Customer retention is one of the most crucial aspects of your business, any business in fact relies heavily on customer retention. If you have great customer acquisition but are losing those customers you put time and money into getting, you’re never going to grow. If you are implementing a poor customer retention strategy, you’re going to do exactly what you intended not to do. When you have a successful email marketing strategy, it not only improves customer retention but is also the most successful form of marketing to date.
How To Improve Your Customer Retention
To put the importance of customer retention in numerical values, Get Response’s study suggests that there is a 32% chance that your first-time customers will buy from you again, and second-time customers are 53% more likely to place a third order. By the time a customer has placed their 10th order, they are 83% more likely to buy again!
It can cost nearly 16 times more to acquire new customers than it is to retain an existing one. Customer retention is a key strategy to increase your customer engagement and strengthen your brand.
Your customer’s experience and how you conduct customer service is necessary to help sustain their interest in your business. New customers are harder to convince, so they will need an effective marketing plan to get them to eventually buy from you. Email marketing helps target new customers and nurture existing ones when it comes to customer service and retention. Email marketing helps strengthen bonds, keep up brand awareness, and help improve your overall reputation.
Email Marketing + Customer Retention
As we’ve mentioned, email marketing is the best tool in your toolbox. It is the most effective and simple strategy that converts prospects into customers. Marketing is turning prospects into customers, and when done right, email marketing will also change a customer into a returning customer. To make customers come back again and again it’s necessary to use email marketing and focus on the post purchase stages. You want to maximize the lifetime value of loyal customers who will continue to purchase from you.
Email marketing allows you to have a high degree of personalization, which is key for customer engagement. When customers are engaged, they are more likely to stay with the company and continue to engage with your correspondence. The main idea is to understand the basic needs of your customers. When you have a good grasp of what your customers want and how to relieve their pain points, this will help increase customer lifetime value and long-term profitability. Some companies go as far as using AI and big data to unearth what their customers prefer and customize emails based on their previous purchases. Research indicates that more than 80% of businesses rely on email marketing for customer retention.
What Is Retention?
We’ve spoken about customer retention and its importance, but it is crucial to understand what retention really means. Customer retention is driven by the satisfaction and engagement that comes from your customers. In order to have good retention, you need to have satisfaction and engagement.
** Satisfaction + Engagement = Customer Retention**
But retention is not one size fits all, with email marketing today, retention comes in many forms. The one similarity that they all share is that they are all designed to increase customer satisfaction and engage them more thoroughly with your product. Email marketing is aimed to improve overall customer experience, reduce customer effort, and deliver exceptional customer service.
Your Email Marketing Strategy
Regardless if it is customer acquisition or retention, email requires a certain knowledge to get it right. Many businesses will strategize their customer retention blindly, and unfortunately, not get their desired results. Email marketing is a powerful tool that has a learning curve to be used correctly.
As mentioned above, customers cost more to acquire than to retain. Logically, you would put the importance of retention if they provide more value in the long term and are cheaper to nurture. Without any retention plan, you’re throwing money away trying to replace the existing customer instead of keeping them engaged and happy.
Retention strategies will make use of triggered emails. A trigger email is an automated email that will go out in response to an action taken or not taken by a user. Triggered emails have shown that they have twice the amount of click-through rates than mass emails. When you combine that with the statistic that 40% of users enjoy getting emails from their favorite brands, then you have an amazing opportunity to build a relationship with current customers based on their actions.
As mentioned earlier, personalization is a key element when it comes to your email marketing campaigns for customer retention.
With email personalization, you are grouping your customers in certain categories based on various elements. These elements could be geographic location, actions they’ve taken on previous emails, gender, etc…
When you group your email customers into different categories, it helps you in the long run. Sending personalized emails is a great way to improve your email marketing campaigns and see a higher retention rate overall.
- People like to feel like people. No one wants to receive a cold and computer-generated message. You want to make every customer feel special and give them personalized attention.
- For example, by using their first name in the subject line or when opening an email with “Dear Sam”, a little goes a long way.
Personalized messages are a wonderful way to engage with customers and it has also proven a great way for customers to engage with your brand as well. Making it easy for your customers to engage with you is always a plus. You want to take out any unnecessary steps for them to take the desired action.
Quick Helpful Tips
You want your emails to be engaging and worth the skim - honestly, not many people read an email word for word. So try to:
- Write in short and concise sentences
- Keep them to the point
- Leave out any unnecessary words, and speak like you’re chatting with a friend
- Use the 3 by 3 method: the reason why you’re emailing, the vision, and any proof of success
- Send a newsletter letting your customers know there are people behind the screen
Let's Build Your Customer Retention Strategy
We’ve covered what customer retention is, what it takes to have a successful email marketing strategy and how it needs to be done right. We are now going to talk about what you need to do before sending out your customer retention emails and how to set up your next campaign. Remember that this sometimes can be a trial and error strategy, what one trick may work for you may not work for another company. As you go along and learn while doing you will find the best ways that work for you and your customers. But here are some tips that can help you get started on the right foot.
Get your customers out of limbo
Email marketers will always encounter customers that feel they get no value from your product, so they churn. This could look like a paying customer who hasn’t logged in for a while, or who hasn’t made their purchase but has engaged with your product. Whatever the reason, if your user isn’t benefiting from your product you should be sending personalized emails to get them re-engaged and have your business at the forefront of their mind. By sending them personalized emails and adding value to them, they’re more likely to engage with your product and continue to make that final purchase. You want to take any customer that is in limbo and get them back on tr
Make your product value very clear
Whenever you communicate with your customers or potential customers, you need to be clear on what it is you want and what value you are providing them. The best way to go about this is by expressing your knowledge of the pain points of your industry, and explaining how your product can alleviate those pain points.
This is also a great opportunity to explain why you’re better than any other competitor, and where they are able to find more resources to help them unlock the full potential of your product or service. Always remind them how much value your product can provide them and make their lives easier.
Use what’s working for current customers
Did you know someone is 80% more likely to purchase from you when they were given a recommendation from someone else? No matter if they are a stranger or a review on the internet, people are more likely to use a product that they know works for other people. Use the reviews of those who already know and love your business to help influence others to continue using your product. Additionally, with reviews you’re able to see valuable feedback coming from your customers, when you respond and make changes based on feedback it reinstates the value you hold for your customers. By understanding your feedback it allows you to have a good idea of when customers churn or are in danger of churning.
Keep your emails consistent
When we say keep your emails consistent, we don’t just mean the frequency. Keep in mind what kind of emails you’re sending, what are the triggers behind them, then why you’re actually sending the email out. For example, when a new product or feature is launching, keep it consistent with the email you send out, the follow up, and the trigger responses. This helps give your customers an idea of when they’ll hear from you and also gives them confidence that you will alert them with new features or product announcements which helps boost your reputation.
What’s your subject line?
Your email retention is based on how many people actually open your emails. Subject lines are the first interaction your customers have with your email marketing campaign. They play a large role in whether or not an email gets opened or sent straight to the trash. Keep your subjects short, clear, and state your value. Your subject line should be easily digestible and enticing to learn more about your product.
Positive feedback plays such a big role in terms of customer satisfaction, engagement, and retention. By building feedback loops you can see what your customers feel hold the most value, and get a better understanding of why people churn. You should be regularly asking for feedback from your customers, and always send an email when a user does churn to better understand why they did so and what areas you can improve upon.
Test your ideas
Now it’s time to test your amazing ideas. It’s important to test your ideas and thankfully with big data, the guesswork is minimized. By using analytics and your metrics you’re able to see how well your retention strategy is working and what seems to be lacking. When you measure your metrics you’re able to see what works and what does not and adjust as needed. Remember, data for retention is a slower process. So if you change your retention email strategy today, your churn rate will not plummet tomorrow, no matter how great your strategy is. Allow time for things to adjust and settle before getting frustrated and changing your strategy again.
Take advantage of templates
Email marketing allows for a lot of personalization, but are you ever feeling that you’re sending the same things over and over again? Templates allow you to create a basic message but personalize it in a way that is unique to each customer. This helps you make things a little more personal but also more specific to certain customers. Templates also help you save time and make your retention emails more easy to refine and more concise when it comes to messaging.
Clean your email lists
When you are sending out email marketing correspondence you need to ensure that you’re sending to valid email addresses. This not only helps your sender reputation score but also your deliverability. Not to mention, you’re able to remove any unwanted email addresses that have gone bad or are no longer in use. This also helps improve your customer retention because you’re sending to only engaged email addresses that are wanting to receive your communication and hear more about your brand. Using a tool like Emailable helps improve your overall email marketing ROI and improve your customer retention.
Retain Your Customers
Your customers are important, and retaining them is even more important. We’ve covered how crucial it is to keep your customers around, remember that it’s way more expensive to gain new customers than to keep the ones you have. The best practices you should know before making your customer retention emails.
- Keep in mind the formula for retaining customers: Satisfaction + Engagement = Customer Retention
- Take advance of your trigger responses
- Personalize your emails whenever possible
- Understand your metrics and learn from them
- Keep your email lists clean
With these tips and tricks in mind, you’re on the way to a stupendous email marketing campaign designed with customer retention in mind.