8 Tips for Customer-Focused Marketing Promotions

By Jim Novo, an interactive customer retention, defection, and loyalty expert with nearly 20 years experience generating exceptional returns on customer marketing program investments.

These are patterns of behavior seen repeatedly in customer marketing, and can be used to increase profits.

1. Always advertise where the behavior you want to create is. If you want clicks, advertise where people are clicking. If you want buyers, advertise where people buy.

2. The media and method used to acquire a customer has a very large effect on the potential value of the customer. Customers from search engines will have different buying patterns and potential values than customers from banner ads. Measure these differences.

3. 50 percent to 60 percent of your customer base will be one-time buyers or visitors. Accept it. You'll waste a ton of money trying to change it, and it's not going to change. One-time buyers who bought multiple items on the first purchase are a possible exception. Try them first. Then try one-time buyers with the highest order value. If these don't bite, none of the one-time buyers will.

4. The only chance you have at getting a first-time buyer to purchase again is to contact them quickly after the first purchase.

5. One-time buyers who return their only purchase CAN be better marketing targets than those who don't return their purchase - IF the customer service experience they have in dealing with the return is outstanding.

6. Customers on average will buy down in price over their LifeCycle; unless you take specific action to influence this behavior, the average order price falls over time. For this reason, buyers who "go cheap" on the first purchase usually have lousy future value.

7. One $50 1st purchase customer is worth more than two $25 1st purchase customers. See #6 above for the reason.

8. Resend a promotion to the same people. You can often get 50% of the first response rate if the original promotion was a targeted one. It's OK to send exactly the same promotion, can be better to send slightly different copy, like "2nd chance!"

Jim Novo is the author Drilling Down - Turning Customer Data into Profits with a Spreadsheet.

Contact Jim at or go to The Drilling Down Website: (


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