Education marketers work hard to cultivate the engagement and trust that coaxes prospects down the funnel toward a handoff to sales. Once those prospects become customers, does that focused attention drop off?
One of the most enduring maxims in marketing is, as Forbes reminds us, “retaining a customer is much cheaper than acquiring a new customer. In fact, studies suggest that depending on the industry you are in, acquiring a new customer can cost five to seven times more than retaining an old one.”
That raises the question: How can you collaborate with account teams to extend the nurture approach throughout the customer lifecycle for retention as well as authority building, cross-selling, or upselling?
Keep Customer Brand Perception Fresh
During the awareness phase, content marketing and thought leadership were some of the techniques that helped you establish your brand as a knowledgeable source on the issues and trends your audience cares about.
They didn’t stop caring once they became customers. Did you stop engaging them with this level of content?
The awareness assets you create can also be made available to current customers via e-newsletters, emails, social media posts, etc. Account teams can contact customers directly with these insights—with no strings attached—as a way to keep the channels of communication open and prompt interest in specific topics that may align with cross-selling or upselling opportunities.
Show Customers You Know Them
As prospects move into the interest and evaluation phase of the funnel, they need more concrete proof of value. That’s when case studies and customer co-hosted webinars typically get featured.
As existing customers, those topics hold special interest. If they are early in their relationship with you, they’ll want to see examples of positive outcomes from other customers. If they are considering a cross-sell or upsell purchase, hearing from a peer can carry more weight than any sales pitch.
The trick is to use these assets to demonstrate your intimate knowledge of the customer. Think of case studies and webinars as precision instruments that target their concerns of the moment.
Leverage MarTech Data
What did you learn about the prospect during their journey down the funnel, and how are you using that profile to serve them better as customers?
- Which channels did they interact with the most? Are you serving them content via that channel?
- Does your knowledge of customer behavior span all your touchpoints?
- Did A/B testing tell you anything about what is most relevant to them?
- Has their customer service contact revealed any areas of confusion or dissatisfaction that could be addressed with a demo?
Enlist Customers as Advocates
Social proof is one of the most valuable tools in the marketing toolkit, and satisfied customers can make your most persuasive advocates.
We’re all human and we like praise. If a customer is having great success with your product or service or using it in a unique way, ask if you can share a social post about it or mention it in a newsletter. That good feeling can help cement brand loyalty and make the customer more likely to give a referral.
Each cross-sell or upsell is a powerful endorsement of the company. That news should be shared widely among your customer community to help spark a ripple effect.
From Funnel to Forever
Forbes puts a fine point on it: “Statistics show an increase in customer retention by 5% can lead to a company’s profits growing by 25% to around 95% over a period of time.” That makes customer nurturing well worth the effort and a smart use of your assets, skills, and insights—resources education marketers have at the ready.
Need help activating your prospect data for customer profiling and retention? MDR has proven techniques you can use. Get in touch!