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Customer Retention. Automated

The 9 Pillars of Retention Automation

Posted by Andrew Pearson on Jun 18, 2013 9:40:00 AM
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9 Pillars

We believe that powerful, margin enriching customer loyalty programs can be logically organized and automated.

To do that effectively, we incorporate Windsor Circle's 9 Pillars of Retention Automation within our clients email marketing strategy.


If you're going to build an email marketing program to retain your customers, these key principles will help you successfully drive your journey:

  1. Know Your Customers - This foundational layer has to do with knowing who your customers are.  We define these as personas, both in our Customer Retention Automation Software and as we push these personas as segments or groups to your marketing platform of choice.  What do best customers buy?  How much are big spenders worth?  How long does it take before I should consider a customer to be at risk of "churning?"
  2. Earn the Right to Engage - There's an enormous opportunity to increase retention marketing for most retailers by following simple best practices such as email lightbox sign up forms, good post purchase welcome series to ensure people are excited to be a part of your retention marketing programs, and creative ways to engage in social channels.
  3. Thank Your Customers - The power of a well placed "thank you" can't be understated.  This can be automated nicely through post-purchase thank you series.  It's also a best practice create inserts or branded giveaways (like cleaning clothes or magnets) to send with every shipment.  Be sure to put a trackable coupon code and/or landing page on these items so that you know the impact to your business!
  4. Amaze Your Best Customers - Part of amazing your best customers is knowing who they are.  Using techniques like RFM analysis can help you instantly understand who these valuable assets are in your customer base.  Having metrics like Customer Lifetime Value and Retention Rates available allow you to understand how much you should spend to ensure high loyalty.  These customers are worth special attention and love.  Free gifts, first access to new inventory, and exclusive discounts are all warranted here.
  5. Help Your Customers Enjoy More Product - Most retailers have inventory that makes for great cross-merchandizing based on market-basket analysis.  They also have products that get used up and require replenishment.  The best practice here is to make sure you've automated the types of programs that are efficient at getting customers who've purchased once to purchase again and again.  Here, too, automated email marketing programs are powerful, but there are other smart ways to be in front of customers when they need more product, such as retargeting, inserts or gifts, and believe it or not, postcards and calls to the most valuable customers!
  6. Save Your Churning Customers - Using latency analysis, you can decipher when a customer has gone cold and set up automated campaigns to win them back.  Our clients often find that their Win Back campaigns, to people who have statistically left, outperform their list average metrics.  One client called it "printing money" because these are lost customers that would otherwise require an additional acquisition fee to Google to get them back engaged.
  7. Acquire Retainable Customers - This is the sheer beauty of a good retention program...  that you have the metrics and the foresight to look into your acquisition efforts and identify which acquisition channels are producing low-quality, one time purchasers, and which acquisition channels are generating good, long term customers with high probabilities of repeating.  As you would imagine, comparison shopping engines (which blow away all forms of loyalty and drop you to the least common denominator of price/discount) are the most notorious of these channels.  Typically, organic and email marketing are among the highest channels of great repeat customer value. 
  8. Listen to Your Customers - Many retailers have satisfaction surveys running...  an absolute must.  We've found, however, that few marketers have automated market research that helps them continually monitor what their customers need from them to become repeat buyers.  What accessories matter?  How much do they spend in a certain category (Share of Wallet)?
  9. Measure Retention - You can't improve what you can't measure.  The goal here is to make sure that you are measuring what matters.  Not open rates...  not subscribers...  not revenue.  What matters in measuring retention are metrics such as Share of Wallet (SoW), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and Retention Rates Over Time.  These numbers need to be surfaced, measured in departmental operating reports, and employees should be bonused on them.

This simple, logical ordering of retention marketing is allowing marketers to finally get their arms around building a solid program quickly, and automating it so that it's not a continual time drain.

Ready to drive more revenue? Get started with our powerful customer retention software.


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