You've built a great digital strategy. With a variety of channels and powerful messaging in place, you are beginning to acquire new customers in a successful and sustainable way.
But what about retention?
When it comes to digital marketing, too many businesses prioritize customer acquisition over retention. And while it's undoubtedly important to build your customer base, convincing them to stay with you matters just as much - if not even more.
In fact, even increasing the customers who stay with you by 5 percent can increase your profits by up to 95 percent. That's because retaining your existing customers is both cheaper and has a significantly higher chance of success. To get you started, here are five ways you can leverage your digital strategy to improve customer retention.
Retargeting is an excellent tool to keep your brand top of mind for your audience. Through Google, Facebook, or a variety of other digital channels, you can show ads specifically to members of your target audience who have visited your website in the recent past.
The fit for your retention efforts is obvious. If you retarget your ads from pages exclusively visible to existing customers, you can focus your message specifically on the reasons they should stay with you. If your website doesn't include these pages, you can upload a list of your existing customers to Google AdWords or Facebook Ads Manager to accomplish the same goal.
A large part of getting your customers to stick with you consist of giving them a continuous stream of reasons why. The more indispensable your product or service, the less likely they'll be to leave.
You probably know about the many benefits of content marketing. But you might not know that you can leverage these same benefits for retention, as well. For example, offer webinars and whitepapers exclusive to current customers that showcase anything from product tutorials to industry trends.
At this point, the benefits of social media for customer service are well known. So is the importance of customer service for retention: the more problems you can solve and questions you can answer, the more likely you are to turn unhappy customers into brand loyalists.
On social media, that means a dedication to customer service. Set up social listening mechanisms to catch brand mentions and solve problems. On your website, meanwhile, live chat can become a core tool to open communication channels with your existing customers. If you are a local business, make sure to invest in improving your online customer reviews.
To believe that automated emails can only be good for lead nurturing is a mistake. Instead, the same system - automated series of emails based on specific actions by your contacts - can be just as essential in elevating your retention rates.
For instance, you can set up a workflow set to kick off directly after an initial purchase, with a few emails thanking the new customer, providing additional resources, and inviting them into your brand community. Another option is to reach out to customers at a time they might need your product or service again, reminding them of the option to go with you.
Finally, don't underestimate the simple power of incentives to convince your customers that staying with you makes sense for them. Loyalty programs, especially, have become a core tool of aiding customer retention.
Despite popular belief, loyalty programs are not generation-specific. In fact, 80 percent of Generation Z customerswould be willing to sign onto a program in exchange for incentives. But 85 percent of your customers will want access to their loyalty program online, making it a core part of your digital retention strategy.
When pilot Chuck Yeager was asked about his thoughts prior to taking a flight that was intended to break the sound barrier for the first time, his reply was, "My biggest fear is that any part of my plane was built by the lowest bidder!" While this quote draws a good chuckle from many people, the truth remains: when you're considering a partnership with any company, the lowest-cost option isn't always the best one for you. Partnering with a marketing company carries with it five key risks associated with low-ballers, and being aware of those risks can help you avoid those pitfalls and make wiser choices for your company.