So you have some of the best customers in the world. But how do you keep them and show them the love they deserve?
Well, one of the best ways is through great email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is one of the most efficient marketing costs that businesses have — and not just for customer acquisition.
It’s no surprise that it remains one of the most important elements of any business strategy, and a crucial one to get right.
Whether it’s adding value for your existing customers or gathering feedback to keep them happy, email marketing is more than just a broadcast of messages. It’s also one of the easiest marketing techniques, thanks to sophisticated automation.
A great email marketing campaign can ensure that you’re not just getting new customers, but keeping the ones you already have.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:
- Why customer retention is important
And more about how much it actually costs to gain a new customer
- How to keep your customers engaged with your brand
Even after they’ve made a purchase!
- When to refresh your email marketing strategy
Spoiler alert: it’s more often than you think…
Ready to find out more about how it can help your business? Let’s start by looking at why customer retention matters so much.
Why Is Customer Retention Important?
We understand it’s tempting to become focused on getting new customers and seeing this as the main factor of growth. More customers means more sales, right? But in reality, you should instead be focusing more of your time and budget on keeping the customers you have, which is known as customer retention.
It costs much more to secure a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. By nurturing the customer base you already have, your business can actually grow faster. Yes, it’s really that simple.
Customer retention is vital when it comes to creating real brand advocates. After all, the best businesses aren’t just those that people use, they're the ones that people love. Like, really love.
A new customer may make a purchase, but a dedicated existing customer is more likely to tell their friends and spread the word about your business. There’s a reason why word of mouth is one of the oldest, and best, forms of marketing, but it’s only possible with dedicated, loyal customers.
There are many ways that businesses can increase their customer retention, but ask around, and most people will tell you the most cost effective way is through email marketing.
Email Marketing Strategies for Customer Retention
Email marketing should be one of your main tools when it comes to customer retention. Period.
By making the most of automation and personalization, the emails that you send can add value to customers and become an important part of their lives.
Meanwhile, turning your email marketing into a conversation can be a great way to gather feedback that allows you to surprise and delight your customers time and time again.
Here are just a few strategies for retaining customers using great emails:
- Educate and add value to your customers by teaching your customers about your brand and what makes you different.
- Celebrate the special moments by acknowledging customer birthdays or anniversaries - or even randomly, just to show you’re thinking of them.
- Set up automated emails and take the stress out of your campaigns with tools that learn and adapt.
- Gather customer feedback using forms or by encouraging reviews for the products and customer service that your business offers.
Educate and add value to customers
Close your eyes and think about a standard marketing email. You’re probably thinking of messages that just promote products, right? But the best campaigns are much more than this.
We know promoting the product ranges you have is important, and a great way to overcome cart abandonment, but your emails should also be used to teach your customers about your brand and tell them what makes you different.
Tell them about your values
Most consumers today say that they want to shop from brands with values that align with their own. People have issues that they care about — whether that’s human rights, equality, or protecting the environment — and they expect the businesses they use to match with them.
You might be doing great work planting trees for every order placed, and it’s vital that your existing customers and potential shoppers know this.
One brand that’s doing just that is Who Gives A Crap, which is pioneering the sustainable toilet paper industry.
Tell them about your people
Email marketing is great for uncovering the humans behind the brand. Why not send emails from named people in your company to attach a face to the communication? People respond best when they know they’re talking with humans.
By telling the stories behind your business, your customers can understand how your values align with theirs, making them much more likely to buy from you in the future.
Tell them what’s next
Email marketing is a great way to keep the conversation going after a sale. Some products benefit from extra information, like hacks, extra benefits or style techniques.
Beauty brands might share benefits of new products and how they fit into a full skincare routine, while fitness fanatics might be hanging on to learn about the latest supplements and how to use them.
Dossier is an expert at this, and is constantly in touch with subscribers to give helpful hints and tips about products they already own.
If these emails keep adding value for your customer, they’ll soon see you as a useful source of information, and the kind of business they want to purchase from again and again.
Celebrate special occasions with customers
We know how it is when a special occasion rolls around. We expect all our friends to be there celebrating with us. But how do you differentiate your really close friends from an acquaintance?
Think about who knows when your birthday is, and who gets in touch with a card or thoughtful message. People like to surround themselves with the people they really value at times of celebration and when there’s something special to enjoy.
So the same principle stands when it comes to the businesses that we choose to interact with. There are some that we’re aware of and use every now and then. And then there are those that we know truly understand us. The ones that we’d want to get down on the dancefloor with.
These are the brands that we surround ourselves with at special moments. And when people feel that a brand is in their inner circle, they are much more likely to be a retained customer and an evangelical brand advocate.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to celebrate with your customers. Take birthdays for example. Most people have now come to expect that brands will know their birthdays, thanks to date of birth data. But what they might not expect is a thoughtful gift that shows you really know them well. That could be in the form of:
- A free product with their next purchase
- An exclusive discount code
- An invitation to a top secret event
Businesses should also think outside the box when it comes to special occasions. Don’t be predictable!
Outdoor Voices does just this, cleverly celebrating that lesser known holiday — the half-birthday. And who doesn’t want an extra day celebrating you!?
Tailored emails can celebrate the anniversary of a customer’s first purchase. It can even be totally at random, creating a new tradition between you and your customer. All of these are great ways to show you’re thinking of your customer all the time, and not just when you want their money. And it’s this goodwill that leads to great customer retention.
Set up automated emails and audit them
This sounds like a lot of effort, right?
Part of the reason why customer retention is sometimes left by the wayside is that businesses just think it’s too much work. Setting up an email marketing campaign that can surprise and delight thousands of customers at once sound, at first, like it will take forever.
And we get it - who has the time to send personalized emails when you’re busy growing an empire?
Fortunately for you, email marketing campaigns can now be highly automated, taking out most of the stress.
Automated tools can make sure that the right email is sent at the right time and to the right person. It shows your readers that care has been taken over all communications which leads to excellent customer retention. And at the end of the day, don’t we all like to feel like someone cares?
We suggest following these three tips for automating your emails:
- Audit emails to keep a close eye on all your email campaigns. Some of the best AI tools can now learn and adapt to the behavior of your customer, but don’t let this be an excuse to get complacent. You still need to know exactly what’s going on.
- Track key metrics like positive clicks (CTAs and product images) and negative clicks (unsubscribers). Open rates aren’t the best metric anymore - after all, you want people to click through to your website.
- Test campaigns to see which style works best for your customers. Switch it up on occasion and experiment with some A/B testing. Offer your customers something different to keep them engaged.
Get in there fast and you can create more retained customers and make your investment go further.
Gather customer feedback
It’s a common myth that email marketing is a one-way communication channel, and is just broadcasting marketing messages to your audiences. You don’t want to fall into this trap.
In reality, the best email marketing campaigns understand that all emails should be a conversation. And who doesn’t like a chat?
No one likes to feel like they’re just being talked at. It’s a sure-fire way to ensure that your customers get fed-up as they start to feel like you only really care about them when it comes to selling to them.
And that’s not cool.
This can be overcome by giving customers a chance to have their say. One way is by actively seeking feedback after each purchase. Without this information and honest reviews, the best you can do is guess at what your customer is thinking.
Dope makes this so easy for customers by including a rating system within the email, encouraging reviews with a simple click.
If something has gone wrong, you can try and turn their experience around and learn from the experience.
You can even use emails to send out surveys so that customers can tell you how they feel about your brand. If you then use the information to truly make changes, customers will feel listened to, valued, and, therefore, much more likely to keep coming back.
Email marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways to retain your all-important customers. The customers that you love and who love you back.
Not only is customer retention much better than trying to acquire new audiences, it also builds a strong foundation of brand advocates for your business.
With powerful automated tools available, there’s never been a better time to get in touch and re-energize your email marketing campaigns.