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    Customer Retention

    attracting customers

    Business owners tend to focus on acquisition.

    They’re after more buyers, new buyers, and bigger brand reach.

    That’s one way to grow, but it’s not the easiest path.

    New customers are tough - you’ve got to find them, establish trust, and convince them to buy.

    Your existing customers, though, are a lot easier to deal with - they already know you, they trust you, and they’re usually more receptive to sales and marketing.

    If you dive into the numbers, you’ll see that past buyers are probably worth a lot more than you think.

    customer loyalty pie chart[a small group of loyal customers is likely responsible for a large chunk of your sales]

    On average, people who buy more than once make up only about 8% of an ecommerce store’s total customers, but they account for 41% of total revenue.

    conversion rate chart[Conversion rates increase with each purchase]

    1-3% of new visitors will buy.

    27% of one-time buyers will buy again.

    45% of two-time buyers will buy again.

    This means the more times a customer buys from you, the easier they will be to sell to in the future.

    referral chart[The more customers buy, the more people they’re likely to refer]

    1st-time buyers refer 3.1 people.

    4th-time buyers refer 5.4 people.

    10th-time buyers refer 7.1 people.

    This means if people come back a lot, they love you a lot.

    The more they love you, the more likely they are to tell their friends about you.

    Customer-Retention-Key-Stats.png[Most marketing budgets are disproportionately focused on acquisition > retention]

    Customer retention is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Your most loyal customers are probably responsible for a large amount of your current revenue and they’ll likely stick around to drive future sales as well.


    How to improve customer retention with email

    Customer retention email strategy #1: Add product links to transactional emails

    Customer Retention Key Stats[Add product links to your transactional emails, like order confirmations, shipping alerts, and review requests]

    Transactional emails tend to be simple, automated, and one-dimensional (and pretty boring).

    If you add product links to your emails, though, you’re much more likely to encourage follow-up sales.

    Since transactional emails are usually sent soon after a sale, the customer is aware of your brand, likes it, and might be open to more shopping.

    customer retention amazon order confirmation [Amazon’s order confirmation emails include links to related products]

    Chicos order confirmation[Chico’s includes product links in their shipping alerts]

    Soom order confirmation[6 months after your purchase, Soom follows up with a request for feedback and offers reviewers a discount on their next order]


    Customer retention email strategy #2: Send “win back” emails with incentives to buy again

    Customer retention email

    Win back emails are designed to drum up business from past buyers, even if you haven’t heard from them in a long time.

    third space customer retention email[This local cafe offers a discount to customers who haven’t been in recently]

    edgewonk customer retention email[This is an email that went out to exclusively to existing customers who’d bought a particular product, encouraging them to upgrade to a new related product]

    There are all sorts of emails you can send out to past buyers, from single alerts to full-blown, members-only launch campaigns.

    Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re dedicating significant attention to your existing customers, not just searching for new ones.

    If you make a few additions to your transactional and win back emails, you’ll immediately improve your customer retention rates. It can be as simple as adding a few product links in each email!

    dan mcdermott


    Dan McDermott

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