How to Make the Most of a Surge in New Customers


Good news! Your Facebook campaign, recent flash sale, new product launch, etc. was successful! You have a sudden surge in new customers and you're feeling celebratory. But what next? How do you make the most of your recent win?

After you make time to enjoy your accomplishment (take your team out for drinks, order a 10-layer chocolate cake, purchase new stationery...oh wait, just me?) it's time to focus on delighting and retaining your newbies.

I'm going to assume you've already given them the best customer experience possible. With their exceptional first impression behind you it's time to focus on building a lasting relationship. Just like a personal relationship, you can expect this will take intention, time (but not too much!) and attentiveness. 

The average business loses around 20% of its customers per year by neglecting customer relationships. In some industries, this oversight can reportedly reach as high as 80%.
— iFoundries

Update Your CRM Tags

CRM, Customer Relationship Management, is absolutely key to business growth. You may be able to survive without it for a while, but the sooner you can integrate with a CRM, the better. Not sure what a CRM is? This article offers a great overview.

Whether you realize it or not, your new group of customers has offered you key pieces of information to help you build a mutually-beneficial relationship. And by "relationship" I don't mean "email them AllTheThings." That's not relationship. That's annoying, and it will cost you. (Also worth noting, emailing them NoneOfTheThings will also cost you.)

Assuming you have automated the addition of new customers to your CRM (if you haven't, add that to your priority list), login and add tags relevant to your recent success. Think through all of the possible nuggets of information their purchase or sign-up could teach you. Are they interested in baby-related products? Does their course purchase indicate they are starting a new business? Does their current product interest reveal potential for a future upsell or complementary products?

Be sure to include tags to tell you how you met these customers, how they found you, etc. This information will be invaluable for later interactions and will help with your email list segmentation.

Segmented campaigns had open rates that were 14.37% higher, clicks that were 64.78% higher, and unsubscribe rates that were 8.98% lower than non-segmented campaigns by the same users.
— MailChimp

Plan a Welcome Drip Campaign

Well-executed drip campaigns give you the opportunity to connect with your new customers thoughtfully and intentionally. Introduce them to the story of your business, share the ways you hope to continue serving them and additional perks. (Not sure what a drip campaign is? This article will help.)

Are drip campaigns time-consuming to set up? They can be. Especially your first one. But once you have it in place your full schedule and good intentions will thank you. Drip campaigns save you time and give you peace of mind in knowing that as soon as a new customer enters your community, they will be nurtured well from day one. Additionally, their interactions with your campaign messages will continue to teach you more about what they value and where you should spend your energy.

If you're ready to move beyond a welcome sequence, it's time to start experimenting with other options. This article gives a helpful overview of Ecommerce email marketing automation workflows and would be a great starting place.

Consider the Future

Use this experience as a nudge to review your business's strategic plan and evaluate where you are in the process. 

Does anything you're learning from these new customers change the course of your planning? What key learnings may help you improve customer service for your business at large? Are there assumptions you have made about your target audience that should be revisited?

Take time to think about the lifecycle of these new customers. Do you have a strong communication plan in place to make sure they are nurtured and cared for well? If all of these customers disappeared tomorrow, what would you wish you had done differently? 

Debrief Your Success

Don't let the benefit of a good debrief session get overlooked in the mayhem. Set aside time to chat about the recent campaign, launch, sale, etc. with your team members. Acknowledge what went well but ask the hard questions as well. What could have made this even better? 

It's understandable that customer care and attention may not have been 100% if you found yourself with a larger response than anticipated. Figure out what you should change next time to make sure customer service doesn't fall through the cracks and do what you can, creatively and genuinely, to "right" any wrongs.

End As You Began

With celebration! Businesses work tirelessly to find themselves with a surge of new customers. Whether your plans were years in the making or you found yourself the recipient of a "big break," this milestone is worth noticing and celebrating. 

Now go make the most of it.