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The ability to keep customers coming back for more, time and time again, is essential to the success of any business.  Dare we say it, customer retention is the holy grail of marketing.

Quite rightly, customers want to feel aware, informed and engaged with ‘must-have’ products and new ideas.  Most importantly, as business owners, we need to keep on opening their ideas to additional purchases and ways to build their loyalty.  But how should we do it without it appearing to be excessive spamming… or running the risk of losing these super-valuable existing customers?

An obvious tool in your marketing toolbox is social media and where better to look for inspiration than IKEA.

 

 

If you’ve made a purchase from IKEA recently, or are in fact already a loyal customer, you’ll have noticed an invitation to join them in their online world, placed strategically in your inbox.

The invitation is enticing.  It’s addressed to you… the two of you must be great friends as first name terms seem appropriate.  This super-personal approach instantly spring-boards you into IKEA’s brand and friendly approach, drawing you in and making you feel like part of the family.   IKEA wants you to connect with them through their Facebook page, a place alluringly equipped to feed your mind with inspiration.  You’ll even get the chance to enter competitions, pick up tips and post your own comments and pictures.  Hey and get this…you’ll be the first to hear about all the new beautiful products, yes you!  For a moment you forget that you’re one of thousands getting this… it feels like they’re talking directly to you and they actually value your opinion.

What IKEA has done here is create a win-win situation.  The customers are winners as they’ll be first to hear about new products, projects and offers and be able to communicate directly with IKEA; expressing concern or appreciation through comments posted on the page. But IKEA are also winners, because their customers will be talking publically about their products, sharing new ideas and promoting everything the company has to offer.  By ‘airing dirty laundry’ in public, by way of complaints and comments, IKEA is presented with the opportunity to demonstrate how much they care… another great win.  And this is before we even consider the value of the ever-increasing following on Facebook… that valuable database.

So, why does this eshot really work?  It exhibits IKEA’s caring nature regarding you, your needs and your opinions.  In short, it embodies their brand values in a tactical way.  The invitation itself is cleverly designed, giving the impression that you were hand picked, personally, to be a part of this online revolution.  But it goes further… famous for creating a one-stop-shop approach to furniture buying, this email does much the same for communications.  By presenting ALL the ways you can engage with the IKEA brand in one place it’s suitably streamlined and simple… you know what you’re getting, what’s on offer and what you need to do next.  It’s terribly, terribly clever how something as simple as ‘follow us on Facebook’ can be made to ‘feel’ like an extension of a brand, in this way.

Our advice?  Other companies, particularly those with a significant online presence, should be jumping to do the same, taking advantage of social media and email marketing to get their clients just as excited about their products and brand as they are.  Social media doesn’t have to be a dead-end, as this email proves.  It can be used as a tool to get people switched on to your brand, your values and your message.  So, add it to your loyalty card, return discount or recurring newsletter and think about how you can keep your customers coming back for more, again and again.

 

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