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5 unique strategies to drive customer retention

Pepped is a boutique lifecycle marketing agency that specializes in helping D2C businesses attract, convert and retain more customers, using the power of email and SMS marketing.

‘Pep’ means to make something more lively and engaging, which is exactly what Pepped does. We empower businesses in the UK and US, from scale-ups to global brands, with the infrastructure and support they need to accelerate growth and increase customer engagement.


Customer retention is crucial to your business’ success. Put simply, the more customers that you keep and continue to sell to, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals.

Here’s a few stats to sink your teeth into:

  • Selling to an existing customer is 6-7 times cheaper than acquiring a new one·  Businesses have a 60 to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer while the probability of selling to a new customer is only 5% to 20% (Marketing Metrics)
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenue by 25-95% (Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company)

With these figures in mind, we’ve put together a list of 5 key practical and actionable customer retention strategies to help you on your way to increased retention rates. 

Great Relationships

A study by Deloitte revealed that emotional connections drive customer loyalty and even outperforms discount incentives. Organizations therefore need to build real, human relationships with their customers.

One way to achieve this is to have your team provide an amazing, omnichannel customer experience from email to SMS, Instagram DMs to tweets, making it easy for your customers to get in touch. According to Zendesk’s State of Messaging Report messaging apps earned the highest customer satisfaction score of any channel, with a CSAT of 98 percent.

Better customer satisfaction = better loyalty.

Get Feedback

In order to improve your product and/or services, you need to learn from your customers who are at various stages in the customer lifecycle; first-time buyers, subscribers, churned etc. Getting an idea of why they chose your company, why they left, why they still choose you over competitors etc. is essential in preventing and reducing churn and increasing your customer retention rate.

A great way of getting qualitative feedback is through one-on-one conversations with your customers.

Another way is to set up a customer satisfaction survey to measure how happy your customers are with either your product or services. We recommend tools such as Typeform or SurveyMonkey but there are plenty out there. Sending these surveys to new as well as older customers is a great way to understand their customer journey.

If you have a loyalty program in place, you could incentivize your customers to share feedback in exchange for loyalty points. 

We also recommend setting up a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to ask customers how likely they are to recommend your business to a friend.

With this new set of data and insights, your company should be agile enough to act quickly to change toward things customers want and away from what customers don’t need. Making sure this data is easily accessible through tools such as a CRM customer retention software is pivotal.

Get Personal

80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences” – Epsilon

Every customer retention marketing strategy should have some form of personalization.

How? Through segmentation.

Segmentation enables you to send the right message to the right customer at the right time e.g., a customer before they’re likely to churn or a welcome email to a customer who has just signed up to the mailing list but hasn’t purchased yet.

One segment you need to have is a VIP segment (aka a group of your most loyal – and most profitable – customers). According to the Pareto Principle, it’s not uncommon in organizations for 80% of revenue to come from 20% of repeat customers. By knowing who your VIP customers are you can spend your budget more carefully on your most loyal customers. Surprise and delight initiatives such as sending a gift or a discount or even just a personalized note add additional value to the customer and builds brand loyalty. We’ll get to that later.

Get with the Program

Loyalty programs help your customers feel good about purchasing from you, which increases brand loyalty, drives repeat purchases and grow your revenue. Make sure to learn from and understand your customers about what kind of rewards they actually want to receive. If you manage this, you’ll have a loyal fan base through the best – and worst – of times.

Referral programs are also a great way to both acquire and retain customers. The lifetime value for a new referral customer is 16% higher than non-referrals. Not bad right? And don’t forget, satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family, bringing in new, higher-value customers.

Give Additional Value

Adding value to the customer instead of relying on discounts is key to your business’ longevity. Surprise and delight initiatives are a great starting point but providing useful or entertaining content from newsletters and blogs also creates the opportunity to move beyond a primarily transactional relationship, encouraging retention.

Key takeaways:

  • Build relationships with your customers. Emotional connections drive customer loyalty
  • Constantly learn from your customers. Use this information swiftly to inform business and marketing decisions
  • Personalise. Find out who your VIPs are and invest in them.
  • Add additional value through surprise and delights and free content
  • Customers are happy to spend more on an organization they believe in and feel loyal to. Relying on discounts to get repeat purchases is a slippery – downhill – slope.

There you have it. 5 key customer retention strategies. For more resources or advice on how to reduce churn and drive revenue for your business, head to our website.

About the author

Georgie Carter

Georgie has over 8 years experience, specialising in lifecycle marketing and CRM. Before founding Pepped, Georgie led the International marketing at Houzz where she was a core part of the team scaling the lifecycle marketing across 14 countries. After leaving Houzz, Georgie launched Pepped to help scaling health and wellness businesses attract, convert and retain more customers using email and lifecycle marketing.

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