a long term relationship with your client and the Loyalty Ladder is a concept worth harnessing.
It’s easy to see that relationship marketing doesn’t just look for “one off” sales. By nurturing and continuing your relationship with your clients you maximise your income potential with the least amount of effort. And doesn’t that just make sense?
This strategy applies whether you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business. And whether you are selling services or products. It’s simply easier to sell to an existing client than to create a new one. At the same time without a constant source of new potential clients there would be no possibility of an ongoing relationship and eventually business would simply dry up.
So both strategies are essential in the marketing mix.
There’s a whole different philosophy required when you understand the power of the loyalty ladder and take into consideration the life-time value of a client. Taking a longer view enables you to create your business around the needs of your clients so you’ll always have something more they can buy from you.
Either more of the same, your next new offering or your higher level offering. The more purchases your client makes the more they move up in the loyalty stakes.
In marketing terms this is described as the Loyalty Ladder and the objective is to move your prospects progressively up the ladder until they become advocates of your brand.
It’s a great analogy because it’s easy to imagine a ladder where the first step is the beginning of your client relationship and the last step on the ladder is the pinnacle. So picture that ladder in respect of your first engagement with a prospective client – on the bottom rung – through to them being your top cheer leader.
With that in mind you can create your marketing strategies to serve and support people at every level and provide opportunities to take that next step with you.
It looks like this.
Rung #1 Prospect – likely future purchaser (getting to know, like and trust you)
Rung #2 Customer – first-time purchaser (willing to try what you offer)
Rung #3 Client – repeat purchaser (want more of the same)
Rung #4 Supporter – tries your new products/services (want more of what you offer)
Rung #5 Advocate – your brand champion (tells others)
It is also worth remembering that not all prospects will move up the ladder one rung at a time as some will jump a couple of rungs but that is not important. What is important is that your ladder is stable and you are there to provide support and serve your clients every step of the way.