A successful business needs both new buyers and repeat customers.
Keeping hold of your existing customers can be the difference between sustainable growth and sporadic sales. But only 18% of businesses focus on customer retention, compared to 44% that focus on customer acquisition.
In this post, you’ll learn why retention marketing is essential and five strategies you can implement to turn one-off buyers into loyal customers and brand advocates.
What Is Retention Marketing?
Retention marketing, also known as loyalty marketing, refers to marketing strategies that aim to keep existing customers engaged and loyal to a company. When customers are happy, they buy more frequently and spend more over the customer lifecycle.
Every business needs new buyers, but getting the maximum value out of your existing customer base is crucial for growth and revenue.
Customer Retention vs. Customer Acquisition
The lifecycle of your business can be the most important consideration when it comes to customer retention or acquisition. A new business needs to scale its customer base and increase revenue quickly.
Inbound marketing is one of the most effective strategies for attracting new customers to your business. Instead of throwing money at advertising for a temporary spike in sales, inbound focuses on building relationships and getting your customers to find you. The success of your inbound strategy depends on how well your content connects with your target audience.
More established businesses need to do more than acquire new customers. You need to retain customers to achieve sustainable growth. Acquiring a new customer can cost 5x as much as keeping an existing customer.
One of the most common mistakes in business is assuming that your customers will keep coming back if you offer a great product or service. But the number one reason consumers take their business elsewhere is that they believe that the company is indifferent to them.
It’s not your product or service. It’s how your customer feels about your company.
Why Retention Marketing Is Crucial
Retention marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business:
- 80% of future revenue comes from just 20% of your existing customers.
- A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.
- Existing customers are 50% more likely to try your company’s new product or service.
You shouldn’t abandon your customer acquisition strategy and go all-in on customer retention, but a combination of inbound acquisition and retention marketing can be a powerful catalyst for growth.
Delighting your existing customers can also make an impact on customer acquisition. Loyal customers become brand advocates and recommend your business. An overwhelming 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over advertisements.
A customer will tell 3x as many people about a bad experience than a positive one. Keeping your customers happy and limiting negative experiences is key to word-of-mouth marketing.
How to Do Retention Marketing
The most effective retention marketing tactic is to stay top of mind by engaging your customers and offering consistent value throughout every touchpoint.
Here are five retention marketing tactics you can use to achieve just that:
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing and retention marketing go hand in hand. You can create content targeting each stage of the buyer’s journey, including the delight stage.
One of the simplest ways to use content marketing for retention is to create a help center on your website. According to a survey by Zendesk, 67% of people prefer to use a self-service resource rather than speaking to a customer service representative.
Creating a help desk can boost customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and take the pressure off of your customer service team.
2. Social Media Marketing
For 28% of marketers, social media marketing is their number one customer retention strategy. You can use social media to engage your customers, distribute content, and build trust and loyalty.
Alongside the content you produce, you can promote user-generated content on your social profiles. Sharing content that shows how your customers have benefited from your product or service is a great way to acquire new customers and delight your existing customers.
3. Email Marketing
According to eMarketer, email marketing is 56% more effective than any other method of retention marketing. You can stay top of mind and engage your customer base with highly personalized and trackable messaging.
A scheduled newsletter is a great way to keep your customers informed and add value to the experience of buying from your company. An easy win is to send tutorials and guides to new customers that show how to get more out of your products.
With email list segmentation, you can send promotional messages when the customer is due to make a repeat purchase.
One of the most effective customer retention strategies is remembering special occasions and sending out personalized messages. For example, a birthday congratulations message is a simple gesture that shows you care about your customers.
4. Offering Unique Services
If you provide a high-value service with an extended customer lifecycle, you can delight and retain your best clients by offering a unique service or benefit that your customer won’t be able to get anywhere else.
Work out which of your customers are the most profitable, and reward these customers with a discount, gift, upgrade, or customized service.
You can ask your VIP customers for feedback and work out how you can go above and beyond by eliminating a bottleneck, improving a process, and enhancing the customer experience.
5. Customer Feedback Loop
To improve customer retention, you need to know how your customer feels about your products/services and the experience of buying from your company. A customer feedback loop based on a Net Promoter Score can be a valuable tool for gaining these insights.
A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric based on the likelihood of your customer recommending your business to a friend or colleague. It works on a scale of zero to ten. You can calculate your NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors (people who scored 0 to 6) from the percentage of promoters (customers that scored 9 or 10). Scores range from -100 to +100.
For example, if 70% of your customers are promoters and 8% are detractors, your NPS would be 62.
Here’s an overview of industry benchmarks from Nice Satmetrix:
Keeping track of your NPS and comparing your score to your industry standard will help you to measure performance and create goals to work towards.
You can ask follow-up questions as part of your customer survey to identify areas for improvement.
According to research by Bain, companies that achieve long-term growth and profitability have a NPS that is 2x higher than the average company.
Your customer base is one of your company’s most significant assets. Existing customers are much more likely to buy from you, spread positive word of mouth, and are worth more than new customers on average.
The more customers you can retain, the more sales you will make, and the more profitable your business will be.
To see how you can improve customer retention and skyrocket your revenues, schedule a call with the marketing experts at Ogno. We’ll help you put together a retention marketing strategy that fosters customer loyalty and inspires brand advocacy.
This is a guest post written by Michael Wirth.
I work for Ogno, a Berlin based digital growth agency that focuses on search engine optimization, PPC and brand enhancement. I write engaging and insightful digital marketing content that is easily applicable to the reader.
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