7 Rules of Retention Marketing

Did you know that it is five times cheaper to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one?

Customer acquisition costs can break a marketing budget, yet many businesses spend more time focusing on attracting new customers than retaining their loyal customers.

That’s a puzzling statistic since one study says if you increase customer retention rates by just 5%, you’ll increase profits by 25-95%.

While we believe in customer acquisition tactics, today, we’re going to give customer retention it’s fair representation. In this article, we look at the seven rules of retention marketing so you can improve your rates and grow your business.

If the words “retention marketing” leave you scratching your head, we’re going to define retention marketing for you first, and then look at the seven rules.

What is Retention Marketing?

In its simplest form, retention marketing is what you do to keep your customers engaged, happy and spending their money.

Sometimes it’s called life-cycle marketing or loyalty marketing,

Retention marketing is a fairly new term, but one that is becoming quite widespread in marketing circles and the realm of eCommerce.

With retention marketing, through various activities, you create engaged customers that return to your online store again and again to make a purchase.

You increase the likelihood that your current customers will purchase again while putting some emphasis on increasing their purchase rate and amount.

Here are seven rules of retention marketing.

Rule #1: Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Customer service can be more important to your customers than the actual product. Consider the customer who makes a purchase on your website.

They have to wait nearly two weeks to receive the item. Then, they are shipped the wrong item. When they call customer service, they are on hold for nearly 20 minutes, and then they are told they have to pay return shipping on the item they did receive.

Is this good customer service? No.

Exceptional customer service is rule number one when it comes to retention marketing.

While it’s not rocket science, for many businesses, it is overlooked. There is certainly something to the old saying, “The customer is always right.”

Treat your customers with respect, offer your items at a reasonable price and make sure your customer service reps are fully trained in the art of customer service. Provide consistency across the board to encourage customer retention.

Rule #2: Meet Your Customers Where They Are

When it comes to retention marketing, you want to meet your customers where they are. If they’re using Facebook, meet them there. If they tweet on Twitter or post on Instagram, it’s your job to take your story to them.

Customer retention is about providing the right thing at the right time to your customers. Perhaps they subscribe to your blog – if so, provide them the best content possible.

One way to meet your customers on social media is to start building targeted experiences. Consider using a social login box on your website. Allow your customers to register or sign in using their preferred social media account.

Not only does this let you learn more about your customers, but it makes registration and login much easier.

Additionally, if you send email marketing, consider surveying your customers and ask them what they’d like to see from you. Then provide it.

Rule #3: Get to Know Your Customers

It is pretty hard to provide the right content to retain your customers if you don’t know your audience.

Learn about your audience through social media and Google Analytics. Take note of their demographic information as well as their interests, likes and habits.

This helps you better provide targeted information to your loyal customers.

You can also let them self-identify what they’d like from you on your website. In your email sign-up form, give them some choices as to the types of emails they’d like to see.

Because you know your customers, you can provide them appropriate content.

Rule #4: Reward Your Customers

Offer a loyalty program. There are multiple ways to do this, but rewarding customers is one of the easiest ways to retain them.

Everybody likes something free. You can offer them a discount when they sign up for your program to get them started. Then, let them accumulate points for an extra big rewards.

Rule #5: Be Real, Don’t Talk At Your Customers

In the 21st century, your customers appreciate being talked to, not at. They want the personal touch, and they want you to be real.

Communicate with your customers. Don’t always try to sell them something.

When you are on a real, personal level with your customers, you are better able to retain them. When they feel you treat them well, you can expect they’ll be more likely to comment and share on your blog posts and social media, leave reviews and ultimately, make a purchase.

Rule #6: Ask for Feedback

Show your customers you value them by asking for their feedback. When you do this, we recommend offering them something for their time. You can offer them a small discount or extra reward points, just make sure to offer something to let them know you value them.

Customer feedback is important to your retention rates, and it’s important for the growth of your business. When you ask for feedback, do be sure to take action on it.

Go one step further and tell your customers what you’re going to change because of their comments.

Rule #7: Deal with Negative Feedback

If someone leaves you negative feedback on your website or in your social media channels, you want to respond to it quickly and sympathetically.

Find out what happened and do your best to diffuse the situation. If handled correctly, the customer may even retract the comment.

Not only does this have the potential to increase your retention rates, it has the added benefit of letting prospective customers know you value comments. It engenders a feeling of trust.

To Conclude

Now that we’ve looked at the seven rules of retention marketing, you might be wondering if this means you should stop trying to attract new customers. Absolutely not.

You still need to market your online store and work to acquire new customers while increasing your conversion rate.

Although, instead of overspending on customer acquisition costs and forgetting all about retention marketing, try to balance out your retention and acquisition costs.  Make it a more equitable balance.

Then, you can evaluate which strategies are working best for you and adjust your budget accordingly.

Create a strategy and use the seven rules of retention marketing to increase the loyalty and purchasing power of your current customers, while keeping your current customer acquisition strategies in place.

If you are ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by using customer retention tools to skyrocket growth among your current customers, that’s great! We’re here to help you optimize your landing pages to increase your retention rates. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Jessica Ruscello

When you have the perfect business, you need to make sure everyone else gets a chance to see it. With effective marketing, you get traffic to your website and you show off your products or services to the world. It’s a win-win situation. However, if you are focusing your marketing on pay-per-click (PPC), you could be hemorrhaging money. There are a variety of reasons that PPC marketing is not effective.

You Probably Aren’t Marketing in the Correct Markets

Image via Flickr by zoetnet (more…)

If you browse our blog regularly, you may have noticed a little green tab at the bottom of the page that reads “Chat with us!” – if you ever come across it, feel free to chat with us! There’s a real person behind it and we don’t bite!

We are always looking for the next best thing for conversion rate optimization, and we’ve noticed lots of websites are popping up with live customer support chat. People usually want instant customer service, rather than calling a 800 number and waiting on hold for 15 minutes for a question that takes 30 seconds to answer. Elements like this can also help decrease shopping cart abandonment, as they can get their questions/concerns dealt with in real time. There are a couple different options in this space, but we decided to go with Olark.

Setting up Olark is extremely simple to install, even more simple if you have a dynamic website. All you need to do is take the code they give you and paste it in your HTML code, thats it!


Facebook wants you on its network, and it has some great bait. No, it’s not giving you free credit and beer; it’s giving out free data. Facebook Insights is a surprisingly rich analytics platform that you can use for landing page optimization.

facebook optimization marketer bait

Insights will teach you about your Facebook fans (for free) and show you what they’re up to. Of course, it’s always good to know your audience before you reel them in.

Know who you’re dealing with

If you have a Facebook page, Insights’s data will shed light on two big aspects of your audience:

#1. Preferred topics – you can see the reach, sharing activity, and clicks captured by your posts on Facebook. This reveals which types of content resonate with your fans.

Look at the data and ask yourself, what does the audience prefer? (more…)

Some recent Adobe landing page optimization research shows that marketers are catching onto this whole “optimization thing.” Many, however, have yet to grab some big opportunities.

The Adobe optimization survey queried more than 1,700 digital marketers. The findings are published in the “Top 5 Conversion Opportunities”  report and a nifty infographic (note: you have to fill out a form to get the report).

The report’s insights are great, but we dug into the data and found a few of our own. Then we turned them into tips to boost your conversion rates.

Tip #1. Optimize more than landing pages

When someone says “conversion optimization,” marketers think “landing pages.” Not surprisingly, landing page tests are the most popular with 41% of marketers running them. And since the homepage is often a landing page, 33% of marketers are testing there as well.

The percentages start dropping like bricks from there. Here’s a chart from the Adobe report:

adobe optimization research - where to test

The big opportunity here is all the way at the top. Only 10% of marketers test their shopping carts and forms. Seriously!?! That’s less than half the number that test display ads!


Attorney Mike Young, posted a great article yesterday on the current blizzard blowing through the online marketing industry. He posted 7 great resources to help you to bulletproof your merchant processing.  If you are run “FREE” Trial Offers, then BEWARE the FTC Boogieman cometh! They are coming with a vengeance!

Go to Mike’s Blog to get the free reports and information he posted.

We believe in the importance of SEO work, no question. However, Bruce Clay summed up the future of SEO succinctly: “Ranking is dead.” (see his interview here.)

Ok. Nice headline, but a bit too far, me thinks. He’s right, in that it will have a substantial impact on how SEO needs to work (with personalized search tracking, universal search, etc.), but it ain’t dead.

However, now is the time to rethink strategies and start focus other other ROI producing activities that bring results: Landing Page Optimization. We’ve been working with large traffic websites for years, and LPO is one ways we’ve helped our clients crank up their marketing ROI, in a major way.

If you are focusing on your SEO, but not your LPO site optimization, then you are losing large amounts of money on your marketing.

Think about it. If your website conversions suck, and you drive MORE traffic to it. Who cares?!?!? What matters most is CONVERSIONS. The traffic will come. 🙂