The Importance of Retention Emails in Marketing

The timeless business quote states that it’s five times harder to earn a new customer than to keep an existing one, or something close to that. The data may vary, but the point stands: your efforts to retain customers are worthwhile, and shouldn’t be ignored.

Actually following through with customer retention strategies is another thing entirely, and the methods aren’t clear-cut in the world of ecommerce. Brand loyalty just isn’t the norm anymore, and the endless array of choices in every marketplace makes retention harder than ever.

That explains why companies are returning to the bread-and-butter of customer retention in the digital age, using email to keep users engaged and coming back for more. Let’s talk about the importance of retention emails in marketing, and how to execute these principles successfully.

What Are Retention Emails?

A retention email is any message sent to an existing customer’s email to keep them engaged, interested, and aware of your business and its offerings. These emails can be crafted in many different ways based on the aim of the marketing team and where the customer stands.

It’s a broad topic, and some retention emails look totally different from others in terms of format, length, subject matter, and calls to action. There is a deep playbook of retention emails at your disposal as a brand, and you’re encouraged to use all the tactics at hand.

While some messages may be very general and distributed to all customers in the contact list, other retention emails are highly specialized to the individual, leveraging data and sent with perfect timing to encourage a purchase or retrieve more useful information.

So much is possible with retention emails, and the results are limitless if you have the right methods and develop best practices of your own.

Why Retention Emails Work

For anyone who thinks that retention emails aren’t effective, it’s time for a wake-up call. Despite being one of the older elements of the digital ecosystem, email is still the No. 1 channel for customer communication, whether you’re a multinational corporation, a mom & pop shop, or a brand new dropshipping business. 

Email is not only more universal than interruptive ads or social media tactics, but people also take it more seriously since voluntary action is required to receive emails from a brand. 

Remember that your customers signed up for emails because they want to be informed and kept in the loop about your brand. By sending out retention emails with proper timing and technique, you’re giving the people what they want.

Email is also such a versatile format, especially now with artful and engaging content creation tools. Walls of text in an email are a thing of the past. Brands can now send out eye-catching messages that hook readers and encourage clicks.

Finally, there’s no better way to implement calls to action than in email. Customers feel at ease in their email inbox and already have a level of familiarity with your brand. All it takes is a well-crafted message and a timely CTA to earn a sale.

Good vs. Bad Retention Emails

Think as a customer for a moment: how do you know an effective retention email when you receive one? Here’s a hint: you don’t recognize it as a retention email! You simply click because you’re interested and follow the path before you as a matter of instinct and curiosity.

On the other hand, bad retention emails are mistimed, misleading, unclear, or don’t offer sufficient information. Worst of all, they’re pushy or salesy, leading customers to unsubscribe.

Of course, every type of retention email has a specific purpose in mind, so always determine that objective before crafting your message and offer. 

Essential Tools & Tactics

From a practical standpoint, certain software can instantly boost your retention email strategy by keeping you organized, aware, and equipped with analytics for a whole campaign.

You’ll want a system that allows you to organize your contact list and segment it accordingly, tracking where customers are in their journeys and what products are best suited for them.

From there, your software should help you automate the process of sending those emails at the perfect time, whether it coincides with a sale event or customer activity of some kind. 

At last, retention emails should be tracked and tested to see which formats deliver results, and which ones can be chopped. If that sounds like a lot to handle for your small business, consider teaming up with a Klaviyo email marketing agency to get a jump start. 

Elevate Your Retention Email Plan

When you’ve learned the power of retention emails and mastered these methods for yourself, the possibilities are endless in the ecommerce era. Every customer you earn is far more likely to stick around, allowing your campaigns to pay off in full while maintaining the loyalty and respect of your audience.

Use this guide to start exploring the art and science of retention emails and see how they can transform your marketing efforts moving forward. 

G Gulati

G Gulati is an Author, Celebrity Interviewer, Global Personal Branding & Brand Engagement Consultant known for his experience and ability to help individuals build head-turning brands that attract opportunities. Gulati has authored 5 books, and his idea of a fun day is writing, listening to audible books and decoding personal brands through interviews and polls.

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