Retention Email Marketing

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How to Make Them Come Back: Retention Email Marketing

As a business, you want to earn the loyalty of your customers. When you build a secure connection with your audience, they won’t buy from you only once – they’ll keep coming back for more. Here we will go over email marketing strategies and their role in your company’s customer retention rate.

What is Customer Retention? Why Is It Important?

Customer retention rate is the percentage sum of returning customers divided by the total existing customer base over a specific amount of time. It is not to be confused with acquisition or lead generation because you’ve already converted the customer at some point. On the other side of the coin, you want to avoid “customer churn” – the loss of customers over time.

It’s common sense to want a high rate of returning customers, but why? Here are some of the many benefits:

Cost Efficiency

Making your first impressions is a huge investment, and so is attracting new leads. Retention rates help companies understand the quality of the service they’re providing. In addition, it’s more cost-efficient to convert a retained customer because there is already an established foundation of trust.

Customer turnover is unavoidable, but keeping those numbers as low as possible will save you down the line. It can also show you whether your strategy is working or if there is room for improvement.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Retained customers reflect positively on your marketing strategy and how much you have invested in your campaign. The higher your retention rate, the greater your ROI is in your database, boosting your revenue in return.

With email marketing, you build and maintain a relationship with the customer through a low-cost automated campaign. Since this method reduces overall marketing costs, it increases your ROI as a result.

Customer Loyalty

Customers who are loyal to your brand are more likely to spend more per purchase because they value your business. They are also more likely to draw in other buyers through referral programs or recommendations to their peers free of charge.

Customer Loyalty

How to Calculate Customer Retention Rate

There are various ways to determine your customer retention. But here is a simple formula to start with. Let’s say you start the quarter with 500 customers. You lose 20 customers, but you gain 50 customers. At the end of the period, you have 530 customers.

  1. Number of customers at the end of a period (E)
  2. Number of new customers acquired during the period (N)
  3. Number of customers at the start of the period (S)

The formula is: ((E-N)/S) x 100

530-50 = 480; 480/500 = 0.96; 0.96 x 100 = 96%

When you use the customer retention formula, it’ll show that you have a retention rate of 96% for that quarter. If you’re not the best at math, not to worry! This formula can be easily entered into a spreadsheet, or you can use online tools made specifically to calculate your analytic progress.

Customer Retention Through Email Marketing

Email marketing is an effective tool to retain customers that are already in your CRM. This method is suitable for all business sizes, and it consists of designing and timing to reach out to customers for their next purchase. Here is why you should use email marketing to communicate with your existing following:

Customer Retention Through Email Marketing

Keep Customers Engaged All Year Round

Timing is everything, and its importance increases throughout the entire customer lifecycle to encourage the rate of clicks. Here are some time-based strategies that you can use for email marketing:

Stages of the Customer’s Life Cycle

The customer’s life cycle is a process detailing their first contact with the brand, up to whether they decide to return. Instead of sending generic emails in mass quantities (which will have it labeled as spam), companies will program emails to be sent out according to the customer’s stage in the life cycle.

Onboarding Customers

The notifications in this stage vary from browse or cart abandonment to invites to subscribe and make the first purchase. As soon as a customer registers to receive notifications, they should be sent a personalized welcome with a strong brand statement about the company.

Existing Customers

Here is where the retention email campaign magic happens. Emails in this phase keep the interest alive. Commonly used automated messages are newsletters, milestones, account upgrades, feedback requests, cross-selling, and promotional events.

Declining Activity

Lapsed users are customers that have not made a purchase in a while and may be inactive. Win-back campaigns are put in place to address their inactivity and aim to pique the customer’s interest again through incentives and a personalized “We Miss You” narrative.

Customized Emails

Keep customers up-to-date not with just deals and events, but their birthdays and anniversaries with the company. Loyal customers love to be remembered! Bonus points if you offer special content or deals to look forward to every year. It’s a great chance to celebrate milestones as well.

Season’s Greetings

Sharing friendly reminders of the holidays or seasons that could benefit your client base will make them feel like you’re with them on their journey. Instead of only marketing to them, show interest in their lives, and accompany them side-by-side. Use content that is relevant to your business but can be helpful to your customers throughout the year.

Key Takeaways for Your Email Marketing Strategy

Key Takeaways for Your Email Marketing Strategy

Welcome Email

When you enter the sales floor, the first thing that should happen is to receive a warm welcome and perhaps a walkthrough of the business you’re visiting. The same should apply to your welcome email. It is another first impression you have to make, so this step is essential!

Welcome emails are the chance to show your new customer what you are about and highlight any benefits of choosing you. It is also a chance to give them a complimentary gift or offer for subscribing to notifications. Customers want to feel that gratification with a click of a button, which is also why your welcome email should be sent immediately upon sign up.

Push Cart Notifications

Using pushcart notifications will remind your customers about the items they have left in their online cart. If they are taught about buying something, they might not remember to return to it, or finish other uncompleted tasks, until you give them a gentle nudge.

If you want to offer further incentives, you can mention time-limited offers such as free shipping or the expiration date on event promotions. The goal is to encourage them to purchase, whether it is their first or fifth time.

The Bottom Line

Keep analytics handy not just to keep track of your customer retention rate but all aspects of your database. You should also perform periodic audits to see how well you’re performing and make adjustments according to your weak spots.


Erin MerrillWorks as an editor over at OnCourse, an innovative sales CRM tool for smart businesses. Specialized in relationship management, she enjoys helping out sales teams develop a personalized, sniper-targeted approach to close qualified leads.

Retention Email Marketing

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