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Seven Strategies For Promoting Your Loyalty Program 

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SoCal Explorer Loyalty Program

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Understanding The Value and ROI Of Customer Loyalty Programs
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3 Ways CMOs Can Boost Customer Retention

3 Ways CMOs Can Boost Customer Retention

For CMOs and marketers, customer retention should be a top priority. Keeping customers coming back helps ensure your business can generate loyalty and trust with them. As businesses become more competitive and the expectation for near-immediate gratification from customers grows, it's essential to stay on top of which emerging strategies and trends play a part in retaining loyal customers for the long run.

With customer expectations changing and buyer journeys becoming increasingly convoluted, it’s easy to be consumed by day-to-day tactics that fall short of actually being full-scale retention initiatives. Today we're exploring three methods for boosting customer retention: targeting data collection that directly impacts customer retention, utilizing promotions to engage and retain customers, and being proactive about customer success and happiness. By combining these strategies into your current approach, you will be able to see improvements in customer retention numbers and build long-term loyalty with your customers.


Prioritize Data Collection & Segmentation Specifically For Customer Retention


Customer data is the one of the most valuable resources CMOs need to develop customer retention strategies. There are a lot of metrics, KPIs and data in general that marketers can collect and analyze across a number of different touchpoints. For marketers looking specifically to improve customer retention, they should prioritize collecting data that can specifically help them uncover insights about customer retention. Retaining customers requires finding the answers to key questions such as: 

  • Why does a customer stay loyal? 
  • What causes a customer to churn? 
  • What are the behavior patterns for new and existing customers? What are the indicators that show someone at-risk of slipping away or that someone is willing to purchase more? 
  • What messaging do customers respond to and why? How do they respond?  

Once you have a framework for how to consistently capture and analyze the data points that help you answer these questions, you can start identifying trends and opportunities to increase customer retention. If the data shows the likelihood of a first-time shopper turning into a long-term customer is very high as long as they purchase 3 or more times within the first 100 days, you can then focus on developing strategies that targets those customers and behaviors. You can use segmentation tools to group customers by their purchased product type or category, or by the channel they used when buying, and craft more one-on-one type communications and offers.   


Utilize Promotions To Engage and Retain Customers


Consumer promotions like sweepstakes and contests are pretty familiar to most individuals in the marketing world. Typically these promotions excel at achieving a number of goals, whether that’s driving customer acquisition, putting new products in customer hands, raising brand awareness, and more. Most often though these promotions tend to be treated more as one-off campaigns: the promotion launches, runs, and then ends. However digital promotions can and should be used in more strategic ways; for example, CMOs looking for more efficient and cost-effective methods to increase customer retention can incorporate promotions like sweepstakes, instant wins, etc. as part of ‘test running’ a loyalty or rewards program in planned phases with an eventual lead up to a full program launch. 

Loyalty and rewards programs have long been proven to help reduce churn and grow customer retention numbers. Rather than simply churning out a ‘one-size-fits-all’ loyalty program format just to have something available for customers, a phased approach to starting a loyalty program allows brands to design, test, and optimize the program as it’s being developed, which can create a stronger program overall. Here’s a high-level example of how that can work: 

Phase 1

Brand hosts a frequency rewards promotion (where customers can earn prizes for purchasing select brand products) with the purpose of acquiring and enrolling customers who will eventually become loyalty program members. Customers register by creating an account as part of the entry process, and can begin earning points for their purchased products by uploading their receipts of their purchased products.

Phase 2

Customers continue to earn prizes for their purchases on an ongoing basis, and now they can use multi-action dashboards through their registered accounts to find and enter new brand promotions like UGC contests and sweepstakes that the brand rolls out on a regular basis. The brand can also expand the rewards promotion to include additional brands, products, special promotional offers, and coupons. 

Phase 3

The entire time Phase 1 & 2 are being executed, the brand collects helpful insights like customer participation data and consumer feedback to use when designing the different elements of their loyalty program. After using enrollment, engagement, and performance data collected from the previous two phases, the brand is ready to launch a full enterprise loyalty program with an established rules engine, customer journeys, rewards strategy, communication plans, and more. 


Be Especially Proactive about Customer Success and Health


Being proactive means going beyond ensuring the customer received the product they bought or if they’re likely to buy again. The best way to ensure you’re retaining customers is by ensuring they’re getting the full value of both their products and their experience with the brand. How-to guides, tutorials, helpful videos and other content can help your customers’ get the maximum use of their purchase. Feedback questionnaires and surveys can help ensure the product is fulfilling its purpose and the customer’s interactions with the brand should match or ideally exceed their expectations. 

This doesn’t mean you should never plan for mistakes or problems to occur; as a brand, it's easy to feel a sense of panic when something goes wrong and a customer is left dissatisfied. However, if a mistake is approached in the right way, it can actually be an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty and retention. Believe it or not, studies show that customers are often open and willing to forgive a misstep, as long as it's addressed and rectified promptly in a respectful manner. On the other hand, if a situation is handled poorly, it can lead to customer churn and a loss of customer retention. At the end of the day, it's all about treating customers with respect and empathy, even in the face of an error. By doing so, brands can not only maintain but even grow their customer base.



By understanding customer needs and behavior, implementing targeted campaigns with new technologies, and responding to customer challenges proactively, CMOs and marketers can unlock a wealth of possibilities to improve customer retention. Combining data-driven strategies with a deep understanding of each individual customer’s journey is an effective way to reach out in meaningful ways that keep customers coming back for more. Achieving optimal customer retention requires an integrated view – across marketing automation, personalization, analytics, and optimization – that allows you to tailor offers and experiences that appeal specifically to individual customers. While the process may sound complex, the results are worth it.


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