I have been in web marketing since 1995 and this is the one thing I try to pound home repeatedly.
In the retail sector, the average customer retention rate is 28% — this refers to the number of people who purchase from a company more than 3 times.
The vast majority of companies and corporations I have worked with over the years do not retain even half that number. I have a client that is obsessed with traffic while retaining 11%.
For all but brand-new businesses with no customers, the biggest source of potential traffic (and sales) is their mailing list and their shopping cart.
Bring back some small measure of the people who bought once and you won’t need to worry about the cash register running dry.
Side note: thanks for what you do. I look for your articles daily and thought it was high time to say thanks! :)