Finding the ideal customer is one thing and keeping them active is another. Effective marketing strategies should incorporate both acquisition and retention simultaneously. Howard Feirertag and John Hogan (1) have found that businesses lose up to 67% of customers due to lack of contact and relationship building. Don’t let this be you.
Email automation offers compound investment returns for an unbelievably affordable price. Leveraging your marketing campaigns properly will undoubtedly increase the long term value of existing customers.
How does email marketing work for customer retention versus acquisition? Here are 8 ways you can adjust your next marketing campaign to increase customer loyalty.
Segmenting your email list properly allows you to keep acquisition and retention as two separate entities. It also allows you to target the specific motivation of each customer based on their position in the sales funnel. First time buyers will not be as responsive to emails targeted toward long term customers. And it certainly wouldn’t make sense for someone who has never purchased your products to receive “welcome back” emails. Segment your list and target your audience appropriately to increase your LTV.
Customers are more apt to open emails that pique their curiosity and align with their current or anticipated needs. Analyze your retention list and find their loyalty driver. What do they want from a company? What problem do they need to solve?
If your emails address those questions, your retention rates will increase. There are various types of emails you can send to make customers retain to keep them active including loyalty rewards, post purchase thank-yous, special occasion, and welcome back emails. These types of messages acknowledge the customer’s previous experience with your company while staying in touch and nurturing an emotional connection.
Customers will look forward to your emails if you consistently send them valuable, and relevant content. Send topics relevant to your industry which answer questions a majority of your customers may have. If you keep them interested, they will stay subscribed and are likely to remember your company when they are ready to make another purchase.
Make sure you aren’t too pushy. Most customers don’t appreciate a hard sell. The 80/20 rule is a tool you can use to make sure your strategy is subtle. Each content piece should offer 80% value to the customer and only 20% of the piece should be dedicated to selling or upselling. Don’t simply sell product – sell the experience your company can offer. Utilizing bullet points, proper spacing, relevant links, and readable fonts will also help ensure your content is read and not simply deleted.
Personalized emails customized to a person’s position in the buyer’s journey establishes trust. No one likes emails that try to trick them or take up too much space in their inbox. Maintain your relationship with existing customers by positioning yourself as an expert in the field with informative content. Abiding by ethical email practices, offering product support, and honest subject lines illustrate the trustworthiness of your company which further increases the likelihood of repeat business.
Consistent contact with emails such as “We miss you” or regular promotional offers will keep you in the front of their consciousness. Sending surveys requesting feedback after a sale is a great way to stay in touch while showing your customers that their experience with you was valued.
Automation ensures that your emails reach the right customer at the right time. Emails can be designed with code or using pre-existing templates. Simply input your text, schedule deployment times, and watch the data roll in. With automation you never miss an opportunity to further nurture relationships with existing customers.
Using automation software in conjunction with proper segmentation and personalization allows you to keep in touch with previous customers the correct way. Predicting and responding to their needs makes sure your company is the first in your niche to come to their mind.
Another benefit of utilizing automation software is data accumulation. Dissecting the data received from your email campaigns is essential. Automation software provides you with a host of analytics.
Monitoring essential KPI’s such as open and click rates helps gauge the best times and frequency of deployment. Embedding promotional or discount codes in your email allows you to monitor retention rates when used by customers. It is highly suggested to try multiple email formats through A/B testing to determine which subject lines and content is the most effective for moving people from their email to your shopping cart.
Reminders and Promotions
Remind customers of your value at regular intervals with friendly reminders. Emails informing them of upcoming events or sales are viewed favorably by customers who have already had a favorable experience with your company.
Renewal notices provide a welcome reminder to previous customers that their supply may be dwindling. Not only can renewals increase the likelihood of another sale, it also enhances the level of trust between you and the customer.
Feedback surveys are another way to gain valuable insights from customers about your previous and current levels of service. Surveys also gives customers a sense of investment in your company. Giving them a voice in your operations will ensure their long-term loyalty.
No matter how your emails are written, designed, or deployed, retention will only occur if your customers believe they are receiving something of value to them. If your content isn’t relevant or your emails aren’t personalized to their situation you run a high risk of them unsubscribing or identifying you as spam.
Long term retention happens when customers are satisfied with the entire journey of your relationship: from opt-in to post-sale. It’s about the relationship you create with your customers. Don’t abandon them after a purchase. Send them articles and videos of informative content you think they will find valuable. This is especially effective if the content is related to products they purchased. Show them new uses for the product or trouble-shooting advice. If they know you are interested in a long term relationship, they will be too.
Using email marketing only for acquisition purposes is not tapping the true potential of the platform. With proper planning and strategy, email marketing will not only help you acquire prospects, but also keep your customers coming back for years to come. Let your honesty and value shine through all contacts with your customers and they will repay you with loyalty.
Tonya is a Content Manager at TriggMine, email marketing automation service. She believes that email marketing rules and content is the king.