06/12/2013 10:38 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Three Secrets to Keeping Your Best Customers

Getting new customers takes a lot of work.

You've put all that work into marketing and managed to entice lots of lovely buyers.

Now what are you doing to encourage them to stay with you? (And you DO need to encourage them to stay, otherwise they might be tempted by a better offer and leave).

Let me share three secrets that will help you to hang on to those oh-so-precious customers and encourage them to keep buying from you...

1. Keep in touch

You have their details so make sure you keep talking to them. Remember that 'out of sight is out of mind' and if you're not communicating with them, someone else might catch their eye. Send them a regular e-newsletter if you have their email address, showcasing products or services that they might like, offering answers to FAQs, even including some happy customer testimonials. If they have bought from you once then there's a good chance they'll come back, but only if you keep reminding them why you're such a great fit for them. Think 'top of mind' not 'out of sight'.

2. Make them feel special

Do some customer only offers. You know how the Banks and Phone companies keep making offers aimed at new customers? Well that's fine but I want you to take the opposite tack. I want you to make some offers ONLY to your existing customers. Give them a special discount code. Give them the first picks of your sale products. Offer them a freebie. Think about what would delight them and make them happy to be one of your customers while at the same time encouraging them to come back to your website for a look around.

3. Reward them

Thank them for their loyalty. Have they ordered several times? Say Thank You! Drop them a quick email saying how much you appreciate their custom. Give them a little added extra or bonus to show you appreciate them. Send your loyal customers a Thank You card (yes a real one, with a stamp and everything) - it will make them feel special and they will love the idea of receiving a card in the post.

So, lovely lady, how are you going to encourage your precious customers to keep coming back and buying from you? It's far cheaper and easier to sell more to existing customers than it is to keep finding new ones so how can you make this work for you?

Your challenge is to look at your existing customer list today and plan how you're going to make them feel special. What are you going to do to stay top of their mind?

Come up with at least three things and make sure you do one of them this week! That's a Girls Mean Business Challenge!