What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it?

Published on August 4, 2021

So you’ve gotten visitors to your site, perhaps thanks to your SEO or pay-per-click SEM campaigns.

But are you keeping them coming back and buying what you have to offer again and again? Are you just churning through users, or building a loyal following of big spenders and glowing referrers?  

While it’s always great to be bringing in fresh leads and acquiring new customers, retaining your existing customers is also a key pillar to increasing the value of your brand. This is what is known as retention marketing - the art and science behind increasing the probability of a customer purchasing from you again.

The Benefits of Retention Marketing

And retention marketing doesn’t just create abstract value, like engagement or brand recognition! It also translates to your bottom line, and in a huge way, at that.

Indeed, by some metrics, it costs 500% more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and yet a loyal customer is worth up to 10x as much as the value of their first purchase. 

What’s more, studies have shown that repeat customers spend 67% more, all while also driving in valuable referrals thanks to word of mouth (with these referred customers spending 50-75% of what the original customer spent over three years).

In short, it pays big to have a loyal, active customer base. But how do you get started?

Fortunately, the key to retention marketing, as Retention Science puts it, is “delivering relevant and engaging content to your customers” – meaning that the digital marketing strategies you already have in place can be put to use for retention, as well as acquisition. 

Here are four content marketing strategies you can use to create customer loyalty and retention – and increase your profits along the way:

1.) Engage Audiences on Social Media

Social media is all about appealing to your most loyal fans and friends, as well as offering a compelling brand narrative to draw in newcomers. There are many ways to put your social channels to work as retention tools: Start by seriously looking into Facebook and Instagram Ads, which offer the powerful ability to target specific consumers – and, most effectively, retarget consumers who have spent time looking at your site.

Social media is also the place to experiment with loyalty- and engagement-building tactics (which also just happen to be a ton of fun). Start contests on Twitter or Instagram and offer discounts or special prizes to the winners; play games or poll your users; and share behind the scenes pictures of your office or team to bring your customers into the conversation.

Also be sure to use your social channels as a chance to really engage – be quick to respond to negative criticism politely and fairly, and respond to positive feedback with gratitude.

All of these little things add up! The more you engage, the more you'll foster a community that will be heavily invested in your brand – and willing to spend more on you down the line.

2.) Appeal to Your Customers With Email Offers

Email marketing is a highly effective way to provide value to your customers, reminding them of your business, and all it has to offer, even between purchases.

The most important thing is to remember to use your email marketing to truly create value for your consumers. Use email to offer coupons, incentives, or discounts that will drive consumers to your site or storefront.

Similarly, you can use a digital newsletter to provide valuable, fresh, free content – like videos, blog posts, or high quality images – that will help your brand stand out to your customers, increasing clickthrough, engagement, and loyalty.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Won’t I just be bothering my customers by crowding up their inbox? Or what if my message goes straight to SPAM?”

Before you give in to doom and gloom and call email dead, consider a few facts. For one thing, analysts actually say that people are consuming more email content every day than ever before, with email consumption projected to grow at an annual rate of 4.4% over the next few years.

And for businesses specifically? Email services provider MailChimp recently determined that mail open rates across industries generally sit around 20-25%. That’s a quarter of your online audience, reading your emails! As for B2B? Studies show that 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes, while 80% of retailers rate email as the most effective way to ensure customer retention.

3.) Personalize Your Content

Want your content to cultivate loyalty? Better make it personal!  

In a time when content is coming at your audience from all sides, seemingly all the time, personalization matters more than ever. Accenture Interactive tells us that 75% of U.S. consumers like it when companies personalize messaging, while 41% of consumers buy more from retailers when they receive personalized emails, according to e-Tailing.

But remember, nothing turns off a customer more than an email subject line that looks something like: “We’ve got a great deal, [NAME ERROR].” Instead, play it safe especially at the beginning. Even a simple “you” or “your” can be enough to boost your open rates, and MailChimp offers other personalization options, including location merge tags and emojis, that can add other appealing personal flourishes.

4.) Offer Amazing Service with Your Web Design and Development

The best way to ensure that customers keep coming back? Offer an excellent product in an exceptional (virtual) environment.

What this means, in many ways, is going back to the basics of web design and customer service. On the design front, it’s important to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile devices (since it’s where much of your traffic will be coming from), and  that your site is always clean, responsive, and quick  to load (since nearly 50% of consumers expect a webpage to load in just two seconds or fewer).

Plus, improving the look and feel of your site can help you not only retain new customers, but generate new leads. For instance, improving the functionality of your site can help boost your SEO efforts, and generate more landing page conversions over time.

5.) Build Up Your Online Reputation

Remember the value of quality customer service. In many ways, this means following up with your customers after they make a purchase, encouraging them to leave reviews. You may also wish to provide easy access to your business in the form of a virtual chat, a comment form (or even by simply providing your contact information highly visible). You’d be surprised how much a simple “thank you” or “how did we do?” can influence a customer to come back to your brand.

And studies show that encouraging your customers to leave reviews and testimonials can make a big difference for your brand. For one thing, a client satisfied enough to leave you a review or a positive ranking is a client who is likely to keep coming back to your business, again and again, while encouraging those close to them to do the same.

And at the same time, this review or star-rating will also play a huge role in bringing in new customers. In fact, did you know that 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 72% say that a positive review can improve their opinion of a local brand? Or that raising your online rating by just one star can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue?

This is one area where Geek Chicago is uniquely qualified to help you out! We partner with a national leader in reputation management software to make getting in touch with your past clients as easy as can be.

With our help, you can set up a program to automatically reach out to your old customers at a strategic time, via text message or email. Your personalized message then prompts users to leave you a review on the rating site of your choice. On the flip side, you can use this workflow to help drive any negative or questionable reviews to a private channel, so they don’t affect your ratings on public review sites.

Getting Geeky

Sound a little overwhelming? Want to hone in on the specific strategies that will be the most productive for your business? That’s where we come in. Our talented team has experience working in every facet of content marketing, from web design to email marketing. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!

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