It’s no secret that acquiring a new customer costs 5x as much as nurturing an existing one. Unfortunately, most brands and marketers end up creating marketing strategies that focus solely on customer acquisition, treating customer retention like the unwanted first slice of every loaf of bread.
A recent study revealed that only 32% of executives believe customer retention is a priority for them. But this shouldn’t be the case. Whether you run a local restaurant, college essay writing service, or physical therapist office, it’s crucial that you create a solid customer retention strategy. If you’re struggling with customer retention, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll show you why exactly you need to include customer retention in your marketing strategy and how to use emails to drive it.
Why is customer retention worth your time?
If you’re still wondering why you need to focus on customer retention, here are a few solid reasons:
Customer retention increases your chances of clinching a sale
Let’s face it, finding new customers that are interested in purchasing your product takes a lot of effort and resources. You’ll need to expend a lot of energy finding, engaging, and educating these leads on your brand and the needs that your potential customers have that your products solve. .
On the other hand, you have a 60-70% chance of securing a sale from an existing customer. This is because they’ve already tried out your product before and know that it’s satisfactory. The only question they’ll probably have to ask themselves is: “Is it worth buying a second time?”
If your product really solved their problems, they should have no hesitation buying from you again. In fact, there’ll be much less need for you to pull up the power point and distribute flyers to show just how good your product is.
Retention increases referrals
Trying to get new customers through referrals can be as difficult as trying to cut through a frozen burger patty. However, old customers are already familiar with you and therefore much more likely to spread the word to friends and family. Customer referrals can help to boost your referrals and consequently attract new customers to your business.
Did you know that retail customers generally refer to around three of their friends after their first purchase and about seven after their tenth purchase from a satisfactory retail store?
Now imagine what happens if you’re able to retain up to ten loyal customers, and they continue referring every time they purchase. That’s real business!
Why email marketing?
Now that you understand the need for a marketing strategy that focuses on customer retention, you’re probably wondering how emails can help you achieve this goal.
The truth is, email marketing is a highly effective strategy for any business. Whether you’re trying to retain an existing customer or looking out for new customers, emails can help you tackle your needs.
Here are some reasons why emails are a great option for driving user retention:
Emails are cost-effective
Let’s take a look at your recent budget and expenses for marketing. How much have you spent so far on paid Facebook or Google ads? Although social media ad campaigns can equally help to drive customer acquisition and retention, using cost-effective methods first can pay off in the long run..
Email marketing is considered one of the least expensive modes of customer communication. For instance, you could spend as little as $19.99 per month to communicate with thousands of customers. Isn’t that a great deal?
This way, you can spend less on customer retention or paid ads and focus on other aspects of your business.
Emails have a personal feel
According to Laura Lopuch, an email conversion engineer and copywriter, emails are the modern version of letter writing. It’s just you and your customer penning down words and promises to each other (more on your part, of course).
When you use emails, you communicate personally with your customers and build a natural, close relationship with them.
E-letters are very easy to use
Email marketing is nothing like rocket science. You don’t need to be a marketing or tech guru to be able to send out automated emails to customers. Once you understand how your email service provider works, you’ll be able to communicate with your audience, increase conversions, and improve customer retention.
5 customer retention emails you need to send out
If you’re gunning for customer retention, you don’t necessarily have to send out dramatic emails that reek of desperation. These simple examples and tips should do the trick:
The welcome email
Picture this scenario: you walk into a small store. The cashier stares at you awkwardly for a few seconds and then gets back to what they were doing. No “hi“, no “hello“, and certainly no “welcome to our store!”
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what it feels like when you don’t send a welcome email. The welcome email is a valuable part of customer retention that helps to set the tone of your new relationship.
With this email, you’re introducing a customer to your brand and asking them to get comfy. However, there’s more to this type of email than a simple line of text that says “welcome.”
You can also use the welcome email to guide your customers through the process of using your product and incentivize them to take a particular action. For instance, if you run a confectionery website, you could end your welcome email with a CTA button that says: Try out our tasty cinnamon rolls!“
Although many brands have managed to nail the welcome email, we really love Podium`s style. Here’s what it looks like:
Cart recovery emails
We all abandon carts now and then. Maybe the purchase isn’t within your budget right now. Or maybe you’re waiting for pay day before you click that “checkout” button.
According to a Shopify study, about 67.45% of online shopping carts get abandoned before a customer completes the purchase. So how do you stop your customers from abandoning their shopping carts?
While you certainly can’t convince every cart abandoner to check out, you can use recovery email campaigns to lower your cart abandonment rates. Simply ensure that your email contains these crucial elements:
- A creative subject line that will pique customers’ interest and convince them to open the email.
- Persuasive content that demonstrates why the product they were about to buy is a good investment (don’t sound too salesy or else you’ll lose them).
- A clear and powerful CTA to return to their abandoned cart.
Sequence or lead nurturing emails
Customer retention involves building and nurturing a solid relationship with your customers. But how exactly do you do this?
For starters, you can consistently send out lead nurturing emails. However, remember that you don’t want to spam your audience with too many of them. These emails can be spaced two to three days apart or even a week apart, depending on your specific needs and strategy.
The primary aim of lead nurturing emails is to help your potential customers get to know your brand and products, see their benefits, and be educated about the problems that they solve. While the end goal is to gain revenue from sales, you’ll first have to help your customers solve their problems instead of simply trying to sell your solutions upfront. Depending on the field of your business, many of these nurture emails might contain helpful resources like ebooks that help potential customers solve problems that your ideal customers face every day, and not just directly on your own products.
When you focus on dishing out knowledge instead of focusing too heavily on selling your products or services, customers will begin to regard you as an expert in the field and will run to your brand whenever they encounter a problem.
For instance, let’s go with the confectionery website scenario once again. Your lead nurturing email campaign could include content about common mistakes people make when baking pastries. Does this mean that customers will want to bake homemade pastries instead of buying from you?
Not exactly. They’ll recognize you as an expert who wants to see them win, and the next time they need a glazed, moist buttery birthday cake, who do you think they’re going to call? You.
Everyone loves birthdays, especially your customers. Sure, you may not be able to show up at their doorsteps with a cake and birthday balloons. However, you can nurture a relationship with them simply by sending an email that acknowledges their birthday.
But don’t just stop at an impersonal “happy birthday“. Go the extra mile by offering them a tiny birthday gift, such as a $10 voucher or 10% discount on their next purchase.
In today’s world, birthday emails may seem overused, but they’re certainly effective, and it’s something your customer will remember for a long time to come.
When it comes to email retention strategies, there’s something known as re-engaging emails. This type of email is targeted at dormant subscribers who may have stopped interacting with your brand a long time ago.
Instead of letting them lie dormant, you can win their hearts (and interest) back by sending them a re-engaging email. For instance, you could send them a “Yo-hoo, I’m back!” email. This works just like a second welcome mail, reminding them of your brand and what you do.
You can also make these sleepy subscribers a special offer to re-ignite their interest and get them to patronize your brand again.
However, if there’s still no response to your re-engaging email, you may have to take a step back and remove them from your subscribers’ list.
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of retention emails and how to send them, it’s time to actually put in the work. Start by sending a welcome or activation mail to kickstart your relationship with the customer. As time goes on, you can then work your way towards more personalized emails.