You can attract customers but how do you ensure that they do not stray away to a competitor? Your business will thrive if you have a long-term relationship with each customer. A lot of businesses burn money on acquiring customers but they fail to retain them with their brand. Retaining customers is an important key to profitability.
Everything that a brand can do to keep its customers around is called retention marketing. It’s easy to throw around terms and tell you the basics of business but today we will dive deep into this topic.
What is Retention Marketing and why is it important?
Retention marketing is a set of practices that a company applies to get a customer to return to them whenever they are in need of a similar product or service. If your company is able to retain customers then that is where you can differentiate yourself from the competition. All the big brands like Apple, Nike, and Tesla have a great retention rate.
Here are some of the practices which are used to retain customers:
1. A welcome email that introduces the customers to the brand. Use your ability of storytelling and make the customer feel like they are a part of something big.
2. A newsletter that keeps customers in the loop about new updates.
3. Loyalty programs that reward regular customers with discount coupons.
4. Emails that retarget customers who have not been associated with your brand for a while.
You have to work hard to make the existing customers happy. If you think that your marketing department alone can help you in retaining customers then you are wrong.
You need to provide the best product or service experience, excellent customer service, and come up with lucrative marketing ideas.
Now you have heard everything about retention marketing but why is it so important?
It costs around 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. Overall, retaining customers will help you build a profitable business quickly.
1. Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customers want a good consistent experience. If you go to a restaurant that provides an awesome experience and high-quality food every time you visit, then you will visit that place again, right?
When you are able to retain a customer, you also retain the profits that they bring with them. Customer retention increases the customer lifetime value.
2. Foster word-of-mouth marketing
The most effective way of getting new customers is through word-of-mouth marketing. People trust the recommendations of their friends and family without any doubt. Today people are stormed with ads everywhere and they don’t immediately trust a brand that promotes itself. However, if you are able to retain customers then they will be the ones who suggest your product or service to the others.
3. Positive ROI
Acquiring a customer will cost some money in the beginning but by retaining that customer for a long time. You will be able to get a positive return on your investment.
6 ways to grow your email list using retention marketing
By now you must have understood that customer retention is something that can build a successful business. You must be asking how to retain customers. You have to think about this before you execute a marketing plan. A good post-purchase closure may help in winning the trust of customers.
A customer’s journey does not end when they make the first purchase and it doesn’t end with retention too. It is a constant journey and your brand should provide quality service.
An email list helps your customers know that you are there with them in this journey and it increases brand recognition. That’s why you must use these 6 ways to grow your email list.
1. Utilize Social Media Marketing
People love social media but if your brand has to harness the power of social media marketing then you need to become much more than a company. You need to focus on fostering the growth of a community because people are on these platforms to connect.
When you build a community around your brand then retention becomes extremely easy. There are many ways to connect with customers on social media.
- Post engaging and informative content.
- Create fun challenges.
- Provide a call to action through the captions.
- End your posts with a question to see increased engagement.
- Reply to customer feedback or critique.
- Create a brand identity and keep the posts consistent with the brand voice.
When you start posting content that has a consistent brand tone then you will be successful in building a community.
Remember that each platform has a different personality and you may have to alter your posts a bit according to it. You may have to be a bit more witty on Threads than you are on LinkedIn.
Once you have created a good following on social media, you can gain email list signups from each platform.
2. Keep your customers in the loop
By now you must have understood that content plays an important role in marketing. However, the key is not to be promotional but to be informative. Promotional content is the easiest way to lose authority and trust.
Once the prospect notices that you are selling something they are out of there. They won’t like regular promotional emails from you, especially during the retention phase.
Make content that is obsessed with the customers and not selling. Create content that your customers can relate with and you will be able to keep them in the loop.
It will be easier to grow your email list if you are peddling such content instead of promotional spam.
3. Start loyalty programs
Loyalty programs help customers feel like valued members of the community.
They increase the customer lifetime value and ensure that your customers do not stray away to the competition.
Here is a quick guide to getting your loyalty program started. After a customer buys something you make them a compelling offer. If the offer is too good then you ask them for their email address to sign up for it.
Once the customer does that they receive special rewards and now they are part of your program. Loyalty programs can play a significant role in growing your email list.
Now your customers will return for more but that really depends on the type of program you run. Sometimes customers can sign up for a program and forget all about it.
There are different types of loyalty programs.
- Cashback programs
- Community programs
- Free perks programs
- Mission-based programs
- Tier-based programs
- Spend-based programs
- Point-based programs
- Paid programs
- Referral programs
Every loyalty program may not be right for you and your customers. The best one is consistent with your brand image and makes your customer’s life easy. Hotel chains generally run a tier-based program that helps them provide a level of luxury to their loyal customers.
Whereas companies like Starbucks run a loyalty program based on points. Even at the coffee shop, they ask you for your email address and phone number to sign you up for the program. You keep earning points based on your purchase history with Starbucks and when you have enough points, you can redeem a reward.
Email marketing is a fully-fledged part of retention marketing.
4. Run limited-time offers
Usually, it is advised not to sound salesy in your marketing material but you can promote your brand if you have a limited-time offer going on. A countdown for a discount or any other offer appeals to the fear of missing out.
Creating artificial scarcity can increase sales of a product. If you say that a product is available just now and will never be available again then you can get people to buy it.
Have you seen the lines at the Apple store? They know that the iPhone is about to be out of stock.
In a nutshell, it can be beneficial for your brand to run limited-time offers for a specific duration. Sales related to a festival are the best examples of this. Some stores even have seasonal sales.
You will need to inform your customers about your offers through emails, SMS, or other contact information. However, if a customer visits your site then you can also ask for their email so that they can receive limited-time offers.
When you actually send them a promo code for Christmas, they will know that your brand lives up to the hype.
Limited-time offers are amazing for your brand because they can be successful in attracting new customers along with retaining old ones.
If it fits your strategy then you can also create a special limited-time offer for your loyalty program customers. This will give them a special feeling of exclusivity.
5. Study the feedback seriously
Hearing customer complaints and improving your shortcomings is the best way to retain a customer. There are two benefits of taking feedback seriously. One is that customers will think that finally there is a brand that listens to its customers. Second one is that you will learn how to build a better product or service.
Every brand has a few channels which they can use to gain constructive criticism from customers. It can be social media channels, App store or Play Store, and customer emails.
Your customers will contact your customer service staff whenever they are frustrated with an aspect of your product or service. All you have to do is collect the information, study it, and improve upon the aspects that seem feasible.
The best brands like Dominoes always ask the customers for feedback when they visit an outlet. Being proactive in gaining consumer feedback is the best way to go. Instead of waiting for a customer to have a bad experience and then reach out to you it is better if you ask for the feedback first.
This way you can improve the annoying aspect of your business before it affects too many customers. Asking for feedback gives customers the feeling that your brand really caters to their needs.
You can also ask for their email address after asking for feedback. This is an amazing strategy to grow your email list. Once they provide you with the feedback, let them know that you have got their word. If your brand makes any changes based on the feedback then also you should inform that customer.
6. Give exclusive offers to long-term customers
Your customers will feel appreciated if you give them a token for their loyalty. You can run a limited-time offer for customers that have been with the company for a long time.
Personalization makes the customers feel truly special. Don’t forget to personalize your emails when you are sending these offers out.
Today with tools like Hubspot it is extremely easy to tailor each offer according to a customer.
You can give exclusive coupons to a customer on their birthday. They will feel that this brand cares about me and treats me with respect. Plus they get the benefit of discounts on special occasions.
Focus on customer behavior and you will be able to provide the right product suggestions and keep the customers with the company for a long time.
Exclusive offers also incentivize future purchases. Now your customers will know that they can turn to you for such offers in the future.
If your business is not just a fleeting hobby then you will be serious about retention marketing from the beginning. Email marketing is a key part of retention marketing since you need to know the emails of customers to stay connected with them.
You can run several programs to gain the emails of your customers. Reward customer behavior if it is benefiting your company and you will end up retaining the customer.
This way you will no longer have to keep burning money to acquire new customers. If you already have a good amount of recurring revenue then that is your safety net.