Customer Retention is Key to Profitability
In the words of Philip Kotler, arguably the world’s leading strategic marketer, “Good customers are an asset which, when well managed and served, will return a handsome lifetime income stream for the company.” The reality is that customers leave every day, for any number of reasons. They may choose a competitor because of price or dissatisfaction with your company, move away, or even die. It costs far less to keep a customer than acquire a new one, so it’s important to have a tactically-driven strategy for customer retention.
Plan and budget. Customer retention is an essential marketing activity that must be given proper attention in your marketing plan and budget. Develop a comprehensive plan to nurture your customers that includes tried-and-true print as well as social media. Retention programs often have a better ROI than campaigns targeted at acquiring new customers.
Retention begins early. Mail a thank you note after the first sale with a satisfaction survey. Provide an easy response form that captures the client’s product and service needs, as well as the anticipated date for the next purchase. This will provide valuable insight into your company’s strengths and weaknesses, and give you key intelligence regarding what it will take to retain the customer.
Personalize your message. Print newsletters and postcards enable you to deliver a customer-centric message based on buying preferences or past purchasing behavior. Customized offers and targeted educational content create a personal connection. Invest in color printing and eye-catching graphics to effectively engage the reader.
Wake up dormant customers. Re-establish the conversation and help former customers see why they bought from you previously – and why they should buy from you again. A “we haven’t heard from you lately” postcard is a low-cost way to re-engage. Let them know you appreciated their business and entice them back with a special promotion.
Create a competitive advantage. Your most valuable asset is your customer list. Happy customers are open to up-selling and cross-selling. They don’t necessarily need special offers to continue to use your product or service because they’ve already accepted your value proposition. Plus, they attract other customers through word of mouth and referral programs.
Customer retention is a necessary, cost-effective and profitable element of your marketing strategy. Through adoption of the right customer practices, supported by a thoughtful marketing approach, the goal of customer retention can be fulfilled.
Driving More Qualified Leads to Sales
by JFung from technicallymarketing.com
With the right marketing automation strategy, you have the ability to automate all your campaigns, tests, measurements, and profiling to create a more efficient and more powerful marketing and Sales process. The best marketers are always looking for more efficiency – aren’t you? Because in an ideal world, wouldn’t it be great if you had more time to focus on things that really mattered?
The two greatest marketing automation components that separate the Best-in-Class Performers (Industry Leaders) from those who are lagging are advanced lead nurturing and lead scoring programs. A good lead nurturing strategy means there is a fixed process for prospect engagement that works in an effort to strengthen relationships between prospects and companies.
Employing a lead nurturing program means creating a process in which your name and brand is dripped into the mind of your prospect so that when the time comes to make a buying decision, they have you first in mind.
Employing a lead Scoring program is using the automation tool that makes the marketing process more efficient by instantaneously qualifying and measuring the quality of a lead. In fact, Eloqua has found that, on average, deal close rates increased by 30%, company revenue increased by 18% and the revenue per deal increased by 17% using automated techniques such as these.
What are the two most essential lead nurturing tips?
The first is using appropriate lead forms. One of the most effective ways to capture leads is by exchanging relevant information in the form of publications with prospects. As long as the information provided is relevant and insightful, your prospect begins to see you as an authority figure within your industry. When you come into contact with a prospect for the first time, make sure not to probe for too much information – you haven’t yet established yourself as an authority figure whom your prospect can trust.
The second essential lead nurturing tip is personalized follow-ups. In today’s marketing environment, you’re only as good as your ability to measure the need of your prospect and deliver a relevant message that responds directly to this need. Using simple text in a nice format can do the trick. Engaging content can really work to hit home with your perfect customer. If you’re focusing on yourself before focusing on the needs of your prospect – it’s time to change direction.
Work to transition your marketing and sales agenda from demonstrating how great you are to positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry and employ lead nurturing and scoring programs that make this happen for Best-in-Class performers. After all, aren’t you looking for a way to get there too?