Keep them coming back for more

July 19, 2019

Saul Gowens, co-founder of marketing automation platform Websand, shows how clever online marketing processes can help retain your customer base

Retention is the single most important thing for growth,” is a quote from Alex Schultz, the VP of growth at Facebook – a company that has been pretty successful at going thus far.

You might not think retention applies to your business but you’d be wrong. It’s unlikely you have the resources Facebook enjoys but if you are selling to customers, especially online, you’ll be gathering all the ingredients you need to grow your business through retention.

Let’s start from the beginning: according to commercialisation expert Paul Freet: “A business is a repeatable process that makes money, everything else is a hobby.”

Businesses tend to be made up of a series of different processes: sales, manufacturing, accounting, etc. Managing these processes is the key to making money.

The one area that tends not to have an ongoing business process is marketing, but at Websand we believe that creating a repeatable profitable process for marketing is something every business should be looking to achieve.

Most marketing tends to focus on new customers, rather than existing customers. That’s especially true of online businesses selling B2C. That’s a missed opportunity; according to Harvard Business School, if you increase retention rates by five per cent, you’ll increase your profits by 25 to 95 per cent.

A focus on customer retention should, therefore, play a big part in your future marketing plans.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are selling to customers, you’ll have the ingredients in your customer data.

In your systems, you’ll have the details of who has bought from you and when. What you perhaps don’t have is a consolidated way to manage this information and identify who your best customers are and when they last bought from you. Here’s where Websand can help.

We can help you quickly identify those people who generate the most value to your business and help you to create repeatable marketing processes that make you more money.

The best retention processes link to the ‘moment’ when that customer is likely to purchase again.

Creating a repeatable process to manage these ‘moments’ ensures that you make the most from every opportunity with every customer.

Consider an online flower seller. Typically, selling flowers is seasonal, but flowers are often also bought for birthdays and anniversaries. That provides an excellent opportunity to create a repeatable profitable marketing process. You can create an automated marketing campaign that is issued to people who haven’t bought flowers in the last 360 days.

But what about processes for your most valued customers? What else can you do to make that existing relationship a bit more special?

You could take inspiration from hotels and adopt a strategy of ‘surprise and delight’, creating a repeatable process that issues surprise discounts or unique add-ons the next time they purchase.

You could also follow the lead of M&S and create a process that issues offer codes to your VIP customers, which they can pass on to their friends and family.

There are examples everywhere – borrow from well-known brands or create your own special way of dealing with those customers that power your business. Just make sure, whatever you choose, to have a solid repeatable marketing process in place.

Websand
For more advice on repeatable profitable processes for your marketing, email Websand on hello@websand.co.uk or visit: www.websand.co.uk/retention-engine

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