Smart marketers know that acquiring people is tough, but retaining them is even tougher.
To improve customer retention, it’s essential that you build their loyalty towards your brand. That can be done by showing how much you value them, by targeting them with personalized, relevant content and offers to encourage them to stay connected with your brand and keep them coming back for more.
But most of the time, marketers use email only to promote their new products and services, to intimate subscribers about the item they left in the cart, or about back-in-stock products. While these emails are important and valuable to boost your short term sales, but if you want to boost your long-term sales and conversions, it’s crucial that you make customer retention your email marketing goal.
According to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
Given below are few email marketing ideas that when used in your email marketing program can boost your customer loyalty hence retention.
1. Use thank you emails to drive your prospects and customers up the loyalty chain
A simple thank you email can go a long way in building a meaningful and long-term relationship with your prospects and customers. Consider creating and sending an email that has a connection to a current action taken by the subscriber. For example, if someone creates a wishlist on your site, you could send him an email thanking him for creating a wishlist to encourage returning visits.
The first time a prospect visits your site or buys a product from it is the right time to invest in building a relationship with him. The way you treat him at that time, and soon after that, will often determine whether he is ever going to return to your site or not. So, try to make your prospects feel special by showing them how much you appreciate having them.
Here are some great examples to show you how to thank your customers on every move they make.
Subject line: Thanks For Your Interest In: WILLIAMS-SONOMA SPRING LOLLIPOPS
Williams-Sonoma thanks subscribers for visiting the site. Shows the product they got interested in and displays few customer favorites to encourage the subscribers to re-visit the site sooner than later.
Subject line: Thanks for using your Wish List–the fun is only beginning!
DSW uses its wishlist to encourage the potential customers to do more with their wishlist by creating a FOMO effect. Also, with this simple email, DSW boosts the chances that their future emails will get better response rates.
Subject line: Thank you for your recent visit
ASOS clearly knew that everyone appreciates a thank you gesture, that is why they’ve used their abandoned cart email to thank people for visiting the site, yet politely reminding them about the abandoned items’. The main focus of the email is to engage the potential customer with a subtle reminder rather than a sale-sy cart abandonment email.
2. Encourage people to connect with you on social media
Driving customer engagement is crucial to improve retention and to prevent your customer base from churning. Sending customers promotional emails multiple times in a week isn’t about engagement – you need to encourage them to connect with your brand on their choice of social media channels.
Send them a separate email (one email in your welcome series) promoting your brand’s social profiles to induce them to connect with you, so that you can engage with them on a regular basis, and make them a part of your ever expanding community.
Encouraging subscribers to connect with you on social serves 3 more purposes.
- Increase your social following.
- Gives you one more platform to stay connected with your prospect/customers, in case they stop checking your mails or unsubscribe from your email list.
- Gives your email subscribers an option to communicate with your brand on a one-to-one basis which in turn will boost their loyalty towards your brand, and can help in retention.
Here is an example from SaksFifthAvenue:-
Subject line: Get Social @Saks
3. Reward loyalty
Normally brands send emails about new arrivals, or emails that includes promotional offers to increase sales, to everyone. But, sometimes it’s a good idea to treat people differently. Your loyal and valuable customers deserve a special treatment, which is why you should take the time to appreciate and reward them, to get more repeat purchases and improve customer loyalty.
According to Gartner, 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers. So, try to make your existing customers feel special (especially the ones who’ve written favorable reviews on shopping from your site, or the ones who’ve promoted your site on social media, and the ones who’ve spent significant amount of money on your site, send them personalized thank you emails and special discount offers to create a feeling of exclusivity. They will appreciate it, and this will act as a stimulant to boost their loyalty and your sales in turn.
4. Re-engage sleepy subscribers and lapsed customers
Many email marketers believe that if they keep sending personalized and relevant emails, their customers will always remain active and loyal towards their brand. And though this philosophy is right to some extent, but it’s not correct fully.
Sending great emails is not enough to ensure repeat business. Sometimes customers become inactive, and the reasons are not always what you might think. But, that does never mean you can’t get these customers back. You can use win-back campaigns to pull these customers back to your site. You can send them an email message to tell them how much you miss them. For example, it could be an email requesting a feedback why they’ve stopped visiting your site or you can send them a win-back offer as a come-back incentive to help re-engage them.
5. Stay top of mind
Your customers may not stick around if you don’t nudge them every now & then. It’s not their duty to remember you, but it’s your duty to constantly remind them about your site.
You can use their actions as triggers to keep them engaged and remind them about your products or services. For example, you can remind people to re-order certain products’ that have a limited life, or you can remind them about a back-in-stock item they have earlier expressed their interest in, or remind them about the products that they’ve added to their wishlist, or when an item they have liked earlier goes on sale etc. Sending these types of emails are a good way to build and deepen relationships with your potential customers thus helping them to retain better.
Using email marketing to not just acquire but retain your customers has proven to be one of the most effective marketing tactics. So, don’t leave your retention strategies confined to a loyalty & rewards scheme, if you want a loyal customer base, you need to start investing early in building a relationship.