man talking on cell phone to illustrate concept of increasing customer retention

Increase Customer Retention: Why Multichannel Marketing Is an Underrated Tool

Winning new customers is an exciting accomplishment. But most marketers also know the real work begins after that: increasing customer retention.
Article Outline

Winning new customers is an exciting accomplishment. But most marketers also know the real work begins after that.

The cost of acquiring a new customer is estimated to be five to seven times more than retaining an existing one. Retention issues translate to lost dollars and more work for marketing teams who strive to battle the vicious cycle of churn.

Multichannel marketing is frequently used for new customer acquisition but is often overlooked as a strategy to increase customer retention. So, if you’re looking to boost retention efforts, cross-sells, and upsells, we’ve shared our favorite multichannel marketing customer retention strategies to jump-start your efforts.

Why Use Multichannel Marketing with Your Existing Customers? 

Imagine that your customer makes a purchase. They’re excited, and they love your product, but the novelty wears off over time. They get bored, and all those shiny new features lose their appeal.

In the meantime, your team has launched brand-new product features. But the customer has no idea, and eventually, they go shopping, find a competitor’s product, and make a switch.

Bummer, right?

Using customer retention tactics, such as multichannel marketing, helps keep your existing customers engaged. That engagement affirms your product’s value and provides opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.

a businessperson with a briefcase reviews multichannel marketing content on a mobile device to illustrate increasing customer retention
Strategies for increasing customer retention are what separates the best marketers from the rest.

How to Increase Customer Retention: 4 Strategies 

As with any marketing effort, your starting point should always be the customer. Talk with your sales and marketing teams and gather intel.

Where do your customers struggle?

What questions do they have?

What are their most pressing goals and reasons for purchasing your product?

To increase customer retention, you’ll want to understand these needs and map relevant content and resources to touchpoints along their journey. Here are four areas to try.

1. Email nurturing

During 2023, we had an interesting challenge. Our nurture sequence emails were doing reasonably well, but we knew they could do better. Our internal guru, Kelsey Yen, took up the challenge.

She inventoried the current programs and worked to match them more closely with people’s intents and journeys. Open rates jumped from 25% to 48%, and click-through rates increased from 1% to nearly 18%.You can read the step-by-step guide here.

While Kelsey was working to improve new prospect nurture sequences, you could easily apply a similar strategy with your existing customers. Here’s what that might look like:

  • Send a welcome email to new customers.
  • Ask about their most pressing interests and goals, and then segment them in your marketing automation program.
  • Funnel customers into a nurture sequence, delivering specific content and resources based on their interests to reinforce the value and increase customer retention.

Measure your open rates, click-through rates, and engagement to continue testing and refining new content and focusing on areas with positive metrics. For example, if you learn new customers interested in email marketing are also interested in deliverability, you can continue adding more training and resources to that nurture sequence.

2. Social media

Remember when you talked with sales and customer service and mapped out customer interests and needs? You’ll want to continue using that information.

Imagine that you sell marketing automation. You learn that your new customers struggle with deliverability issues after the new Yahoo and Google changes, so you decide to create content to help and reinforce your value.

You might create a webinar on the topic featuring your internal experts (more on webinars shortly). Then, you can cut that content into mini lessons and share it on social media.

By the way, you are asking customers to join you on social media, right? Identify one or two channels where they hang out, and then make the ask during your welcome email. And don’t just ask; give them a sample of some awesome content you’ve produced on the channel recently so they can see the benefit of joining you.

a triumphant business person celebrating increasing customer retention
There’s nothing better than increasing customer retention, even winning a new customer.

3. Training and tutorials on landing pages

In 2022, we relaunched our Power-Up webinars, a series created specifically for our existing customers. The goals are to help them solve their challenges and understand how to get the most from their marketing automation, and grow the relationship.

In the first year of the relaunch, we delivered value to 286 accounts. The following year, that number grew to 400 accounts, representing a 140% increase. What’s more, those who attended experienced a 24% increase in retention rate.

 Here’s what we do:

  1. Find topics our customers need help with. We look at webinars that have done well in the past, as well as feedback we’re getting on an ongoing basis. 
  2. Create and deliver the webinar. We also have “office hours” to give our customers more guidance in a smaller group setting.
  3. Post the webinar on a landing page, with related content to help our customers deepen their knowledge.

Our focus is on helping our customers be as successful as possible in accomplishing their goals, which naturally increases customer retention.

4. Website content with customer stories

Most marketers create customer success stories to help new prospects understand how an existing customer solves their problem using the product. However, many don’t create stories for their existing customers.

Talk with your sales team to learn which customers have experienced impressive success by using additional products, such as cross-sells or upsells. Then, record a video or written case study, repurpose that content into the relevant lead-nurturing series, share clips on social media, and post it to your website.

How to Improve Customer Retention by Starting Small 

Take one action. Revamp your welcome series, plan a webinar, or publish an upsell customer success story. Then, test another, and another, until you have a reservoir of data to draw from. Find out where you’re getting the most success, and then double down to scale your results.

And of course, an important tool in scaling is marketing automation. It’s also useful for gaining insights into customer interests and needs. Check out our Using Marketing Automation to Boost Customer Retention guide and we’ll give you the playbook on harnessing that data.

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