When you run a small business, it’s hard not to take it personally if customers don’t come back. We get it. If you’re working hard to bring new customers in, there are a few things you can do to encourage other ones to come back. This is what we’ve learned from the businesses in our network that are having the most success. We hope these tips help you, too.

So what’s the key to bringing folks back into your business? We’ve identified a couple of key things you can do, and pulled some of our own research from the thousands of businesses we work with, to help get customers back on the bandwagon.


1. Ask for Feedback

Why try and bring people back when you’re not super sure why they left in the first place? To start figuring out how to get customers back in, figure out why they left. Create a quick survey, ask for feedback, and take into account what people say.

Don’t want to send an email survey? Nift, a marketing platform for small businesses, let’s customers text their feedback in. By asking specific questions on cards customers see when they come in, and respond to via text, you’ll be able to get real-time feedback, fix small issues on the spot, and see larger trends.

Nift businesses can ask tailored questions, and receive feedback via texts from customers.


2. Give Them A Reason to Come Back

A special promotion or new product feature can entice people who haven’t been in for a while to make another visit. V. Kumar, a professor of marketing at Georgia State University adds that these offers are most successful when they address why the customer left: if it was price point, offer them a promotion that addresses that.

In Kumar’s study, he found that offering customers a promotion tailored to the reason they left yielded at least a 40% winback rate.

Offering something to your customers can draw them back in.


3. Try Pivoting to Another Platform

Using social media platforms to engage with your customers can hit two birds with one stone: social media can be used to collect customer feedback, or to re-engage with your customers and promote your brand somewhere other than their email inbox.

Are there questions you’re dying to ask customers? Opinions you want to know about? Run a campaign on social media. Using a hashtag on Twitter to get customers to share their thoughts lets you know what you can change, and gets them engaged.


4. Know When to Call It Quits

The graceful breakup is a hard art to master, but it’s definitely possible with lost customers. Sending emails that repeatedly go unopened makes your emails more likely to go right to spam folders.

Sending an email to let them make the choice to unsubscribe, while removing them from your customer list, can still work to communicate your business’s values and voice. Plus, you can let them know how to come back in the future.

Unsubscribe emails can still have personality, communicate your brand, and engage with customers.


5. Use Nifts to Remind Customers Why They Love You

Nift, a marketing platform for small businesses, brings new customers in, but it can also help businesses bring other customers back. How? Send Nift gift cards. Sending an email Nift gift, a gift card to another local business, reminds them you’re there, and reminds them why they love you.

Sending Nift gift cards to your customers makes them feel good, and reminds them why they love your business in the first place.