How to reduce churn: content marketing vs. email marketing
Content marketing has exploded in popularity during the past decade. Recent studies of digital consumer behaviours prove that users prefer searching for information themselves, instead of reading or watching conventional advertising.
This shift from “push” to “pull” marketing (in other words, outbound to inbound) has changed the rules of customer retention and lead generation from the ground up.
But what is content marketing? The most well-known definition comes from the Content Marketing Institute itself: “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
To put it a bit more simply, content marketing is a great tool for companies to create brand awareness and convert your website visitors into leads.
So far, so good - but in this never-ending search of new leads and conversions, customer loyalty can easily become a blind spot for enthusiastic content marketers. Think about it: since existing customers already know your brand, simply throwing out “more content” - especially if it’s always targeted towards new customers! - won’t increase their love for your company, will it?
Whereas customer loyalty is at least as important as bringing in new customers. This stands true for the e-commerce industry even more than others: according to the Harvard Business Review, a mere 5% increase in customer loyalty can grow e-commerce revenues by 25-95% for online businesses.
Not only that, but customers who are between 24-30 months into their customer lifecycle apparently spend twice as much as they did in the first 6 months.
The bottom line? It’s definitely more cost-efficient to keep an existing customer around than to find a new one.
Customer loyalty can easily become a blind spot for content marketers.
Add customer value = reduce customer churn
Taking all this into account, it’s clear that customer loyalty and low customer churn has to become a top priority for digital marketers. And although several content marketers still have some catching up to do, there already are companies who are on the right track.
Like Swedish company Draftit, for example. When they saw their customer rates falling, they looked at their communication (and their competitors) to see what they were missing. They soon realised that their customers need more value from their newsletters to keep them engaged in their online counselling service.
So when Draftit started using APSIS Pro for their email marketing, they also added an integration to their Microsoft Dynamics CRM to segment all the data they had about their customers. Using this data let them personalise their sendings for each customer they had.
The result? An 88% decrease in their churn rates (as well as a 1200% ROI).
Draftit’s story proves how vital it is for businesses to actively work for customer loyalty and retention. Yes, content marketing is key for building your brand in a digital environment; but producing lots of content takes time, and without personalisation or some kind of strategy, your content will only drown in the daily flood of content your customers experience every day.
A personalised email marketing campaign, on the other hand, will not only provide relevant content for your existing customers, but will also save your time and resources while securing your customers’ affection.
Become the Sherlock Holmes of data!
The dark side of customer retention? Losing customers. Which is why many businesses choose to look the other way and focus on new sales, instead of noticing the silver lining of their loss: customer data!
Using all the knowledge you’ve accumulated about existing customers in your CRM system will let you analyse their behaviour and discover why they left, as well as showing you the best way to get them back.
Let’s say your analysis showed that your customers need more training in your products: you can create a specialised email campaign for them with a wide range of seminars as a win-back operation. Or if you see that your newest customers are leaving fast, try getting them back with a special onboarding email series.
The key? Using your data to solve your challenge.
So ultimately, the question isn’t whether content marketing or email marketing works better for reducing customer churn; it’s about which channel you can personalise your content more in? The more you segment your content and communications, the lower your churn rates will be. Whether it’s through email, blogging, or any other type of content.
Any questions about email marketing, CRM integrations or email automation? Just let us know - we’re always happy to help!