There’s a lot of hard work that goes into acquiring a customer. You have to attract the customer, convert them, and close the deal and finally, satisfy them with your product or service.
Throughout this process your time, energy and resources are devoted to marketing, selling, and serving. The cost of all this work is referred to as a Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
But focusing on acquisition isn’t the only way to sell your products. Have you heard the news? Customer Retention is the new Acquisition.
And retaining your customers could be as easy as saying; we miss you.
What is customer retention?
When you’re busy acquiring customers you’re likely very aware that; “Marketing is a (constant) contest for people’s attention” – Seth Godin.
Customer retention is simply what you do within your business to retain a customer after they have made their first purchase from you. And whilst exact numbers vary across industries and individual businesses, experts agree that it can cost your business up to 5 times more to acquire a customer than retain one.
And perhaps even more significant, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared with 5-20% when selling to a new customer.
Which means it makes a lot of sense for you to focus on retaining the customers at least as much as you’re focused on acquiring new ones and one of the best ways to do this is with email marketing.
But what do you do when your existing customers have stopped buying from you and (gasp) stopped reading your emails?
When your customers stop paying attention
Unless you sell something that someone will only ever need once, and don’t have any other products that a one-time customer may be interested in, you need to be in the business of retention. If you’re not in the business of retention, you’re in the business of acquisition and churn – and that’s a costly business to be in. Churn is simply the percentage of customers that opt out of your products; they stop buying. Churn is also referred to as customer attrition or turnover.
According to Hubspot, historically, as a business has experienced high churn rates, they invest more into acquisition costs. But with acquisition costs soaring it makes sense to be nurturing (retaining) your customers and you do this by bringing out the big guns – a ‘we miss you’ or re-engagement email campaign.
Three Simple Words – We miss you
If your customers have stopped buying and stopped reading your emails it’s time to re-engage them with a ‘we miss you’ automated email campaign, which can easily be set up with Mailchimp for Maropost Commerce Cloud. One Return Path study found that nearly half of users who receive these emails will open and engage with subsequent ones.
How you run your we miss you email campaign will depend upon your business and the products you sell, but there are some steps you should follow to get it right:
Analyse the data to identify active and inactive contacts. Analysing your data should also help you to decide how far back you want to take your re-engagement campaign; 6 months of inactivity, less, or more? The answer will depend a lot on what you sell and your understanding of how likely you are to engage someone who has been inactive over a longer period of time.
Wow them. Once you’ve identified the group of subscribers you’re going to try and re-engage you need to determine what you can do to get them to open your email – you need to wow them and win them back with this email. Is it an exclusive offer or discount? Do you have a special announcement or new complementary product they might be interested in? Can you ask them to complete a survey for you in return for a special gift?
Your goal is to get them to see the value in remaining on your database, engaging with you, and becoming a customer again.
This email must make it clear that you value their business and that you miss them. But you need to also be prepared to let them go too – so give them a way to unsubscribe and offer you feedback on why. This information is valuable to you.
Subject lines matter. If a customer hasn’t been opening your emails you are going to need a meaty subject line to get them to open this one. It should match your offer and not be spammy, but there’s no doubt, it has to wow. And here’s a tip – test different email subject lines and emails. You don’t have to send the one email to the entire group of inactive subscribers. Within Mailchimp you can segment the group and try different approaches with each. When you do this it’s important to analyse the data after so you can adjust your email campaign for success if needed.
The other benefit of showing a customer that you miss them
Even if a customer never buys from you again, letting them know that you value their business and that you miss them can have an upside. A customer who feels valued and satisfied with their past purchase will tell others about you. A happy customer can become your biggest promoter. Consider including a request for a review in your “we miss you” email series to help you with your customer acquisition and retention in the future.
The next step…
The next step along from retaining your customers is turning their business into automated repeat business with a subscription. We can help you do this easily with Keesubscriptions.