Did you know that the way to your customers’ hearts is through their email inbox? That a survey has the potential to make someone fall in love with a brand? Or that the secret to a long-lasting relationship is personalization? There are some marketing strategies that every brand needs to implement, and we’ve got seven that will win customers over every time.
In this article, we’ll cover the top 7 marketing strategies that engage, encourage action, and convert. We’ll also tell you why they work. Here’s what you need to know about converting and retaining customers through expertly crafted marketing strategies.
Understanding Customer Retention
It’s no secret that retaining your brand’s existing customers is significantly easier and more cost effective than it is finding new leads and converting them. This is why building your marketing strategies around customer acquisition and retention is so important.
Customer retention refers to a brand’s ability to keep its loyal customers over time. This ensures that they continue to buy the products and services, and refer the brand to their friends, family members, and colleagues. The number of existing customers that churn along with your newly acquired customers affects your retention numbers considerably.
Keeping track of your retained customers enables you to create strategies to ensure ongoing customer retention while winning your loyal customers’ hearts in the process. You can measure this by your customer retention rate using this basic formula:
(Number of customers at end of the time period – Number of new customers acquired during the time period) / (Number of customers at start of the time period) x 100 = Retention rate percentage
Your customer retention rate is calculated according to a defined period, such as a month or quarter. You assess how many customers you have at the end of this time then, subtract any newly acquired clients during the time frame specified. From the total you get, divide the number of customers you had at the beginning of the period and convert the result to a percentage.
You can assess whether or not your brand has a good customer retention rate by finding a benchmark for comparison. You can use past data from your business to compare your current retention rates. Or you can use industry-specific retention rates to gauge the performance of your retention and marketing strategies.
Creating email marketing campaigns
1. Email Campaigns With Intent
Emails are still one of the most effective marketing strategies in 2022. The reason behind this is that people tend to treat emails delivered to their inboxes differently than other content they encounter online.
Emails come across as more personal than most digital content, especially if they’re written with intent. The key to success is knowing what to focus on in your marketing emails. First, you want to analyze the writing of customers who interact with you and learn as much as you can about your target audience to tailor your writing style to their preferences and tone.
Style can be even more persuasive than topic when it comes to marketing emails. Including images of your team, product explainers or attention-grabbing designs or colors all help to reinforce your intent. Your emails don’t have to be boring. You can think of them as a poster, a mini-webpage, or a flyer for your brand.
Use your emails to remind your customers about special offers, discounts, coupons, loyalty programs, and sales. Your emails may reach customers at times when it is inconvenient for them to purchase. But by reminding them of your brand’s offers in a visually memorable way, you will increase your chances of compelling them to purchase.
Use your emails to market exclusive offers as well. Reward your subscribers for their loyalty by offering extra discounts, premium content, free downloads, free shipping, or even early access to upcoming deals and sales to keep them engaged. You can also use emails to ask for feedback and to encourage engagement on a more personal level.
Remember—details matter too. The way you greet your customers during holidays, birthdays, and special occasions can go a long way in building loyalty and winning their hearts.
2. Surveys with incentives such as discounts, prizes & coupons
Surveys provide valuable data that you can use to better segment and target your audience. Social media channels like Instagram and Twitter are excellent options where customers can share their thoughts on your brand. Plus, they can give you great insights into how they feel about your products, services, and customer journey.
Satisfaction surveys are a simple way to collect feedback that can be used to tailor your offers in a way that attracts new customers and retains your existing ones.
By offering incentives, you can market your product or service and form a connection with a customer. When people feel like they are getting something back or get rewarded for engaging with a brand it boosts loyalty and retention. Plus, it makes people more likely to participate in surveys to begin with. One study suggests that offering incentives increases the likelihood of customers completing surveys by 30%.
Some of the incentives you can consider offering your survey respondents include small monetary rewards, prize giveaways, competition entries, valuable digital resources like eBooks, digital courses, paid subscriptions, and coupon codes.
Monetary rewards and prizes should only be offered to existing customers to encourage continued loyalty, while prizes to noncustomers should be relevant to your product or brand. Keep in mind that the most effective surveys are short, easy to partake in, and relevant to your target audience.
3. Personalization Of All Touchpoints
Customer journey touchpoints are points of interaction between a customer and a brand. They stretch across the three primary phases of the customer life cycle: awareness, evaluation, and post-purchase.
These touchpoints can have a huge impact on the way customers perceive and remember your brand and products, and these touchpoints can get personalized for an even greater impact. Remember, there are many other touchpoints throughout the customer journey that can be personalized as well.
The first step to personalizing your touchpoints is to identify them and create a map. This will help you identify touchpoints in different phases of the customer life cycle and to manage consumers’ expectations accordingly to deliver a memorable experience.
One of the first touchpoints you should focus on is your website. A well-designed site can encourage visitors to browse for longer while increasing engagement with your brand and offers. Your website should make a great impression on your customers using elements, components, images, and copy that grabs their attention.
Your website should include clear messaging, a user-friendly design, social proof like reviews and testimonials from past customers, and concise calls to action that tell your visitors exactly what to do next. It’s also recommended that you include a live chat feature or chatbot on your site to answer customers’ questions rapidly.
Social media channels are a fantastic way to grow your audience and retain your existing community of followers through personalized content and ads.
Use your channels to communicate authentically with your followers. Posting interactive content that encourages comments, likes and shares is a good start. You can also encourage engagement with Q&A sessions, live streams, and captivating video content. Your social media content should be personalized to the unique demographics you are targeting. Along with their interests, age groups, preferences, and needs.
You can also personalize your marketing emails based on your customers’ buyer journeys, past purchases, demographics, and more. This will ensure they feel like they’re interacting with a human business rather than a generic, robotic corporation.
Add more opt-in opportunities to your website, like blog newsletter sign-up forms, and send re-engagement emails to target potential leads that may have started to go cold. You can also perform A/B tests on colors, fonts, designs, and CTAs to ensure that you’re meeting audience expectations.
Focus on customer reviews
4. Real Reviews And Responses To Negative Feedback
It might feel tempting to delete or hide negative reviews about your business. But they provide a wonderful opportunity to foster customer loyalty. The truth is that bad reviews are inevitable. You simply cannot please all of your customers all the time. Your customer base will know that already and may treat businesses with a lack of poor reviews with suspicion.
Instead of trying to hide these reviews, it’s important to address them proactively. Let the reviewer know their complaints are well-founded and ask with sincerity how you can rectify issues and improve their perception of your brand.
Even if you don’t manage to please that specific customer, other customers will note that you’ve attempted to solve problems with authenticity. They’ll be more willing to interact with your brand, knowing that you will do everything in your power to provide them with a positive experience.
For instance, a customer may leave a review noting that a product they purchased from your brand broke after only a few weeks of sporadic use. Your response should acknowledge the issue. Apologize for any inconvenience that the customer may have experienced, and offer solutions, such as replacement of the product in question at a discount or a full refund.
Plus, you can include a discount code to use for their next purchase. This approach would both directly solve the customer’s issue and work to ensure that they continue to purchase from your brand, despite having a negative prior experience.
There are also a few key points to consider when responding to negative reviews. First, respond right away by noting that you have acknowledged their feedback and are looking into the issue. Issuing a public apology will help to protect your brand’s image.
It’s also important to reach out to the customer privately via phone, email or direct message to address their concerns. Recognize that you value the customer’s loyalty and communicate empathetically as you look for the simplest and most direct way to solve their problems. Last, use each negative review as an opportunity to improve. Reach out to these reviewers and ask them how you can improve. Then, use their suggestions to enhance your refunds and return policies and customer service strategy.
5. Listen, Engage, Deliver
One of the best ways to build customer loyalty is to ensure that your customers feel heard, seen, and respected. You may have listened and engaged when customers wrote reviews or offered feedback, but now you need to act on what they’ve said.
To deliver, you need to formulate product, service, and marketing strategies to meet the demands and expectations of your consumers in the future. Applying feedback and making changes proves that you’re not simply paying lip service to their questions, comments and criticisms. As you continually prove that you are delivering on your promises, you will get rewarded with more customer engagement while producing a better customer experience.
Here are four easily implementable strategies to identify and meet your customers’ needs:
- Identify. Follow your customer needs analysis by launching surveys, focus groups, interviews, and social listening protocols.
- Distribute. Once you have identified key consumer needs, distribute this information across crucial departments and teams to ensure that your whole staff force understands them.
- Adapt. Tailor your products’ features to the needs identified in step 1, and create targeted content that addresses your customers’ needs and informs them of how your products can help to meet these needs.
- Collect feedback. Regularly seek feedback from your customers to learn more about how your efforts are meeting their expectations and how you can improve.
6. Being Relatable And Real
Relatable brands tend to be far more successful over time as they build strong, resilient connections with their audiences. People can connect and resonate with authentic ideas, content, and messages. This keeps the brands that share them at the front of their minds for much longer.
Authentic brands find it easier to set themselves apart from their competition and work through the noise of their markets. Their customers feel more connected to them and more invested in them. This encourages word-of-mouth marketing and better lead generation as a result. The keys to creating a real and relatable brand are consistency, honesty, and accountability. You can build an authentic brand image by portraying a clear purpose, mission, and vision. Staying consistent in your marketing messaging and personalization efforts also contributes to your brand image. As does remaining accountable for your mistakes and promises to your target audiences.
5 key steps to a more authentic and relatable brand:
- Use social proof. Social proof is a great way to build trust in your brand, and it provides evidence that other customers have had their needs met by your products. Reviews, social media posts, testimonials, and case studies can all be used to create an authentic brand image across your key channels.
- Tell your story. Your story is what sets your business aside from your brand. Successful brands have a mission that powers them, and sharing your history and mission can help to build trust with your customers. Include your motivations behind creating your brand, what you aim to achieve, and how your team works together to turn this vision into a reality.
- Use original images. Stock images may be easy to source and use, but original images are far better at creating the impression of genuineness. Share real photos of your products, your team members, and your customers in your marketing media, along with pictures of your products that your customers themselves have shared.
- Be transparent. Your communication style can greatly affect your consumers’ perception of your brand. Building an authentic brand requires openness and transparency, and demands that you keep to your word and remain honest with your customers at all times. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it publicly and follow up with your plan of action to rectify it. Keep your customers in the loop, apologize for any inconvenience caused, and do whatever you can to ensure that they feel heard and appreciated for their continued support.
- Listen to your customers. Sending out brand messages is important, but so is taking the time to listen to what your customers have to say about your brand. Listen to your audience, and use research methods like social listening and surveys to gain valuable feedback. Pay attention to this feedback about your brand, products, and marketing, and address concerns wherever you can.
Make saying thank you a priority
7. Saying Thank You With Notes, Discounts & Value Added Gifts
There are plenty of ways to thank your customers for their purchases, referrals, and engagement. Many of these methods are cost-effective enough for even the smallest businesses on tight budgets. These gestures certainly won’t go unnoticed. Customers are likely to share unique thank-you notes publicly, which provides valuable advertising for your brand too.
A few of the ways to thank your customers include:
- Personalized thank you notes/emails. This is a very inexpensive and effective way to show your customers your appreciation for their support. Your note should be specific and personal, and should ideally include each customer’s name for an extra special touch.
- Loyalty/post-purchase discounts. Everyone loves discounts, and offering these as a way to thank your customers for their purchases significantly increases their chances of buying from you again.
- Offer gifts or samples. Gifts are another excellent way to express your thanks. Send out samples of products that you are considering stocking and ask your loyal customers for feedback to reward them and gain valuable insights into how they feel about these products at the same time.
- Include value-added inserts/information. Educating your customers gives them a chance to appreciate your brand and products on a deeper level, which in turn makes them even more valuable to your business. How-tos, eBooks, printables, and downloadable content can all get shared via your digital channels, social media accounts, and email to foster engagement and thank your customers for supporting your business.
- Customized videos. According to a wyzowl report, 86% of businesses use video content in their marketing strategies, and 92% of these businesses consider video to be an essential part of these strategies.
Videos can engage customers on a level that no other modern media can achieve, so if you truly want to thank your customers in an engaging way, it might be time to start making customized videos to convey your gratitude. You can use your videos to thank loyal customers and ask for referrals and reviews, and send these videos via email or share them to your digital platforms regularly. Remember to keep them short and sweet and to be yourself to ensure that your brand comes across as being authentic.
Start winning customers over now
There are plenty of customer engagement and marketing strategies that you can use to improve your customer retention rates and build lasting loyalty and connections with your repeat customers.
Use the proven marketing strategies listed above. Start by launching surveys and social listening strategies that allow you to identify the key needs and preferences of your target audience. Then, work with this data and your team to create more authentic and personalized marketing messages, customer touchpoints, emails, and review response strategies. Give your brand the boost it needs and win your customers’ hearts in the process.