One-time customers are walking away with your revenue. Each one-and-done customer that your business sees, is more revenue opportunity lost. You’ve heard before how important it is to turn your one-time buyers into repeat purchasers. It’s something that cannot be stressed enough because it’s absolutely crucial to keeping your business alive and thriving. Why is it so important to keep these buyers coming back?


The cost of customer retention is much lower than the cost of customer acquisition.


Repeat customers tend to spend anywhere from 4-10 times more money on each future purchase.


Loyal customers drive more revenue to your business by word-of-mouth recommendations, and online reviews.


According to, repeat buyers make up just 8% of visitors, but deliver 40% of revenue.


Save more time, and make more money by completing more costly jobs for fewer (loyal) customers.


You’re probably thinking, “I get it. Customer retention is important. I just don’t know what I can do to ensure I’m turning my one-time buyers into repeat customers.” Good news! You’re about to get tips on how to do just that:

Contact Your Buyer Twice in the 2 Weeks Following their Purchase

Contacting your customer one time per week in the first two weeks after their purchase helps set up future transactions. How? Well, your first message (text or email) should be a thank you/follow-up. Sending your customer a thank you message that includes an offer for their next purchase is a great way to close-out their first buying experience with you. It doesn’t need to be anything too extensive. Something as simple as, “Thank you for using Joe’s Plumbing! Please accept our offer of 15% off your next service with us, as a token of our gratitude.” This sets up the expectation that they will use your business again, and benefits them.

After that first week goes by, you should consider sending one more message the next week. This is just to solidify your commitment to them as a customer and remind them that you’re there next time they need you. This message could include a limited time offer for them to take advantage of! Your messaging could go something like this, “Because we value your loyalty to us, we wanted to let you know that we’re offering $10 off any furnace tune-up this week only! Call now to ensure you get an appointment before the offer expires.” Who doesn’t love getting a discount on necessary services? By sending out this type of follow-up, you’re helping your customer to remember you in order to build that repeat loyalty!


Develop a Seamless Customer Loyalty Program

Customer loyalty programs are a great way to keep them coming back! People love knowing that they are getting a deal, and working toward something. Think of your loyalty program as renting vs. owning your home. When someone uses a business without a loyalty program, they are having a service completed and nothing more. However, if you have a loyalty program, they are working toward something, whether that be a dollar amount or percentage off a service, or even something free. According to ICLP, 74% of Baby Boomers, 58% of Gen X and 41% of Millennials claim they would be encouraged to spend with a brand that has a loyalty program. That is a lot of new customers who would be willing to try you out just because you have a loyalty program in place. Once they feel like they are earning something with your loyalty program (after their first purchase), they will be much more likely to come back.


Take Advantage of Email & Text Marketing

We live in a world of technology where over 6 billion text messages and 205 billion emails are sent each day in the United States. Those are some pretty high numbers! Why not get a piece of the pie and make sure your business is benefiting from those messages? It’s pretty obvious that those are popular and preferred forms of communication. If you aren’t already communicating with your customers through text and email marketing, now is the time to start! Your first follow-up message can be sent through text message. After that, it’s a good idea to start an email marketing campaign where you engage with those same customers via email.

It’s important to note that you don’t want to be caught up in the mess of spammy-emails. Nobody appreciates getting emails from businesses everyday, and certainly not if there’s no benefit to them. Instead, make sure your text message and email message content is valuable, and not overdone. Depending on your business industry, sending emails or text messages once each month, or once every other money is typically ideal. If you have a quick tip or something helpful to share with your customer base, include that. Building trust is a first step in turning your one-time buyers into repeat purchasers. For example, if you are an electrician, and you have some good tips and ideas for helping people decrease their power bill, be sure to include that in your contact emails. If you are offering a promotion or discount, don’t hesitate to let those customers know! They will appreciate the discount, and you will benefit from their repeat appointments.

The last thing that needs to be emphasized, is sending out reminder emails and/or texts! If you complete a service for someone that needs follow-up, it’s crucial that you remind them at the right time. If you are a carpet cleaner and you recommend customers get their carpets professionally cleaned every six months, remind them! You can do this by sending out a text/email 5 months after their previous appointment, asking them to call and set up their appointment for the upcoming month.


Measure Your Performance

Knowing what is working and what is not when it comes to repeat customers for your business will help you know where you should be spending time and money. Track your metrics and be sure you know where you’re spending and where your business is benefiting. If those don’t line up, you know it’s time to make a change. You should be taking time to engage with your customers through text, email and social media. Then be sure to track which platforms are providing the most benefit to you so you know what might need more attention, or another pair of eyes, and what is working for you as is!


Don’t be too hard on yourself when you end up with a one-time customer here and there, but do implement these tips into your business to ensure the amount of one-time customers rapidly decreases. You will be pleasantly surprised with how much growth in revenue you see when you have loyal customers and repeat purchasers coming back time and time again!


For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!