Any ecommerce business will be quick to talk up the importance of customer retention to its growth. The problem is that until they reach a certain size, many brands don’t even dream of setting up workflows to personalize their messages for different customers.
That’s where a simple email marketing strategy comes in. Email marketing has a reputation for being one of the most reliable marketing channels. With an ROI of $42 for every $1 you spend, this channel is an old favorite of marketing teams. Yet even more eye-opening is the fact that 77% of email marketing ROI comes from segmented and targeted campaigns.
How to tackle retention early on with CRM marketing
When it comes to knowing your customers, the earlier the better. For ecommerce companies, it’s key to understand that building a retention strategy starts with understanding that you’re planning a continuous journey for your customers. From the very first touchpoints to the purchase, and then to the next purchase, retention always plays a front role to build loyalty and keep customers engaged.
Even a simple setup will give brands the possibility to engage in different conversations with each customer group, and come up with more relevant solutions for each of them. This is key to look at CRM (Customer Relationship Management) implementation to enable content sharing in the most targeted way.
So, a retention strategy should be in motion from day one, but how? The stepping stone of this process is personalization. This may begin with simple segmentation: by just taking into account if it’s a new customer or not, grouping by Average Order Value (AOV) or type of products bought.
Knowing how much your customers spend shows you not only who they are, but helps you create a profile of your best customers. For instance, brands can identify and group the customers driving their revenues in VIP lists and have invite-only offers for them. Besides boosting sales, this can help to create a feeling of exclusivity.
From the customer’s perspective, it should always feel like the brand is a reliable guide – instead of being a pushy salesman. After a first purchase, receiving useful content related to the product bought and a personalized offer at the right time will increase the chances it will resonate with the customer, rather than sharing with him non-relevant communication.
To stem the flow of departures, companies need to understand customer buying behavior and purchase paths. Having this knowledge is helpful to craft a loyalty program with benefits that are attractive for customers and motivate them to repeat their purchases, thus resulting in a positive impact on sales.
Simple and effective CRM practices for personalization
Any basic setup should start with a synchronized segmentation with different lifecycle stages of the customers. New customers have very different concerns than repeat customers. They need more information about the range of products, instructions on how to use them, and background information to understand the brand better.
Recurring customers, on the other hand, need more targeted messages. Brands know, or should know, their preferences and give personalized recommendations without confusing them or wasting their time with all the available choices.
There are at least three key workflows that brands should implement as soon as possible: the welcome emails, the abandoned cart emails, and the loyalty program emails.
A welcome email workflow is effective in onboarding prospects into your brand, and sharing the essential information to build trust and advice on the solutions you provide.
One crucial setup for any ecommerce brand is an abandoned cart workflow to address potential customers that drop out at the purchasing stage.
Finally, a workflow built around a loyalty program with a reminder of points and rewards gained, stages achieved, benefits, and exclusive offers unlocked.It is a good tool to keep engagement and nudge your customers back towards your website.
Early-stage founders should remember that they can always double down on workflows and create more alternative paths, but a basic setup that covers these basic points can go a long way if implemented early on.