In the realm of customer relationship marketing, acquisition marketing gets quite a bit of attention. After all, acquiring new customers is essential to the growth of any business.

But what about your current customers? Just because they’ve already made a purchase doesn’t mean they’ll stick around. In fact, the majority of customers are likely to take their business elsewhere if they’re not happy with the product or service they’ve received. This can be a costly mistake. 

In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, retention is 5-25x cheaper than acquisition. Put another way, in a well-cited study by Bain & Company, a 5% boost in retention can improve profits by up to 95%.

This is where retention marketing comes in.

This is a complete guide to all you need to know about Retention Marketing!

In this guide, Beamer will be taking a deep dive into everything you need to know about retention marketing. We’ll cover topics like:

By the end, you’ll have a strong understanding of retention marketing and how it can help you keep your customers happy (and coming back for more).

Let’s get started!

What Is Retention Marketing?

Retention marketing—as the name suggests—refers to a marketing strategy that focuses on keeping existing customers happy so that they continue to use a product or service (i.e., retaining customers).

In order to have a successful retention marketing strategy, businesses need to focus on creating long-term relationships with their customers. This means going above and beyond to deliver an excellent customer experience at every touchpoint, providing personalized experiences, and offering continuous value even after a purchase has been made. 

While acquisition marketing is important, it’s actually retention marketing that has the biggest impact on a company’s bottom line (for reasons that we’ll cover in a moment). In fact, Amazon has a retention rate of over 90%, so it knows the importance of providing value to its customers to retain market dominance.

Long story short, retention marketing is a must for any business that  wants to be successful in the long-term.

The Difference Between Retention and Acquisition Marketing.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of retention marketing, let’s take a step back and quickly compare it to acquisition marketing.

Acquisition marketing is all about acquiring new customers—i.e., driving traffic to your website or product and converting that traffic into paying customers. This can be done through a variety of marketing channels, including paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, and more.

On the other hand, retention marketing focuses on fostering loyalty from an existing customer base and raising customer lifetime value (the total value of a customer over the whole period of your relationship). This could include incentivising purchases through a loyalty program, longer-term subscriptions, up/crossell opportunities, discounts, or a referral/affiliate program. 

While acquisition marketing is important for business growth, it’s often retention marketing that has the biggest impact on a company’s bottom line. Why? Let’s discuss.

Benefits of Retention Marketing.

There are a few key reasons why retention marketing is so important:

  1. Loyal customers are more likely to refer others to your business. Ever heard of the snowball effect? Well, it definitely applies to customer retention. Studies show that around 83% of customers are willing to refer people to a business after multiple positive experiences. Referred leads are 4X more likely to convert than referred leads. That means more opportunities for positive experiences, which lead to more referrals… you get the idea!
  2. It costs less to retain a customer than it does to acquire a new one. As we’ve mention in the introduction, it’s estimated that it costs 5X more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Most of this difference can be explained by the fact that customers are willing to spend money with businesses they already know, like, and trust—so it’s important to focus on creating long-term relationships.
  3. It’s easier to sell to existing customers than it is to acquire new ones.  Once customers have made a purchase from your business, they’re more likely to do so again. In fact, according to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer is just 5-20%.
  4. The lifetime value of a customer increases over time. The longer a customer remains with your business, the more they’re likely to spend. This is because loyal customers are more likely to take advantage of upsells and cross-sells, make repeat purchases, and become brand advocates.

The bottom line is that happy customers are essential to the growth and success of any business. Acquiring new customers is important, but retaining your existing ones should be the top priority for many businesses. The key word there? Many.

When Should Businesses Focus on Customer Retention?

Finding the right balance between acquisition and retention marketing is incredibly important for businesses. As a general rule, the portion of your marketing expenditure devoted to customer acquisition should increase as your business progresses through its lifecycle.

What do we mean by that?

Well, early-stage startups typically have a very limited marketing budget. In this case, it’s usually best to focus the majority (if not the entirety) of  your marketing efforts on customer acquisition. The goal here is to get as many people as possible through the door so that you can start generating revenue and feedback.

As your business grows, and you begin to generate more revenue, you can start allocating a portion of your marketing budget to retention marketing efforts. The idea here is to keep your existing customers happy so that they continue doing business with you and referring others to your company.

Once your business reaches a point where it’s generating a steady stream of revenue from a large base of loyal customers, you can start shifting your focus even further towards retention marketing. At this stage, the goal is to maximize customer lifetime value so that you can continue growing your business profitably.

Customer Retention Marketing Strategies (5 Ideas)

There are a few key retention marketing strategies that businesses can use to keep their customers happy and coming back for more:

1. Provide exceptional customer service.

This one should go without saying, but providing exceptional customer service is essential to retaining customers. In fact, according to Bain & Company, poor customer service is the number one reason why customers leave businesses.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your customer service is up to par:

  • Make it easy for customers to get in touch with your business by providing multiple channels (e.g., phone, email, live chat, social media)
  • Respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently
  • Train your customer service team members thoroughly so that they’re able to resolve customer issues quickly and effectively

2. Make it easy to give feedback.

Acting on feedback is essential if you want to create a product or service that retains customers. There’s a problem, though. It can be hard to acquire feedback in the first place.

There are two main objections that stop customers from giving you feedback:

  1. Giving feedback is too difficult.
  2. Customers don’t think it will make a difference.

Both are important, but we’re going to focus on the first one right now.

The best way to make it easy for customers to give feedback is to create a simple, streamlined process that only requires a few clicks. Using Beamer, users can be prompted for feedback from within your app or website. You can also send NPS surveys to further gauge their satisfaction:

mock-comments

Users can choose to leave long-form comments or simple reactions using smiley faces, which only takes a second.

3. Show customers that you’re listening.

Okay, time to cover that second objection.

Customers need to see that you’re actually listening to their feedback and taking steps to improve your product or service. Otherwise, they’ll quickly lose faith and take their business elsewhere.

But how do you show customers that you’re listening?

The best way is to be transparent about the changes you’re making based on customer feedback. Whether it’s a new feature, an updated design, or something else entirely, make sure your customers know about it.

mock-stream

You can use Beamer to announce changes and get user feedback in one go. Just create a post in Beamer explaining the change, why you’re making it, and what effect it will have on the user experience. Then sit back and wait for the feedback to come rolling in.

4. Segment your customers and personalize the experience.

Here’s a retention marketing strategy that’s often overlooked: segmenting your customers and personalizing the experience.

What do we mean by segmenting your customers?

Well, segmenting your customers simply means dividing them into groups based on shared characteristics. For example, you might segment your customers by:

  • Demographics (e.g., age, gender, location)
  • Psychographics (e.g., interests, lifestyle, job)
  • Behaviors (e.g., purchase history, customer lifetime value)

Once you’ve segmented your customers, you can start personalizing the experience for each group. This might involve sending targeted emails, presenting personalized recommendations, or showing targeted ads.

Personalization has been shown to be effective—according to Accenture, 76% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.

mock-post-segments

Beamer comes with powerful segmentation tools that help you target high-value users with personalized messages and announcements. Create segments based on user role, features used, profile, and demographics, and get 10X more user engagement!

5) Reward your customers for their loyalty.

Another great retention marketing strategy is to reward your customers for their loyalty. This could involve giving loyalty points that can be redeemed for discounts or freebies, providing early access to new products or features, or giving exclusive content. You can use Beamer’s push notifications to announce deals to your various segments:

mock-push-segments

A tool like Churnkey also allows you to provide dynamic discounts to users that are about to quit your platform. Rewarding your customers for their loyalty is a great way to show them that you appreciate their business and that you’re willing to give them something extra for sticking around.

Retention Is Important.

Customer retention is essential to the growth and success of any business. By focusing on retention marketing, businesses can keep their existing customers happy, generate repeat purchases, and grow their business profitably.

With Beamer, you can collect customer feedback, announce changes, segment your users, and more—all in one place! If you’re looking for a tool to compliment your retention marketing strategies, install Beamer for free today!