We’ve probably all heard a definition of marketing that paints as the means of drawing customers to your businesses,—complete with a million ways to do so—but have you noticed how little customer retention comes up in marketing resources.
We think that’s a missed opportunity. After all, once someone buys a product or service from you, you’d like that revenue stream to continue, right?
Ideas That Can Help You Build Customer Retention
There is a sweet spot—after the customer buys from you (at the proverbial bottom of your “sales funnel”)—where customer retention is key. And we’ve got a few ideas for how to make it happen.
Engagement is the heart of most retention strategies. After all, if you never hear from a company again after you make a purchase, it’s out of sight, out of mind. So why wouldn’t it be the same for your existing customers?
You want them to know their value. You want to optimize their customer experience so they keep coming back for more.
In addition to your acquisition strategies, it’s time to build customer retention strategies into your marketing plan. You can do this a variety of ways:
- Ad retargeting: you can retarget/refine existing ad campaigns for customers, based on specific ways they’ve already interacted with your brand.
- Post-purchase automation: Make sure you have email cycles that take customer loyalty into account. Thank you emails, as well as regular discounts and referral bonuses for regular customers, are great ways to boost engagement using email campaigns.
- Additional personalization: The more developed your relationship with a pool of customers becomes, the more customized their content should be.
- Social media: Your social channels can definitely work with your retention strategy. Just make sure you familiarize yourself with the social habits of your most loyal customers and find ways to segment the content so they’re not seeing the same exact content as your potential leads. [They’ve been there, done that: they’ll get bored fast.]
- Membership sites: Tons of brands use this as an effective retention strategy. Whether it’s through a discount card at your local grocery store or exclusive resource libraries, there are simple ways to get customers to opt-in to value-added content just for them (which builds a list of smoking hot leads for you the next time you have a product to promote or a service to launch).
- Google Ads: You can target Google Ads (and some social media ads) based on buying behavior.
Like all aspects of your digital marketing, we recommend using data/reporting, analytics, and of course, your budget to guide your retention strategies.
You don’t have to go for all the bells and whistles if you’re already doing what works— but make sure you know it works before you cement it into your strategy.
The numbers don’t lie. And that’s certainly the case when talking about the value of retention strategies. Marketing Metrics data tells us it’s 350% more profitable to sell to an existing customer than a new one. When you work for a company called ROI, it’s hard to ignore that stat.
One more thing: don’t forget referrals. Encouraging referrals with bonuses, discounts, or other incentives is a great way to gain free (word-of-mouth) marketing. Word of mouth marketing dan channel more hot leads straight to you. Does your marketing strategy include customer retention? If not, what needs to change?