Relationship Marketing: An Often Neglected Way of Boosting Your Sales

All forms of marketing are actually relationship marketing. The marketing efforts and marketing plan of any business are about building relationships with its customers or target audience, so that they eventually buy from them.

Relationship marketing can be done in many ways. Depending on the phase a business is at, and the industry it is operating in, marketers can come up with creative ways to connect to their customers and influence their decisions.

The importance of relationship marketing is not only relevant to the sales department, but to all aspects or departments of a business. A business that is able to frequently penetrate its customers’ minds and influence their actions is successful in all its operations. After all, making sales is just the end goal of a business. It needs to have efficient financing and production in place in order to achieve that. The employees of a business need to be aligned with the overall business objectives. Therefore, all the people involved in a business, not just the staff doing direct marketing, should be focused on dealing with customers in a friendly and influential way.

Relationship marketing can have both short-term and long-term effects. If a relationship marketing strategy is implemented intending to clear stock for a particular product line, for instance, it is done to bring short-term effects. If relationship marketing efforts are made to enhance the brand equity, it is done to reap long-term benefits.

Before moving to the ways of carrying out relationship marketing, let’s define this phrase as accurately as possible.

What is Relationship Marketing?

Relationship marketing is the area of marketing that is done solely with the purpose of gaining, satisfying, and keeping the customers of a business. Instead of focusing on sales transactions, it focuses more on the opinions a customer forms about a brand. It is part of a company’s customer relationship management, which is also sometimes referred to as its customer relationship marketing strategy.

Customer retention forms a major part of relationship marketing. Companies build and maintain relationships with their customers so that they would continue to prefer their brand and make repeat purchases from them. Businesses know that it is more costly to attract and get new customers than to keep the existing customers happy and satisfied. Therefore, businesses will invest more time and money in making sure they are keeping their existing customer base intact. Companies that conduct a competitor analysis regularly can often do this successfully.

4 Effective Ways to Implement Relationship Marketing Strategy

Relationship marketing is a broad area of a business. It usually takes a series of actions to be taken by a company’s staff to ensure all-star customer success. Here are 4 effective ways that contribute to a company’s relationship marketing strategy. These can be seen as examples of relationship marketing efforts.

1. Keeping Avenues Open for Your Audience to Contact Your Business

This one is particularly important in relationship marketing when you are building your brand awareness and implementing your advertising strategies. Each one of your ads, whether run online or offline, must have a call-to-action guide to inform your audience what they need to do if they are interested in your products. If the run is run online, you can place call-to-action buttons on, below, or next to the ad. Call-to-action buttons come in several different forms.

  • Buy Now
  • Add to Cart
  • Learn More
  • Contact Us

Strikingly user's website screenshot showing an add to cart button

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Each one of these buttons has a slightly different purpose, but nonetheless, they are all guiding the customer towards the next step they can take to get one step closer to making a purchase. Hence, they are all part of your relationship marketing strategy.

If you have a brand website, make sure there are ways mentioned on it to let your customers know how they can get in touch with you. Many websites use a contact form to serve this purpose. Others provide a customer support email address that is clearly stated on their landing page. Some companies provide a toll-free phone number for their audience to contact via call.

contact form on a Strikingly user's site

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

The best way to offer pre-purchase customer support as part of your online relationship marketing strategy is to offer live chat support on your website. At Strikingly, we provide 24/7 live chat support to all our users. Our users are welcome to contact us anytime with any query that they have, and we get back to them via chat instantly during any hour of the day.

Screenshot of Strikingly live chat support

Image taken from Strikingly

2. Building an Online Brand Community

This is particularly effective for relationship marketing because it encourages engagement and interaction with customers. An online community is a place where your customers feel safe to share their opinions about your brand, and offer solutions to other members of the community to any queries that someone might have. A brand community is an excellent way to show the strength of your brand because it’s a place where your happy customers interact with your other customers, and usually in a positive way.

Among the benefits of relationship marketing conducted through a brand community is that your customers are able to receive support from others in the community, which means you or your staff doesn’t always need to be on their toes to answer customers’ questions. Your happy customers would happily do the job for you. This further helps in spreading a positive word about your brand and building a good brand image for your company.

At Strikingly, we have an online community called the Strikingly Idea Forum, where our members share ideas about web development and creative ways of using Strikingly for running a website. We welcome all kinds of ideas and feedback there and invite you to join in too.

Screenshot of Strikingly idea forum

Image taken from Strikingly

3. Providing Awesome Post-Purchase Customer Service

Good customer service is one that does not end once your customer has completed a purchase. Companies that provide awesome customer service continue to court their customers even after the sale has been made. Their relationship marketing efforts don’t end at the point of sale. They continue to provide post-purchase customer care. This works wonders for building trust in the eyes of your customers so that they keep coming back to buy from you.

If your website provides good post-purchase customer support, for instance, your site’s conversion rate will be high. This is because, along with bringing in new customers, you will get repeated sales from your existing customers.

One way of providing post-purchase customer support for effective relationship marketing is to send newsletters to your website’s email list on a regular basis. If you build a website on Strikingly, you can send newsletters to your subscribers very easily.

Screenshot of Strikingly user's subscription form

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

4. Giving Sales Offers and Bundle Discounts

Customers like discounts and sales offers more than anything else. After all, who doesn’t like to save money? Making sales offers on your highly demanded products from time to time is a good relationship marketing strategy. It encourages customers to make bulk purchases from you, and go back home satisfied that they spent less money shopping at your store than they would otherwise have spent if there was no sale going on.

Bundle discounts are discounts offered on a group of products that are sold together in a bundle or package. They are a form of upselling, or clearing stock of products that are hard to sell separately. Companies focused on relationship marketing come up with bundle discounts on a monthly, or sometimes on a more regular, basis.

5. Running Referral Marketing Campaigns to Encourage Customer Engagement

Referral marketing is a relationship marketing strategy whereby a business gives an incentive or a reward to its customers for recommending their brand or product to others in their network.

For example, if we run a referral marketing campaign on Strikingly, we would offer you a discount on our Pro Plan’s next month’s payment if you can bring us a new customer who purchases our Pro Plan within this month based on your recommendation to them.

Referral marketing is quite effective in boosting a company’s sales, especially if the incentive given has an entertaining element to it. Customers can easily recommend your brand to others by making posts about it on social media. Their peers are receptive to their posts and messages on social media, as they see them as friendly messages rather than pushy advertisements. Thus it is a good way to enhance your relationship marketing.

Now that you have many examples of relationship marketing, you can use them in your business. Most importantly, relationship marketing is easier if it’s done over the internet. Marketing content has more potential to go viral if it is posted on the internet. That is why most businesses are looking to build a solid online presence for their brand these days.

If you also want to have a fantastic website for your business, which is easy to develop and simple to maintain, try out our website building platform. Sign up for your free Strikingly account and check out our tools by first selecting a ready-made website template for your site. We promise to provide you with good customer support throughout your journey of building and running your website with us. We believe in relationship marketing as much as any other business would do.