The power of a loyal customer base cannot be underestimated.
After all – as this recent report compiled by Groove reveals – highly engaged and loyal customers are:
- 6x more likely to try a new product or service from the brand as soon as it comes out
- Liable to buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and have 3 times the annual value compared to other customers.
Unfortunately, most businesses pay more attention to lead generation and customer acquisition, and less to customer retention, even though:
- Acquiring a new customer is 5-25X more expensive than retaining an existing one
- A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
And that’s why:
- 41% of consumers who had a very bad experience start spending less with the company.
- 49% of consumers say that feeling unappreciated is their number one reason for switching brands.
Ultimately, when you lose a customer:
- You will not be among the 65% of companies who successfully upsell or cross-sell to existing customers.
Customer loyalty and retention are important, and you can earn them through email marketing.
But to make it happen, you need the right technology – starting with the right ESP. You must also remember that a customer loyalty program and other retention tactics are not just about rewards, but also about facilitating connected journeys, staying in touch with customers, and building trust.
With Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), you can create an effective customer loyalty program that helps you retain more customers, and avoid the problem of “churn and burn”.
Ready to get started with Customer Retention Marketing in SFMC?
Whether you’re an email marketing generalist or a Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist, the 5 strategies given below will guide you on your journey to success.
#1: Facilitate “connected” customer journeys
When customers receive targeted and personalized emails based on their individual needs, behaviors or preferences – regardless of where they are in their journey – they are more likely to be loyal to your brand for the long haul. This is an important point to remember while designing a customer loyalty program.
Next, because today’s consumers are using more devices and channels than ever before, their journeys consist of multiple stages and touchpoints including:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Word-of-mouth referrals
- Customer service enquiries
- Above-the-line campaigns
This is why creating unified 1-to-1 journeys and delivering omni-channel experiences should also be an essential strategy in your customer loyalty program arsenal.
SFMC Journey Builder makes it easy to build connected customer journeys through “journey mapping”. Journey mapping provides a unified view of customers across every touchpoint. It also enables you to create relevant, personalized experiences with SFMC Einstein AI, and engage with consumers consistently across the entire journey.
Implement these ideas to make it all happen:
- Research your customers, create personas and craft a compelling story
- Create a journey plan and collect data to validate its effectiveness. Connect your CRM with SFMC, and then extend it across data points to see a complete view of your customer interactions. You can also use data extensions or API events as data sources.
- Set a goal to measure each customer journey performance, choose an audience and add contacts to the journey
- If required, use exit criteria to remove a contact from a journey
- Optimize send speeds by limiting the number of activities in a journey, and avoiding overuse of AMPScript in messages
#2: Use customer data to build trust
“Marketers should use data to build trust with customers.”
In the course of your relationships with customers, you will gather a lot of data about them. If this data lives in different “silos”, say, SFMC, Sales Cloud and a customer service platform; integrate the silos to streamline the different customer communication touchpoints. This will provide a 360° view of every customer for greater transparency through the entire email marketing funnel.
Once you integrate all customer data with SFMC, use it to segment customers, and then build a kick-ass customer loyalty program that makes them feel special and promotes trust in your brand.
One way to do this is by email personalization so they resonate with customers. Put your captured data to work to personalize:
- Subject lines
- Personalized recommendations
- Special offers
Use the many readymade Salesforce templates SFMC Email Studio to create your customer loyalty program emails, modify them (minimal coding required!), and send them out quickly. Since Salesforce templates minimize the time and effort required to set up a campaign for Customer Retention Marketing in SFMC, you can create different campaigns for different customer segments, and increase your chances of building a loyal customer base over time.
#3: Use automation and triggered email marketing to re-engage customers
Monitoring your email customers manually can be painful, time-consuming and error-prone. However, with SFMC and automation, you can reach more customers at the right time with a customer loyalty program that appeals to them.
Through automation, you can manage your customer contacts, collect vital behavioral data, create and schedule drip campaigns, and send event notifications “to our special customers” – all of which work really well to improve customer retention and garner loyalty.
Initiate a solid campaign for Customer Retention Marketing in SFMC based on different behavioral “triggers” like:
- A customer who buys an item gets notified of future sales in that category
- Customers who subscribe to your blog receive welcome emails or newsletters with a selection of popular articles or relevant recommendations
- A shopper who abandons their cart receives a reminder to complete their purchase
You can also include personalization to make your emails memorable, and to boost loyalty. Try these proven strategies:
- Understand and segment your target audience based on different behavioral or other factors
- Build customer “personas” and design a different email for each persona
- Target customer-centric keywords and optimize content for those keywords
- Nail your subject line, CTA and email structure
- Create compelling copy around “you”
#4: Start a “conversation”
You can also deliver a customer loyalty program Salesforce by initiating customer conversations.
Send emails requesting them to review their last purchase, or to provide feedback on their brand experience. Even if the feedback is not positive, it will still provide a direction to help you improve your customer loyalty programs. This can help you engage and retain your customers.
You can also ask for testimonials which you can publish on your website, or in your next email campaign.
By inviting customers to provide “commentary” on your brand, you encourage them to add their unique voice to your brand’s persona. This is a great way to cement the bond that already exists, and thus build a reputation as a loyalty-worthy brand.
#5: Stay connected through regular newsletters
Email-driven Customer Retention Marketing in SFMC is about nurturing conversations and building relationships that transcend temporary transactions. To garner customer loyalty, it’s important to stay connected with them.
One amazingly effective way to build and maintain connections right from the get-go is via a fortnightly or monthly newsletter. People today don’t buy because you sell; they buy because they trust you and are loyal to you. With a newsletter, you can garner this trust and loyalty, and convert subscribers into super-fans.
Your newsletters should not be too promotional, but provide value that resonates with your audience. And make sure you get the design and content elements right!
Some more tips to create a customer loyalty program Salesforce with newsletters:
- Give them a reason to “opt in”
- Personalize the content and make it interesting to that subscriber
- Include white space for easy readability
- Add visuals to support the copy
- Maintain delivery consistency
Today’s customers are both impatient and vocal – two qualities that make it difficult to garner their loyalty and trust. However, a memorable customer loyalty program offers a powerful means to make this happen, especially if the ESP of choice is Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
If you are an email marketer or a Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist, these 5 powerful strategies can help you build a customer loyalty program that keeps your customers “stuck” to your brand for the long term.