How can marketing automation help me keep clients & improve retention?
For health, fitness, nutrition and wellness focused business owners & entrepreneurs.
It’s no secret that keeping an existing client is far easier and far cheaper than gaining a new one. We won’t go into any great detail about client retention now, but there is a good chance that increasing it
Just how important is client retention? According to a study by the Harvard Business School (reference), increasing client retention rates by just five percent will increase overall business profits by 25 to 95 percent.
Think of each client relationship you have as just that, a relationship. Strong relationships require constant attention and nurturing. Truth be told, the future of your business depends entirely on your ability to build relationships.
Marketing automation software can play a crucial role in helping you retain, identify, reward and leverage your client base. First, you need to define a clear picture of what a happy and loyal client looks like. You then need to identify the characteristics that indicate a client is moving toward or away from this picture. You need to create a framework which moves a client through identified stages or milestones, from prospect to loyal client, and keeps them here and happy.
At the most basic level, a simple client retention strategy can really make a world of difference to your bottom line. It might be something as simple as an automated reminder sent to your client when they haven’t attended a class after ‘x’ number of days. Great businesses have implemented strategies which reward behaviours that indicate loyalty towards your product or service and they are using marketing automation as a key tool to do this.
Let’s look at two specific examples:
Independent yoga and pilates studio.
Jackie is the owner of an independent Yoga & Pilates studio who works predominantly with a female client base. She has approximately 70 regular members on record, but only 25 of these have signed up on a direct-debit contract and membership basis. Low numbers of contracted members
Online supplement store.
Stephen is the director of an online nutrition and supplement store. His main product is an organic whey protein. The store has been operating for just over a year now and Stephen has noticed he is having to continually up his marketing budget to meet company targets. With no client retention plan in place, Stephen is having a hard time building a sustainable business. Stephen decides to invest in marketing automation software. Every time a client purchases a 1kg bag of whey protein they enter an automation and are awarded a point in a lead scoring system. After a few weeks, Stephen notices that his most loyal client members are reordering from him, on average, every two months. Through automation, Stephen creates two client retention strategies. Two months after ordering, if a client hasn’t reordered, an automated email is sent to his client with a $10 voucher to be used toward the client’s next purchase. In addition to this, when a client reaches a lead score of five points, they are sent a shirt, protein shaker, and access to a private Facebook group where they can discuss any questions or concerns they have with professional athletes endorsed by Stephen’s company.
At the end of the day, most businesses don’t have the time or resources to best retain clients. Each of your clients will be at their own unique stage of the relationship. While no client will openly demand it, they are seeking a personal connection with your business, your brand, and you. Creating value and finding an individual connection with a client requires attentiveness, boldness and commitment. Check out this article on finding your client’s ‘something else’.
Marketing automation can help you build better relationships by both automating communications to your client at the appropriate time and building information about your client to better help you interact with them on a personal level.
A really successful retention strategy goes beyond reminding your client or customer when they haven’t attended a class or purchased from you in a while. A successful retention strategy requires rewarding client loyalty. If you don’t have a loyalty reward system in place, make it your next business move. You first need to determine what a loyal client looks like. Detail their purchasing behaviour, transaction frequency, interactions with your business, referrals they provide, reviews they leave etc. Loyalty program and reward system sound a little mundane, so come up with something more creative. You really don’t even need a name for it. When a client has attended ‘x’ amount of classes give them a surprise free week. When clients have spent ‘x’ amount of money with your business, invite them to a free weekly outdoor class.
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