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Email Retention Campaign Strategy

Jacob Brain


Creating an effective email campaign focused on customer retention is a task based on data. Email has one of the highest ROI of any digital outreach platform available. It’s incredibly powerful, and when you are in a position of high readership (i.e. existing clients), you have a direct avenue to communication with your customer and a high likelihood of maximizing return.

Most of the time when you hear “retention campaign” you are thinking that your relationship with your customer is already headed toward attrition. This is a case of too little, too late thinking. Retention campaigns start as soon as someone becomes your customer. The highest return from a retention standpoint comes in keeping customers engaged from the beginning. You might be able to save a few of your customers that already show a positive trend for attrition, but you can decrease the overall trend itself by fighting the causes right in the beginning.

Before talking about tactics, the general application of all of these tactics must be inline with your predictive churn model. You won’t know what to send if you don’t know what steps, stages, and behaviors your client goes through in leaving your product or service. Once you have an understanding of those behaviors, we can look at applying these tactics to combat the behaviors.

Profile Strength

The most powerful item you can posses about your customer is detailed profile information. The more you know, the more you can do to fight attrition. These include buying habits, Website visits, social media sentiment, etc. We advocate that profile building be one of the core messages sent in the early stages of a new customer relationship. Customers are willing to give you more information early on as long as it is easy. Think about all those product registration cards you have completed. Think the same thing, but via email. Build an understanding of your customer to help support your churn model.

Brand and Product Awareness

The most classic internal sales tool is the brand or product awareness email. These include new products, old products, or products that might go well with the product they just purchased. These cross-selling emails are great ways to build customer engagement and spending. Tread lightly when it comes to offers through. Key point here is making sure its relevant and not just marketing.


How are you doing in the relationship? Without waiting for your first support email to come in, or customer service call, you should find out. Informal surveys are a great way to gauge your customer engagement and satisfaction. Knowing this information early can help change the sales process as well as go a long way to supporting the next purchase.

Elevate or alleviate

These email messages are last-chance messages directed at action. These messages look for any response as a way to keep the customer engaged. We may not directly ask them if they are leaving us, but we can use offers that are exclusive to see if even the best deal, could keep them purchasing. The concept is to confirm where the customer is in the churn model and possibly save them. These emails are typically the last line before we consider them lost.

In Closing

These four tactics are the most commonly used in the retention process. But no company is alike and the more you can customize your campaigns and emails to match the core offerings, brand, and benefits of your product or service the better off you will be.

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