Tips for Transitioning Customer Acquisition Into Customer Retention
Let's start at the beginning: acquiring prospects and converting them to buyers. As you know, marketers spend a significant portion of their budgets on acquisition. They do it through search engine marketing, co-registration, list appends, banner ads, social networks, blogs, offline media and the list goes on.
No matter the channel, successfully converting prospects to customers directly correlates to recency and frequency. While optimizing the lifetime value of every customer is key to success in business, starting with the time they sign up, the truth is that Minute One is when they actually deliver the highest return on investment. Day One is when they deliver the most revenue. Month One is the most valuable 30-day period. That's why a clearly defined, perfectly executed transition marketing program is vital to optimizing conversions.
Once a prospect is acquired, transition marketing begins with a triggered email. This email is delivered immediately upon sign-up, and generally delivers twice the open rates and 10 times to 12 times the revenue of a standard email program.
The cascade doesn't stop there. This triggered email includes an initial campaign, plus specially designed follow-up campaigns targeted to new subscribers. These follow-up campaigns should take place 30 days to 60 days immediately following sign-up. They're all fully automated and scheduled, saving you time to focus on other tasks. Your new prospects are being treated to personalized and carefully timed emails without you having to push a single key.
New customers and prospects respond well to frequent contact. They want to know how your company works, learn about your products and customer service, and see a sampling of the types of promotions you offer. A welcome email series keeps them informed and engaged. Every contact is a chance for a new sale.
What you must have in place at this point is a set of reporting tools that can provide you with detailed monitoring of your campaigns, tracking results directly to the acquisition source so you can continually improve the overall ROI of your acquisition programs by weeding out nonperforming sources and expanding those that work best.
Neil M. Rosen is President and CEO of Fairfield, Conn.-based CertainSource, a B-to-C funnel acquisition management and email retargeting solution provider.