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How to increase customer retention with marketing automation

Apr 11, 2024

For most businesses, acquiring new customers is a top priority. But this should never be at the expense of retaining existing ones.

Because whilst new customers are exciting, existing customers offer an invaluable source of predictable revenue and word of mouth recommendations, as well as already being familiar with a brand and their processes.

However, customer retention can be time intensive, especially when trying to provide each and every customer with a personalised experience that will make a brand preferential. 

Fortunately, marketing automation can make this process a breeze. So, to get you started, this blog post will cover some of the benefits of combining customer retention with marketing automation, and showcase some real-life examples to offer you inspiration.

The importance of customer retention

Before we delve into some of the specifics around marketing automation, let’s take a moment to recognise the importance of customer retention for almost any business.

You may have come across the popular statistic, that it can cost four to five times more to acquire new customers versus retaining current ones. So this alone is an obvious strategy for generating ongoing ROI.

In addition, existing customers tend to spend more over time as their trust and familiarity with a brand expands. And they are a great source of user-generated content (UGC) alongside referrals and reviews. 

All in all, retained customers can help businesses create a stable revenue stream whilst also becoming brand advocates to further increase a customer base. 

The benefits of using marketing automation for customer retention

We hope you’re now sold on the importance of customer retention, so let’s explore why marketing automation is such a great addition to any retention strategy:

  • Improved customer engagement

First and foremost, marketing automation can boost overall customer engagement, with little additional cost or resource.

With the use of marketing automation, businesses can consistently engage across multiple channels without manual intervention. By delivering timely and relevant messages, whether that be transactional, promotional, or educational, businesses can keep customers informed and connected, building stronger relationships in the process.

  • Heightened customer satisfaction

Timely communications are essential for keeping customers happy. They ensure customers are kept reassured at key moments in their journey, from confirming a product purchase to responding to support queries.

With the use of marketing automation, businesses can streamline these simple communications to ensure they are sent promptly and efficiently. Ensuring customers are reassured, and building a positive brand reputation in the process.

  • Enhanced personalisation

Personalisation is key to keeping customers engaged, in fact 76% of consumers actually expect personalised experiences

However, manual personalisation is not straightforward. Segmentation is time-consuming, and manually sending out communications that emulate a one-to-one conversation with each recipient is virtually impossible.

With marketing automation, data can be managed and segmented automatically, creating groups of individuals with shared demographics or behaviour. But even better, with the use of dynamic content businesses can send communications that are highly tailored to each and every individual. 

  • Proactive relationship management

Different behaviours or lifecycle stages of the customer require different types of messaging. For instance, new customers will require more information on a brand and their products, whereas long-term customers will prefer tailored promotions related to their behaviour.

With marketing automation, businesses can set up triggers and workflows which automatically reach out to customers based on their actions or lifecycle stage. These automated touchpoints keep businesses top-of-mind and demonstrate their ongoing value, reinforcing customer relationships in the process.

  • Data-driven insights 

For many marketers, managing and analysing data isn’t the most exciting part of their job.

Marketing automation systems can collect and analyse data from customer interactions, including opens, clicks, pages browsed, products purchased, and more. 

By gaining insights into customer behaviour and preferences, businesses can further optimise their customer retention strategies on an ongoing basis, gradually improving churn rates along the way.


5 ways to utilise marketing automation for customer retention

If you’re excited about embracing marketing automation, you’ll likely be looking for a little inspiration. To whet your appetite, here are 5 examples of how marketing automation can improve your customer retention rates.

1. Personalised promotions


As well as growing a reliable source of revenue, one significant benefit of regular customers is that you can gather useful insights and data on their behaviour.

With the use of marketing automation, this information can be utilised to trigger personalised promotions through email and SMS campaigns based on the recipient’s buying behaviour. Whether that be recommended products, upsell promotions, or personalised discounts.

2. Feedback and surveys


Feedback from customers is the secret ingredient to customer retention. Not only does it allow businesses to check-in as to whether their customers are happy. But also provides invaluable information about how the business can continue to improve.

Feedback and review requests can be automated at specific stages of the buying cycle, such as post-purchase, service, or trip, to check-in with the customer and allow them to raise any criticisms before they turn to public review sites. 


3. Exclusive loyalty rewards


Once you’ve pinpointed a loyal customer, then you can offer them some VIP treatment.

VIP campaigns in the form of exclusive loyalty rewards can be automated when specific customers hit the parameters that mark them as a ‘VIP’, this could be in the form of frequently purchasing from the brand, or spending higher amounts.

These campaigns provide a sense of exclusivity to help make these customers feel valued by a brand, and encourage them to come back to buy again and again. 


4. Anniversary celebrations

Date-based automations can be used to help recipients celebrate special events, such as their birthday, wedding anniversary, or even the anniversary of their first purchase. And they can be achieved by simply collecting important dates at the point of email sign up or purchase. 

This personalised gesture makes customers feel valued and appreciated. And by including a discount or voucher in these emails, can incentivise them to make a celebratory purchase.

5. Win back campaigns


Even if a business has pulled out all the stops to keep customers happy, sometimes they will simply disengage. 

With marketing automation, businesses can win back these customers by triggering campaigns based on parameters such as ‘last purchased’ or ‘last opened’. They can even be further personalised with the use of dynamic content to provide highly targeted email banners, imagery, information, and products. 

This reminds the disengaged customer of the brand, encourages them to come back and purchase, and of course makes them feel valued.

Using marketing automation to boost customer retention can transform your business. It helps engage customers better, ensures timely and personalised communication, manages relationships proactively, and provides valuable insights for ongoing improvements. Through tactics like personalised promotions, feedback collection, VIP rewards, anniversary celebrations, and win-back campaigns, businesses can nurture loyalty and enhance customer experiences. Embrace marketing automation to streamline your retention strategy and drive lasting customer relationships.


Next steps

We hope by now you recognise the importance of customer retention, and feel reassured that marketing automation can help make the process of keeping customers happy straightforward.

At Deployteq, our marketing automation solution offers a variety of tools and tactics to improve your customer retention strategy. From automated email promotions through to transactional SMS, we’ve got you (and your customers) covered.

Get in touch with our team of marketing automation experts to find out more.

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