As a business owner, it’s hard to imagine a worse scenario than losing customers. Frustrating at best and devastating at worst, it’s an often unavoidable part of the business. With the right strategies in place, though, you can increase customer retention.
There are many strategies you can utilize to increase customer retention and lead development. This guide will discuss how to use targeted content to improve the relationship you have with your audience. You will also learn five steps you can take to win back lost customers.
What is Targeted Content?
Targeted content is content made for a niche audience based on where they are on the customer journey. The content should aid your audience, dealing with a pain point, or generating desire. Ultimately, the aim is to take them further down your marketing funnel and develop a relationship with your company.
Let’s say you’re looking to do some dropshipping, and you type the keywords ‘dropshipping ecommerce’ into Google.
You’ll see results from the Shift4shop blog.
That is an example of top-of-the-funnel targeted content.
The content is aimed at people who might be setting up an eCommerce store or already have one. That aligns with stages in the customer journey of our target audience. If we can turn a portion of the people reading the content into leads, we can then provide them with more targeted content that takes them further down the marketing funnel.
You can use this same approach of providing relevant content to your audience at key stages in the marketing funnel to increase customer retention.
Here are your five steps to becoming a targeted content king.
How To Bring Back Customers Using Targeted Content
Learning from your mistakes is an inevitable part of life. If you’re struggling with customer retention, understanding both the problem and how to resolve the issue is fundamental to winning them back. Follow the five steps outlined to improve your customer retention.
1. Use data to guide your strategy.
How well do you know your customers? I mean, understand them? Figuring out your customers’ wants and needs is crucial to the process of retaining them and learning what type of targeted content to use next.
Intelligence-gathering is your best way to extract this information. You need to unravel your customer’s preferences and dislikes. One of the most effective ways of sourcing this data is through RFM metrics. RFM stands for recency, frequency, and monetary:
- Recency: How recently did a customer visit your website or complete a purchase, for example.
- Frequency: How often did the customer complete the actions you’re tracking (giving a total figure over a period of time).
- Monetary: The amount the customer spent on your products/ services.
Putting your customers into a spreadsheet and giving them a score out of 5 based on these three metrics can give them an overall RFM score. Ideally, you’ll have a 5-5-5 (top scores in each metric).
Source: The Good
Pooling this data gives you a measurable track of how much customers engage with your business. You can then start to group your customers based on their spending habits.
The table above demonstrates how your RFM scores can be collated and analyzed. We’ll talk a bit about how you should use this data later.
The better the system you have in place for gathering data, the more insights you will gain about your customers. For example, you can discover things like customer lifetime value and identify common trends that occur before a customer churns. You can then establish a system to deliver targeted content to people who exhibit these warning signs.
2. Determine why your customers leave.
Customers may leave your business for many reasons. There are four main reasons why a customer would leave your business. They are:
- They were only interested in purchasing a single product. They are satisfied customers, and you can’t provide anything else to them.
- The customer was dissatisfied with the product you delivered. They don’t plan to purchase from you again.
- They were dissatisfied with the customer experience. They don’t plan to purchase from you again.
- They found an alternative company that they feel provides a better service or product.
Now, there’s not much you can do about that first point.
For example, if I bought a car today, I’d be out of the market for a new car for another 5-10 years – unless I crash, of course.
Targeted content won’t make me want to buy a new car, immediately. However, providing things like free servicing and other incentives over the lifetime of me owning the car might bring me back to the dealership when I want to make a new purchase.
You can see some of the limitations and opportunities of targeted content in that example.
There are various ways to gather data about why your customers leave. One of the best ways to know why your customer left is by surveying them. Surveys are great at collecting customer’s opinions on your service.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get enough people to participate in a survey, so incentivizing their completion can help. You should also conduct interviews with regular customers. Getting feedback from them can help you understand what you’re doing right.
Having access to these insights is great as well. You can use them to create targeted content that addresses why people who stopped buying from you should become customers again, for example. Or you might identify a problem. For instance, some loyal costumes might tell you that they are frustrated with the user experience on your site. If you know this, you can make the necessary adjustments for your ecommerce website.
3. Come up with a customer retention plan.
Okay, so you should now have better insights into why your customers are leaving. You should also have a list of warning signs to watch out for. It’s time to turn the tide on lost customers!
With the data you’ve collected, you now need to achieve two things:
- Get those sales soaring again by offering products or services that customers are most likely to purchase based on their spending habits.
- Get customers back in numbers – you can achieve this by generating a new marketing strategy that encompasses everything you’ve learned from your surveys and the new insights you have encountered.
You need to identify key weaknesses in your business model that arose from the data you gathered. For example, perhaps your retail brand offered a certain product line that didn’t appeal to your customer base.
Maybe poor logistics were a reason for lost customers? Few things are as frustrating as a negative shipping experience. So, implement same-day shipping if you can to keep customers happy.
Alongside fixing the obvious problems, you need to develop a retention plan that engages people who show warning signs of losing interest in your company. That is where understanding the signs of customer churn, and your ability to provide targeted content is critical.
4. Remind your dissatisfied customer of what they’re losing
Now it’s time to create your targeted content. But before we get into that, you should decide how to send the content.
You have several options. Email and retargeting ads are the two best options. Your website, of course, is also a good home for your targeted content. Though, you need to get those people to your website to consume the content.
You can use the data you gathered from the RFM analysis to set up when to launch automated email and retargeting campaigns. For example, sending a sequence of emails promoting a product at a discount might make a former customer consider purchasing through your store.
In addition to that, it’s worth sharing with former customers steps you have taken to improve service. That might include things like the offer of free one day shipping to all customers. Or, a more generous returns policy.
5. Provide incentives
Everybody loves a freebie, right?
Incentivizing your customers through discounts, coupons, flash sales, giveaways, and competitions is a guaranteed way of winning back their attention.
Be clear about what the customer is going to receive by signing up or re-joining. Have a clear CTA. Don’t forget to refer back to your RFM analysis and data to pin down exactly what type of incentives will work best.
But how exactly should you reach them with your incentives? Again, you can use the platforms I mentioned earlier. Win-back email marketing is particularly popular.
Running promotions, for example around popular eCommerce dates like Black Friday, is another way to gain the attention of former customers. Of course, you don’t need to wait till Black Friday to run these types of campaigns.
Customers are the engine that drives all businesses forward. No customers equal no sales, and ultimately no business. Losing customers is a horrible experience, but it doesn’t have to be terminal. Through sensible decisions, listening to your customers via surveys, using clever marketing campaigns and the correct data, you can save the sinking ship by using targeted content effectively.
This guide shared a step-by-step process you can apply to share targeted content with your audience. Start by reviewing data about your customers to identify trends, and speaking to your customers to see what you are doing right and where you have problems. Once you’ve conducted your research, you need to come up with a customer retention strategy.
About the Author
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.