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Customer Retention

 

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Customer Retention Strategies for Online Businesses
Related link: Customer Retention: Customer Profiling

WHAT IT MEANS

Customer retention is about making sure existing customers keep buying from you. On the Net, customer retention also means making sure your site visitors keep returning. They are after all customers - they're just not converted yet.

Your customer retention plan must remind her of your business (and URL). Customer retention is about not trusting your customer / visitor to remember you. It's about making her remember you.

CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGIES

Before we get into details, here's a quick list of customer retention strategies that you can implement on your site.

  • Fresh content - regularly
  • A regular (free) publication
  • Signups for fututre notifications
  • Data mining

CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGY # 1
REGULAR FRESH CONTENT

Most professional Internet marketers agree: content sells.

If your site has great content, the word gets around and people start flocking to your site.

But that's great for customer acquisition. What about retention? To get the same customers to keep coming back for more, you have to add fresh content on a regular basis.

This customer retention strategy works great for some sites (like news/ weather sites) but what if you are selling one product - like we are at Pandecta?

Let's face it. If you're not subscribing to Pandecta Magazine today, you probably won't be back - no matter how many free tutorials we put up. It's a wide web with lots to see. Right?

Right, so I have to get you to leave your e-mail address or I have to give you something to remember Pandecta by before you leave. I'll try really hard further down. ;-)

CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGY # 2
REGULAR FREE PUBLICATION

Free newsletters are great tools in customer retention. You should offer a signup-box on most pages within your site, and checkboxes for newsletters on most major forms on your site - like the feedback and order form.

Your newsletter establishes your expertise in the eyes of your customers and it keeps them updated on what's on offer at your web site - but... The best thing about a newsletter is that your name and/or your company name is under the customer's nose on a regular basis. It keeps reminding her of you. It tells her that your dotcom bubble did not burst. It get's them coming back.

The bottom line about newsletters is that they require a lot of time. Time that most of us don't have. Generating enough good content to fill a newsletter every week or even every month can be a daunting task.

For more about newsletters, check out our Top 20 business newsletters. Subscribe to a couple and see how the pros are doing it.

But you're not limited to newsletters. At Pandecta Magazine we have a free e-book about search engines. People love free stuff. Getting a free e-book just sounds so much better than getting a free newsletter. Get your copy and take a look:

The MOTHER of all Search Engine Reference Books

Hang on - how do you promote Pandecta Magazine in a book about search engines? We didn't just grab the topic for the book out of nothing. Our magazine is for Internet entrepreneurs and there is not one Internet entrepreneur (that we know of) that is not interested in search engine positioning. Sure, off-target visitors also download it, but that's o.k. It gets our name out there and costs us nothing.

CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGY # 3
SIGNUPS FOR FUTURE NOTIFICATIONS

I've updated my thinking on sign-ups. This is where I used to tell you to ask visitors to sign up for notifications of changes to your site. In the years that I've asked people to sign up for Pandecta notifications, I had maybe 10 sign ups - so I dropped it. If it doesn't work it just clutters.

I am however not completely against sign ups as a technique in customer retention, because there's a chance that I simply didn't make it as appealing as it needed to be.

Try it for yourself. People who sign up for site notifications usually make great customers. They already know you deliver good value and they're ready to buy from you.

CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGY # 4
DATA MINING

This customer retention strategy is simply about getting people to bookmark you. Tutorials like this one is not really bookmark material. You'll read it once. No need to come back to this page later.

Data mining means getting information from fairly large and frequently updated resources. Resources like our search engine list is bookmark material. Any exhaustive links list, glossary of terms etc. qualifies as data mining resources.

DID IT WORK?

Did you download the book / bookmark either top 20 newsletters or our search engine list?

If you did not, please tell me: andre@pandecta.com

I'm going to try once more... Here's a teaser for our Search Engine Yearbook. It's just like the free book, only much bigger. It's a must if you're interested in increasing traffic to your site:

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André le Roux's
Search Engine Yearbook 2004

Review by Jill Whalen:
"If you love all things about search engines, SEO, SEM and whatever other acronyms are cropping up, you'll want a copy of this reference ebook..."

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