Why Your Marketing Should Focus on Customer Retention Strategies
About 40% of small businesses start to become profitable at some point. However, 30% either only break even or flounder and start to lose money. As many companies are created each year, only a certain percentage of them will be profitable and maintain that profitability long-term.
A potential solution to the inability to generate consistent profits can be found in customer retention strategies. When a significant part of your marketing efforts is focused on keeping customers around, you’ll start to see the benefits trickle in.
The Benefits of Focusing on Customer Retention
More than 60% of business sales are to existing customers. This highlights the importance of customer retention. When you focus on keeping customers, you fuel a constant influx of conversions and engagement, which increases your company’s bottom line.
Tailoring your marketing with customer retention strategies also helps ensure your customers are genuinely satisfied with your brand. When you focus on loyalty and longevity, you’re engaged in the fastest route to profitability and lasting customer relationships.
How To Focus on Customer Retention in Your Marketing
Focusing on customer retention is obviously beneficial. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to prioritize customer retention in your marketing.
Understand Your Customers’ Minds
First, it’s essential to understand your current customers to determine the best ways to retain them long-term. This will help you focus on retention strategies that will actually resonate with your customers rather than wasting time and resources on those that won’t.
Not only do you want to document basic demographic and engagement information, but you also want to get into the minds of your customers. For example, explore what kind of visuals inspire them to engage with your brand and create them. Find out what an immersive customer experience looks like to them and provide it. Also, determine what freebies and swag in your rewards program encourage repeat purchases. If you want to keep your customers, you must learn what inspires them to return to your business over and over.
Design a Robust Customer Onboarding Experience
Many businesses don’t successfully retain customers because they don’t nurture the customer experience after their first purchase. The most their customers get is a thank you email with shipping information.
You’ll have a much better chance of inspiring repeat customer purchases if you design a robust onboarding experience. An onboarding experience holds your customer’s hand through the first month or so of the product or service they’ve purchased to have the best possible experience.
Start by providing customers with contact information for someone they can reach out to with questions and concerns. Then, focus on feeding them content that helps them use their product or service to its full potential. Do this through an onboarding email campaign to ensure your customers receive valuable content at specific points in their after-purchase journey. Walk your customers through the first month with whatever they’ve purchased and boost your chances of retaining them for the long haul.
Personalize the Customer Experience
One of the best customer retention strategies is personalizing the customer experience. No two customers are the same. They may purchase the same product, but they’ll have different reasons for doing so and different ways of getting there. They also don’t respond to the same marketing strategies.
Thus, it’s only right your customers’ experiences with your retention strategies are tailored to who they are and how they’ve interacted with your business. The first step is segmenting your existing customer base by what they purchase, how they purchased it, where they are, and other pertinent demographic information. Then, you can determine the content and what else to add to your customer’s after-purchase experience that is most likely to prompt recurring purchases and engagement with your brand.
Create a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program is one of the most common customer retention strategies. A loyalty program offers incentives for repeat purchases and other types of engagement with your business. The more customers return to your business, the more you should reward them for it.
The first step to creating a loyalty program is finding out what kind of rewards your customers want. Although significant discounts are a typical reward in loyalty programs, it doesn’t mean this is the right choice for your customers.
If your loyal customers would rather have freebies at each tier, create your loyalty program around that. Or, if your customers would rather accumulate points toward free shipping, make that happen. Test out different loyalty rewards or conduct surveys to determine the best route to take for a high ROI and increased brand loyalty.
Host Customer Appreciation Events
Customer appreciation events can be influential in customer retention. When you host unique events solely focused on celebrating your customers, they’ll be more inclined to become loyal to your brand. Let them know how much they mean to you and your business.
Think outside of the box regarding your customer appreciation events. For example, don’t just host a customer appreciation sale. Instead, invite your loyal customers to a private event with an awards show honoring your best customers, free merchandise, product and service discounts, favorite foods, social media photo ops, and influencer meet and greets. Host a customer appreciation event monthly if you can, but one per quarter is a good rule of thumb.
Bolster Your Social Media Presence
Many businesses see social selling as an opportunity to attract new customers. However, social media can be a powerful tool in your efforts to retain your existing customers, as well. These platforms are great for ongoing customer conversations, soliciting feedback, and showing your loyal customers how much you appreciate them.
Create social media campaigns strictly for nurturing your relationships with current customers. Use any data you collect on your social media platforms to determine what content existing customers resonate with most. Then, spend time creating that content.
Focus on content that will help your customers better experience your brand, products, and services. Only dedicate a small part of your campaign to upselling and introducing new products. Use your social media presence to engage with your current customers just as much, if not more, than potential customers.
Although it’s tempting to experiment with many customer retention strategies, it’s better to focus on two to three methods you know will be effective for boosting retention rates, customer engagement, and satisfaction among your particular existing customer base. Our tips will help you get started should you choose one of the above.