When you run a business, a lot of your marketing efforts have to focus on hooking customers for the first time. It can be easy to forget the value in getting them to come back after making their first purchase. Customer retention is just as important as acquiring those clients in the first place.

You need to put just as much work into getting them to come back again as you do getting them to buy for the first time. If you’re not sure how to do that, use this guide to help you create a strategy for your business. You’ll soon have a loyal customer base that always turns to you first.

1. Send emails

Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with your customers. It’s a shame then that so many companies get it wrong. It’s a valuable tool, but if you aren’t careful you can go overboard and put people off. An email now and then can be just the nudge that a customer needs to make another purchase from you.

You can remind them of your existence, send thank-you emails and make sure you don’t lose touch. Having an opt-in newsletter will mean they can request information from you. But send too many emails and they will very quickly become fed up and change their opinion of you.

2. Use sms marketing

Similarly, using SMS to contact your customers can also be a good way of keeping in touch. You can use is for a lot of the same things as email, such as order and delivery confirmations or marketing. An SMS gateway is useful in a range of industries, from ecommerce to travel and hospitality. It can be used to send notifications and reminders, as well as special offers. It can help you to retain your customers by improving your communication with them.

3. Offer deals to existing customers

Whether you use email, SMS, telephone calls or direct mail, you can offer special deals to existing customers. People often entice new people in with great offers, but then they forget about the people who have already done business with them. If you neglect your loyal customers, they might decide to go elsewhere.

Giving them exclusive discounts, freebies or early access to content makes them feel appreciated. Be sure to let them know that they’re receiving deals that new customers don’t get.

4. Ask for their feedback

People often want to know that they have a say in their favorite brands or products. They also want to see that you care about making your services as good as they can be. Asking customers for feedback in different ways can encourage them to maintain a relationship with your brand. You could invite comments and questions via email, create a customer survey or interact with them on social media.

Don’t let your customers get away after they’ve made their first purchase. Try out some of these methods to keep them hooked and get them coming back over and over again.

This post was submitted by a contributor. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on starting a business, productivity or life hacks with our audience.