Email Marketing Strategy: Customer Retention

Most of us with small to midsize businesses often equate marketing with acquiring leads. And, that IS an important part of the business.

But one important area that many haven’t considered are their current customers:  those loyal, possibly lifetime customers that can potentially buy from you again and again.

Email marketing is a perfect solution. Not only is it a fairly inexpensive marketing tool, but it is data-driven meaning you can track and measure your success quickly and pivot as needed without spending too much time or money! In fact, for roughly every $1 you spend, you can expect a return of $38, according to Hubspot.

So, who is the initial target audience for your new email marketing strategy? Campaign Monitor says get really good at communicating with your customers that you have now. You know they like you and they probably want to hear more from you.

Acquiring a new customer can cost 5x more than keeping an existing customer, so let’s keep your current customers connected to your business.

Sidenote: Using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool will give you the edge in being able to effectively target the right customer through customer segmentation. If you’re not currently using a CRM tool, then check out our Four Tools You Must Use blog.

Think about this: perception is reality. Forbes says that 68 percent of customers leave because they perceive that the business doesn’t care about them. Keep reading… we give you some ideas on how to use email marketing to show you care.

Give a warm welcome

OK, so you’ve gotten some eager customers to sign up to receive your email. What’s next?

One of the first things you need to do when working on your customer retention email campaign is to send a really well-crafted welcome email. Offering some tailored content to solve a problem for them or making a personalized offer are terrific ways to let your customers know you value them. Remember, perception is reality.

WordStream notes that welcome emails generate 320% more revenue than other types of promotional emails. Yes, you read that correctly… 320%!

So make your subscribers feel welcome and valued…it will pay off in the end.

A Friendly Reminder…Or An Enticing Offer

Your customers asked to hear from you, so don’t let them down.

A blog post from Adobe’s Marketo Engage suggests you contact your subscribers if there is going to be an event in their area. Or, you can offer them a notification if there is a change in their product or services from your company. 

Another idea is to offer a promo code to upsell an item or offer content that is relevant to their pain points. Most people sign up for emails because they want to be in the know about your products or they want special, insider offers.

Because they are already your customer, you have a lot of information about them that allows you to tailor your message to them in a way that is engaging and will increase their loyalty.

For example, think about a birthday email offer. Campaign Monitor notes that birthday emails are one of the most effective emails you can send. They can generate 342% higher revenue than regular promotional emails and have a 481% higher transaction rate. That is a pretty substantial return for an email that many might write off as a “feel good” effort.

Ask “How Are We Doing?” Regularly

One of your goals with a customer retention email program is to make your customers feel like insiders.  

One of the best ways to do that is to ask them for feedback.  If your SMB makes a product, ask them for a product review or a testimonial.  Make sure you are clear about where they need to go to leave the review and make it as easy as possible. Give them a direct link!

By asking a customer to write a review, you are saying you value their feedback and you will most likely get a positive review online.

If you offer a service, you can create a survey to find out more about what your customers want. Again, make the survey short and sweet and also be sure to report back with the results (another excuse to email your customers!).  

In doing this, you’ll engage your customers and have a good chance at getting valuable information from them at the same time.

Find Out Where You Stand

This is where an email marketing strategy comes in as a great way of keeping your current customers happy and connected in a cost-effective, data-driven way. Because your recipients are already your customers, you have the data needed to share some really great targeted content!

If you’d like to find out how well you are doing with your email — along with other foundational marketing activities such as online presence, brand, and use of a CRM toolcheck out our free mini-assessment.  And if you want to find out more, we’re happy to chat with you (at no cost of course).

Now, get started on that customer retention email marketing strategy!


Tomato Fish Marketing is an Indianapolis marketing company focused on helping small and midsize businesses make good strategic planning decisions.