It’s quite natural that most companies tend to focus their efforts on lead acquisition activities, after all, new sales leads will generate growth, and arguably with simple analytics in place it’s pretty easy to track the marketing funnel journey of new leads to a sales conversion.
However, while it may be very tempting to put all your marketing resource into chasing the next new customer, have you considered what you are doing to retain, develop and grow your existing customer base?
What is retention marketing?
Retention marketing is a strategy that focuses on retaining existing customers, encouraging them to continue doing business with your company. The goal of retention marketing is to increase customer satisfaction and build loyalty, reduce customer churn, and ultimately improve your company's bottom line. These campaigns may include personalized offers, loyalty programs, targeted email marketing, and other tactics designed to incentivize customers to continue doing business with the company.
Retention marketing recognizes the value of customer retention and the fact that retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. By nurturing and maintaining relationships with existing customers, businesses can often achieve higher customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and increased customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Acquiring new customers can be expensive, involving marketing and advertising costs to attract and convert new leads. Retention marketing focuses on leveraging existing customers, who have already shown an interest in your products or services. This can result in lower acquisition costs compared to constantly acquiring new customers. Retention marketing strategies can lead to cross-selling and upselling opportunities, existing customers who are satisfied with their initial purchase are more likely to be receptive to other relevant products or services you may offer, resulting in increased revenue without incurring additional acquisition costs. Additionally, loyal customers can become brand advocates, promoting the company through word-of-mouth and social media, which can further increase customer acquisition and retention.
Let’s look at some examples of retention marketing strategies, techniques, and ideas:
Onboarding: So, you have just converted a new account, rather than let your new customer fall into a communication vacuum this is when you should start your first step in retention marketing. A great onboarding experience helps you create that all important first impression with your new customer, it ensures that the customer feels they have made the right decision by choosing your product, service, and brand. It sets the scene for your future relationship with the customer, encouraging repeat business, further expansion of the services they are buying from you, and ultimately helping convert them to future brand advocates.
Technical Support: Offering easy access to instructions for use, product certification and value-added technical support materials should be a key part of your retention marketing strategy for scientific customers. Consider using a digital asset management system to ensure your materials are well maintained and kept up to date.
Exceptional Customer Service: Providing outstanding customer service can significantly impact customer retention. Resolving issues promptly, being responsive to inquiries, and going above and beyond to exceed customer expectations can build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.
Upselling and Cross-selling: Offering complementary or upgraded products or services to existing customers can help to increase their lifetime value and encourage repeat purchases. This can be done through personalized product recommendations, bundle deals, or exclusive upgrades for existing customers.
Personalized Support, Offers and Discounts: Customizing support, offers and discounts based on a customer's purchasing history or preferences can make them feel valued and encourage them to make additional purchases. For example, sending relevant and interesting application notes, invitations to value-added webinars or targeted promotions based on past purchases can be effective retention marketing strategies.
Loyalty Programs and User Groups: Loyalty programs offer rewards, discounts, or other incentives to customers who make repeat purchases or remain loyal to a brand. Examples include points-based programs, tiered loyalty programs, and exclusive member-only discounts.
Loyalty programs were quite common in the scientific B2B marketplace, however due to local laws and company regulations rewards-based programs are often impractical to operate. However, a good replacement are user groups, which offer customers the opportunity to receive up to date product news, applications notes, technical support, and value-added content.
Well maintained user forums can help build a community of fellow scientists and researchers, allowing them to share ideas and support. Forums should be well moderated.
Post Purchase Follow-ups: Following up with customers after a purchase to express appreciation, provide additional information, and request feedback can help to build customer loyalty. This can be done through emails, phone calls, or business development visits, and shows that a business cares about their customers beyond just making a sale.
Ask for Feedback: Asking for feedback about your product or service will not only let your customer know that their opinion is valued but it will also help you improve your future offerings. Provide multiple feedback channels to accommodate your customers’ preferences. This can include online surveys, feedback forms on your website, email, or phone calls. Make it convenient for them to share their thoughts. Actively listening to your customers' feedback and making meaningful changes will help you build better products and provide exceptional services.
Re-engagement Campaigns: Re-engagement campaigns target customers who have not made a purchase in a while and aim to bring them back to the brand. This can be done through personalized offers, reminders, or incentives to re-engage with the business and make a repeat purchase.
Social Media Engagement: Engaging with customers on social media platforms can help to build relationships and keep them connected to a brand. Responding to comments, messages, and reviews, and sharing relevant content can encourage repeat purchases and foster customer loyalty. If you don’t have the internal resource to run your social media channels, then consider using a partner such as Polymorphic Marketing to manage them for you.
Retargeting Ads: Retargeting ads are displayed to customers who have previously interacted with a brand but did not make a purchase. These ads can remind customers about the brand, offer discounts or incentives, and encourage them to return and make a purchase.
Referral Programs: Referral programs incentivize existing customers to refer new customers to a business. By offering rewards or discounts for successful referrals, businesses can encourage word-of-mouth marketing and expand their customer base while rewarding existing customers for their loyalty. Any program must comply with local laws and regulations.
Retaining, developing, and growing your existing customer base can help you increase sales, executing retention marketing strategies will also help you transform your customers into advocates, further spreading your brand and messaging in a highly cost-effective way.
It's important to note that the effectiveness of retention marketing can vary depending on factors such as your industry, customer base, and the specific strategies employed. It's essential to carefully measure and analyse the results of your retention marketing efforts to ensure they are indeed cost effective for your particular business.
Clearly retention marketing should not be your only marketing activity, you will still want to ensure you have a robust acquisition and lead generation plan, however, it’s important that your retention strategy is not one which is overlooked.
Polymorphic Marketing offers bespoke training and coaching to marketing teams, we can help you put processes in place to streamline your marketing activities, improving lead conversion rates and the effectiveness of your marketing spend.