Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing

  1. Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Skills
  2. Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Strategies
  3. Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Campaigns
  4. Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Efforts

Research suggests that a 5% increase in customer retention rates can improve a company’s revenue by 25% — a significant ROI figure for your sales and marketing spend, and one that should encourage greater investments in customer retention efforts. Any successful customer retention strategy will utilize email marketing. With the right digital marketing tools, you can put together a text message campaign that drives customers to your website. Start by sending an email with an SMS shortcode and a discount. Introduce a customer loyalty program. Customer loyalty and reward programs are an effective customer retention strategy. They not only offer value to your customers through cashback, discounts, or other perks, but, by including reward tiers, you can encourage customers to spend even more with your brand. Result oriented marketing automation strategically pinpoints and focuses on enhancing customer retention and increasing the brand loyalty. The fast moving nature of the marketing techniques.


Lasting loyalty can't be bought—it has to be earned. Find out how it's done.

Published March 31, 2020
Last updated December 18, 2020

Relationships are a two-way street. Relationships between customers and companies are no different.

Speaking at the National Retail Foundation Conference in 2020, Shelley Bransten, corporate VP of Retail and Consumer Goods Industries at Microsoft, asked the important question, what about loyalty to customers?

'Brands need to stop thinking about how customers are loyal to them, but how we are loyal to customers.'

Read on for helpful tips to show your loyalty to customers and earn theirs.

Customer loyalty vs. customer retention: What’s the difference?

  • Customer retention means that a customer buys from you, but they don’t necessarily have a strong affinity for your brand.
  • Customer loyalty means that a customer prefers your company, and if given the choice, they would choose your brand over another.

How to increase customer retention

Once you've gained a new customer, you need to convince them to stick around. Show them you're committed to providing a good experience, and of course, being good humans.

Here are a few ways to win them over.

  1. Make a good first impression

    Everything you do tells a story about your brand, from your website to your customer service. Did you know that nearly half of customers would switch to a competing brand after one bad service experience? You might only have one chance, so make it count.

  2. Be helpful

    When a new or potential customer reaches out, do everything you can to help. Answer their oddly specific questions or look up something they could Google themselves. Showing someone a little kindness is an easy thing you can do to build trust.

  3. Create a seamless experience

    Customer experience is one way companies can stand out from the competition. For example, you could deploy a chatbot on your checkout page to help customers answer any lingering questions. This shows customers that you're thinking of them every step of the way.

  4. Show gratitude

    Customer appreciation helps establish a good relationship with your customers and encourages them to come back. If they are a first-time customer, show your appreciation by giving them a discount code. Loyalty programs are another way you can thank your customers.

How to increase customer loyalty

Making a good impression is only the first step. To cultivate loyal customers and brand advocates, you need to make a deeper connection.

Here are a few ways to show your customers they can depend on you.

  1. Be honest and real

    We expect honesty from our friends, and customers expect it from companies too. A 2017 survey showed that 86 percent of people say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. This means providing customers the information they need, portraying your product accurately, and admitting mistakes even when they are big or uncomfortable.

  2. Respect their time

    More than 60 percent of customers said a speedy response was an important aspect of good customer service, according to our Customer Experience Trends Report 2020. Make sure you have the tools in place to respond quickly on the channels your customers prefer. Being able to respond on WhatsApp, for example, could set you apart from competitors.

  3. Show empathy

    Customers aren't likely to stick around if they don't feel heard. Listen to your customers when they provide feedback, show empathy for their experience, and then take steps to improve. Use tools like satisfaction surveys and focus groups to gain deeper insight, so you can really understand what your customers need and how you can deliver for them.

  4. Have fun

    You could provide free stickers with every package, share quick quips on social media, or create customer communities. For example, Starbucks created a Facebook group for Pumpkin Spice Latte fans to give them a space to share their love unapologetically. Customers will come for your product or service, but they'll stay because they enjoy the community you've created.

Measuring customer loyalty and retention

Here are a few widely accepted metrics that can help you understand where your brand might fall in terms of loyalty and retention:

  • Customer retention rate

    Your customer retention rate is a reflection of customers who were retained over a period of time. Having a high retention rate means you’re doing something right and can instead focus on how to foster greater loyalty.

  • Customer churn rate

    Related, your customer churn rate is the percentage of customers lost during a period of time. Churn is inevitable, but it's important to track as an indicator of brand health or a warning of potential problems.

  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)

    Your customer satisfaction score is measured by asking your customers one simple question: How satisfied were you with your experience today? Your CSAT, then, is the percentage of customers who said they were satisfied.

  • Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS)

    Net Promoter Score is measured by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product to friends or family, measured on a scale of one to 10. Based on their rating, customers can be broken down into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors.

Customer loyalty starts and ends with CX

Customer loyalty isn’t just about a great deal or value proposition. Every aspect of your customer experience—marketing, sales, customer support—plays a role in fostering that relationship.

You can have the best product in the world, but if your sales process is impersonal or your customer support is inconsistent, you risk losing your customers’ trust and jeopardizing the relationships that you worked so hard to establish.

Take control of your CX. Get started with a free trial today.

Net Promoter and NPS are registered U.S. trademarks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.

Customer Experience Guide


Find out how to create great customer experiences that will lead to loyal customers, improved word-of-mouth promotion, and increased revenue. Get started with our free guide.

Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Skills

Related stories


DonorsChoose shares tips for startups navigating uncertainty

This year, teachers have been working harder than ever to support their students as they navigate…


Messaging tips for startups

Messaging might feel ambitious now, but you can still plan for it down the road, and there are more than a few reasons why you should.


Supporting mobile gamers where they are, in the apps they love

Unity and Zendesk partner for uninterrupted customer support in mobile games with the Zendesk SDK for Unity


Q&A with Chatdesk: How to make the holiday season a CX success

Chatdesk co-founders Aneto Okonkwo and Andrew Olaleye share customer service tips to help keep the holidays merry and bright.

With the rise of fast-paced social media videos and interactive blog content, it’s easy to think that email might be a thing of the past. Audiences today have shorter attention spans than ever and are being conditioned to expect more exciting forms of content. However, is email actually irrelevant?

Thankfully, the answer is no. Whether you’re going on engagement, clicks, or straightforward sales conversions, email is still one of the most powerful marketing tools to have at your disposal — especially when it comes to building customer loyalty.

As the cost of acquiring new customers skyrockets, it’s crucial that online retailers and businesses of all shapes and sizes focus on sustainable growth. Email is one of the best ways to encourage customers to get engaged with your brand community because it’s accessible and highly visual, giving you the perfect opportunity to show new and returning customers exactly who your brand is and why they should fall in love with you.

Let’s look at six ways you can use email to boost loyalty, build engagement, and ultimately improve your bottom-line.

Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Strategies

1. Tailor email campaigns to customer groups

Segmenting your customers into groups based on their purchase patterns and behaviors is one of the most effective ways to boost loyalty and retention. This is especially true when you group customers according to their position in your rewards program. Whether you’re simply running a points program or incorporating VIP tiers, you have a lot of data at your fingertips you can use to craft personalized, highly-relevant emails that speak directly to specific groups of people.

In general, there are four types of data you should incorporate into your marketing campaigns.

Demographic data

Segmenting customers based on factors like age, location, and gender can be immensely useful for putting together targeted emails that speak directly to the needs of your customers. This is especially true if you sell a variety of products that appeal to a number of different audiences.

Purchase frequency

Knowing how often your customers are shopping with you will give you the most insight into how your customers prefer to shop with you. If you notice that most customers are only making purchases every 6 months, you can run special events and send them campaign emails to get them excited to attend.

This is especially useful if you’re running a rewards program. Bonus points events are one of the best ways to improve overall engagement with your brand and larger community and are a highly valuable addition to your regularly scheduled marketing efforts.

VIP status

A VIP program makes it very easy for you to see who your most valuable customers are. These are the customers who spend the most at your store and are most engaged with your brand community, making them an extremely important group to keep engaged.

When you separate these highly active members from your disengaged customers, you can begin to craft personalized campaigns designed to motivate inactive members to take advantage of your program’s benefits. It can even be as simple as including each customer’s VIP status and points balance in every email you send. These small reminders can often be the difference between a customer exploring more of your program or falling off.

Top referrers

Referral programs are among the most powerful marketing techniques available, with 74% of shoppers identifying referrals as a key factor in purchase decisions. As a result, focusing extra attention on your top referrers is worthwhile because they represent a huge source of new customers.

Send your top referrers an email thanking them for engaging in your program, and offer an additional incentive or reward for helping you grow your brand community. Similarly, remind customers who haven’t made a successful referral what their unique referral URL is and what they can earn to motivate them to share your brand community with friends and family.

2. Send personalized 'event emails'

Over 90% of customers like receiving personalized content from brands. That’s because personalization helps customers feel truly valued as part of your brand community, helping them form strong emotional connections with your brand they might not experience otherwise.

Personalized emails build strong emotional connections between customers and your brand, involving them in your brand community.

This means you need to make personalized content a staple in your email marketing efforts. Whenever you wish a customer happy birthday or let them know about a relevant buying holiday like Mother’s Day, they form a positive association with your brand that will keep them coming back in the future.

You can send personalized messages on a number of different occasions.

Wish your customers a happy birthday

Sending out birthday emails is one of the easiest ways to build loyalty. It shows your members that you care about them as an individual and want to share their excitement and join the celebration.

You can even sweeten the deal by offering them a special reward as a gift. Simons offers their customers double points on their birthdays, making it exciting for every customer to shop for something special on their big day. This type of incentive is great for reminding customers of the value of your program and getting them engaged in the year to come.

Celebrate a holiday

While it’s not a good idea to celebrate every holiday, you can send customers personalized emails on the holidays most relevant to them as a group. Consider who your customers are and what you sell to come up with a list of celebrations you’d like to share with them and design tailored messages for each of those events. These campaigns will provide another chance for customers to include your brand in their day-to-day lives and, as a result, for them to engage in your community.

Recognize their new VIP status

It’s always nice to be acknowledged when you achieve something you’ve been working towards, and the same goes for your customers’ VIP status! When a customer enters a new tier, send them an email welcoming them to the next stage of their program and thanking them for their participation in your brand community.

This would also be a great opportunity to remind them of the benefits of their new status and how they can earn even more fantastic perks and rewards with your program.

3. Send powerful incentives to inactive customers

Your rewards program’s inactive members are actually some of the most valuable. That’s because they represent a group of people that are already interested in your product and brand. That makes it much easier to re-engage than to devote more resources to finding new customers through expensive acquisition channels.

The key is to make your emails valuable to these customers. One of the reasons they might have disengaged in the first place is because they no longer find your program valuable. That means it’s your job to remind them of why they joined your community in the first place and get them excited to re-engage.

Reminding customers that a free gift, bonus reward points, or a discount reward are waiting for them are all easy ways to demonstrate your commitment to providing these customers value. In this example from Knitcrate, they remind their customers how many points they’ve earned and show them what they could spend them on, making the connection between both their program and products stronger and more valuable.

Through this value-add marketing, you make it easy for customers to see and understand what’s in it for them and get them to re-engage with your community as a result.

4. Ask for and act on feedback

Asking for feedback is a great way to make your customers feel appreciated. The trouble is often getting them to actually give it to you. While customers want to be heard, they also want it to be worth their time and won’t necessarily seek out your contact information or look for you on social media.

Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Campaigns

That’s where email comes in! Sending emails that asks your engaged brand community for their feedback on your products, services, or rewards program is a fantastic way to include them in more of your brand experience.

To make this even more valuable for your customers, why not give them a gift for taking the time to respond? Mori offered their customers a significant reward in exchange for taking part in their survey, and encouraged both new and existing customers to share their opinions. Rewards show customers their opinions mean something, and imply that you are gathering feedback because you genuinely want it rather than as an arbitrary exercise.

5. Show customers how close they are to their next reward

One of the most exciting parts of a points program is watching your progress to the next reward. By incorporating gamification into the rewards experience, earning points becomes a game that customers can’t wait to keep playing. However, it’s only satisfying if you know what you’re working towards. Without knowing how close you are to the next reward, you can get demotivated pretty quickly,

You can solve this problem by sending emails to let your program members know how close they are to their next awesome reward. These messages don’t need to be complicated — even something as simple as “you’re so close!” will inspire customers to make that one more purchase that pushes them into rewards redemption territory.

Scout & Co sends regular reminders to their members reminding them how many Stars they have and how close they are to the next reward. These short, simple messages help turn the abstract idea of “Stars” into something tangible and make it easier to see how earning those Stars are adding value to their community experience. With these messages in their inbox, Scout & Co’s customers are motivated to keep earning and spending rewards, keeping their brand community active and engaged.

Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing

6. Build emotional connections through value-add marketing

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that building loyalty is all about offering rewards and free stuff, but that’s not actually true. Customers are looking for opportunities to engage with brands who take the time to develop real, emotional connections with them. In fact, research shows that “emotional connection” is a stronger contributor to loyalty than popular “conversion” elements like “ease” and “effectiveness.”

Increasing Loyalty And Retention With Email Marketing Efforts

With so many of your competitors focusing solely on these transaction-based features, you have the opportunity to create an incredible experience that goes above and beyond what customers expect. You can do that by including the following types of content in your future email campaigns:

  • Blog content that tells customers more about your brand values
  • User-generated content, like Instagram photos or testimonials
  • Entertaining features (like videos) involving employees and customers

This style of marketing is known as “value-add” because it goes beyond simply promoting products. In these campaigns, you delight customers beyond a simple purchase and end up building deeper emotional connections with customers as a result. This makes these types of campaigns more effective than many other to establish strong loyalty in existing (and new!) customers.

Email + loyalty = a winning combination

When customers are loyal to your brand, you reap the benefits of engaged, excited community members who are committed to engaging with and sharing your brand with others. Using the tactics on this list will ensure that you foster as much loyalty as possible with these valuable customers using a marketing channel that is still one of the easiest and most effective.

By introducing each of these email campaigns to your marketing efforts, you will dramatically improve not only your customer’s loyalty but your overall brand experience as well. With value-add marketing at the helm, you’re well set up to build stronger customer relationships that last.

Now, time to start working on your next email!

Chad Rubin is the CEO and co-founder of Skubana, an online suite of tools that helps ecommerce merchants manage, track, and update inventory while drawing insights from analytics reporting.