How Your Small Business Can Get Repeat Customers – 16 Tactics to Try

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

I have said many times to the small businesses that I advise, why do you spend all of your time chasing new business, when you can also get repeat business from your customers.

I believe most small businesses should aim for 30 to 40% of their business to be repeat customers. Of course, it does depend on what you sell. For example if you sell wedding gowns, chances are a bride is a one-time customer. But you can get referral business from her if she was happy. If you sell to wedding stylists, they definitely would be repeat customers.

How to get repeat customers small business

If you sell supplies for people to make products, then your business should be more like 70 – 80% repeat customers. People typically don’t like to switch suppliers. Certain professionals like doctors and dentists likely have an 80% repeat customer rate.

To get repeat business, you need to stay in touch after the sale, but in a subtle way. Here are some tactics to try that are not pushy, but help your customers to remember that you exist.

16 Ways to Get Repeat Business

  1. Send a thank you card/email
  2. Send a coupon for a discount off their next order
  3. Ask them to subscribe to a special offers newsletter
  4. Follow them on social media
  5. Mention them on your social media pages
  6. Hold customer appreciation events
  7. Hold exclusive customer-only sales
  8. Give them a free tip or piece of advice
  9. Send them a free download relevant to your business
  10. Offer a rewards card
  11. Send them free samples of new products
  12. Allow them to create a wish list and be notified when those items go on sale
  13. Give them a special discount on their birthday or Black Friday
  14. Send an annual free gift, like a calendar
  15. If you sell products, offer returning customers a free service
  16. If you sell services, offer returning customers a free product

Remember, people appreciate that you appreciate, and that is how it should look, not like you are trying to get more business.


Special Offer! 30-minute Marketing Consultation for $69 US

I offer a 30-minute marketing consultation by phone, where you can ask me any questions about the marketing of your business and I will give you advice, ideas and tactics to try.  The cost is just $69 US, and is a great opportunity to get all your questions answered! You can order here.


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Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.