1. Be proactive. Customer retention takes planning. Sit down and create a comprehensive plan that includes tried-and-true print as well as email, mobile, and other channels. Retention programs often have a better ROI than customer acquisition campaigns.
2. Start early. Don’t wait until customers have been with you for a while to work at retaining them. Start these efforts right away. After the first sale, for example, mail a “thank you” note with a satisfaction survey. This will provide insight into your company’s strengths and weaknesses and give you insight regarding what it will take to keep your customers coming back.
3. Personalize. All of your marketing channels can be personalized to different degrees and in different ways. Speak to customers by name. Understand their habits. Create relevant, targeted communications that show that you pay attention to them and don’t want to waste their time.
4. Re-engage lapsed customers. Lapsed customers = great opportunities. Win them back. Remind former customers to see why they bought from you in the first place. Sending “we haven’t heard from you lately” postcards is a low-cost way to re-engage.
5. Cross-sell and upsell. Happy customers don’t always need special offers to continue using your product or service. They already like your company, so continue to engage with them and show them new and related products that are relevant to them and that they want to see.
Customer retention is a necessary and profitable element of your marketing strategy. You’ve worked hard to gain those customers. Now keep them!