9 Customer Retention Strategies That Work

Kimberly De Silva

This blog post focuses on the category “Customer Retention Strategies”, as the fourth in a series of 4 blogs about the best marketing tactics to AcquireNurtureGrow, and Retain your customers.

While customer acquisition and marketing initiatives to generate new customers is important, customer retention of existing high-value customers is key. If you are focusing most of your marketing efforts (social media, email or anywhere else) on customer acquisition, you are missing the trick. It costs 16 times more to build a long-term relationship with a new customer, compared to the retention of existing loyal customers. As a result, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

The goal is to harness loyal customers and turn one- or two-time purchasers into fans who will act as advocates for your brand. But how do you foster loyalty, retaining these great people to create these repeat purchases? You don’t need a dedicated loyalty program here – the magic bullet is the customer experience; a positive experience is guaranteed to enhance your retention strategy. Unsurprisingly, 87% of the customers with great purchase experiences will likely buy from the same company again.

Easy-to-Implement Customer Retention Strategies:


Improve customer retention by allowing customers to decrease the contact frequency or adjust their interests when they click the Unsubscribe button. In most cases, when customers click “unsubscribe” they simply indicate that the messages may no longer be relevant, or the contact frequency is higher than they expected. So, if you provide an option to adjust their preferences, they are more likely to stay subscribed and engage more with your communications.

Why implement this tactic?


If you are a global company, localizing your marketing is a great way to improve customer retention and customer satisfaction by making your customer base feel heard and appreciated. Content that is locally targeted has 6x more engagement than posts that were designed for the global market. Deliver content to each recipient in their native or preferred language (across social media, search, email etc.), but also reflect the types of offers and products that are more relevant to their location (e.g. local store stock availability), whether via email, social media or any other channel.

Expert tip: As content localization increases campaign production times, ensure you have a solution that helps streamline local content production. You may also want to test the performance uplift to assess whether the additional localization costs provide a healthy ROI.

Why implement this tactic?


Marketing Sherpa reports that, on average, marketers lose 25% of their email list each year (simply to attrition). Therefore, re-engagement emails play a vital role in the email lifecycle. Simply said, send messages to a customer that abandoned a goal completion process. This can be applied to any case where the action by the customer has indicated a significant intent to complete a goal and the goal is of significant value to both the brand and the customer.

Why implement this tactic?


While your email content might be great, no one will ever see it if it doesn’t land in the recipient’s inbox. You have spent a significant amount of time and money getting new customers and growing your existing customer database, so don’t let it go to waste with poor deliverability rates. Poor deliverability will prevent you from reaching your high-value customers, which will result in customers gradually disengaging with your brand entirely. The solution: increase email inbox placement rates by increasing your email deliverability (here’s how). 

Why implement this tactic?


Display an overlay or pop-up when a prospective new customers or existing ones are about to leave the page without completing the desired goal. These can be triggered either when the customer is moving the mouse to close the tab or, with the right platform, when the AI predicts a high likelihood that the session will be abandoned. Expert tip: Rather than just asking for their email address, explain the value of providing the email address in the context of what the customer was trying to achieve.

Why implement this tactic?


A search bar adds an interactive element to an email and allows subscribers to search your website from their inbox! Offer instant customer service, include a search bar in your regular newsletter communications especially if your typical customer journey starts with customers searching for possible options. This is highly effective for travel, car rental, and product comparison businesses.

Why implement this tactic?


Digital calendars make everyone’s life easier. Bring that experience to your own brand by including calendar invites for any time-sensitive notifications that require customer action. While it may not be appropriate to do this for seasonal sale notifications, customers will appreciate a calendar reminder for when their order or engineer is scheduled to arrive.

 Why implement this tactic?


Allow your customers to reply to your newsletters. Replying to an email the customer just received is by far the most natural and convenient way of interacting with a brand and improving customer retention, however most brands opt for directing responses to “noreply@”. This forces customers to look for the contact details on the “Contact Us” page, creating an unnecessary roundabout way of reaching you. Instead, directly route customer replies to a customer service email or trigger an automated response to the customer. 

Why implement this tactic?


Incentivize your customers that are about to check out to increase their order with a timely and personalized offer. For example, calculate how much more they need to spend to qualify for free shipping and suggest recommended products that are just above the price point to qualify them for the offer. This will help increase average order values and potentially boost profits within certain product categories. And customers will be very happy they received free shipping!

 Why implement this tactic?


Watch closely how your customers interact with your product or service and then identify the weaknesses or obstacles in the customer journey. Where are customers dropping off and churning? Is it because they don’t know how to properly use what they bought? Setting up a “customer university” will ensure that they know how to make the most out of your product and increases their chance of success. An online course can include instructions, how-to videos, quizzes etc. Here are some of the best online course platforms you can use to build out your own training course.

 Why implement this tactic?

Start to take an holistic view of retention, incorporate these retention strategies and you will begin to see customer loyalty and your customer retention rate drastically improve. Then all that’s left is to sit back and watch your customer retention profits skyrocket.

Want more customer retention strategies?
Our new Digital Marketing Playbook is a collection of 100 tactics to Acquire, Nurture, Grow, and Retain your customers.