If you’re an active user of HubSpot’s COS, you are probably using the system’s workflow system to build your lead nurturing campaigns. After all, any inbound marketer knows that generating leads is only half the battle. Only through nurturing can you get them to sales qualification with a higher probability, and increase the chances they’ll convert to customers.
But what you might not know is HubSpot’s versatility in building your workflows. You can, for example, build a lead nurturing campaign and strategy for your existing customers, increasing their retention as a result. For today’s edition of HubSpot Tips and Tricks, that’s exactly what we’ll focus on.
The Importance of Customer Retention
Regardless of your industry, one truth remains: customer retention matters, and probably more than you realize. Most businesses, especially in growth phases, are understandably focused on generating new leads and customers. But if you ignore your existing customers as potential revenue generators, you may be missing a significant opportunity.
For starters, the chances of converting an existing customer are much higher than doing the same for a new lead. In fact, one study examining the impact of customer retention in E-commerce found that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%, compared to 5-20% for new customers.
It’s no surprise, then, that 65% of your business will come from existing, not new customers. Because it costs significantly less to retain your customers than to acquire new ones, a simple 2% increase in your retention statistics can lower costs (and increase net profit) by 10%.
Finding the Right Trigger
Any lead nurturing campaign is and should be set off by a trigger. In acquiring new customers, that trigger tends to be relatively simple: a new lead enters your database, or downloads a specific piece of gated content. For existing customers, of course, the trigger event takes on a different shape.
For example, you may choose to set off your workflow with a trigger (or ‘starting condition’ in HubSpot’s Workflow tool) of making a sale. Your nurturing campaign begins almost immediately, asking for feedback on the purchase and whether you can be of additional help. Over time, that same workflow can morph into encouragements to cross or up-sell.
Other retention workflows take different shapes. You may, for example, offer a customer-exclusive newsletter that keeps your revenue generators updated about your company and the industry as a whole. Another opportunity is to ask for product recommendations; if your customers love what they bought, why wouldn’t they share it with their own social media followers and as testimonials in your digital marketing efforts?
The beauty of HubSpot is its simplicity. Through its Workflow tool, you can set up a number of starting conditions to match your intended effort. Some examples include:
- A ‘standard’ start, which is based on a customer joining a smart list. That enrollment, of course, can be triggered by an event like becoming a customer.
- A calendar-based start, allowing you to set up nurturing campaigns such as the above-mentioned customer newsletter.
- A property-based start, triggering off any property change in your contact’s profile within HubSpot. This option gives you the most freedom as it relates to customer retention, allowing you to trigger workflows based on number of purchases, length of time with your company, and more.
What Do Existing Customers Need?
Once you have a better understanding of the technical set up required within HubSpot to market to existing customers, it’s time to consider what type of information your existing customers are actually looking for. Naturally, as is the case with lead nurturing for new contacts, you want your campaign to deliver actual value to its audience.
We have already discussed some of your options in the content above. Asking for feedback, for example, is always a great idea to get your audience members to feel involved. If they think they have a say (and could actually see their feedback published), they’ll feel more intrinsically connected to your company and become more likely to buy from you again.
Another option, of course, is deliver exclusive content that non-customers don’t get. Introducing a feeling of exclusivity can help build loyalty in a way that simple coupons or other promotions cannot.
Current customers don’t have to be told about your core value, or persuaded by their peers that buying from you is actually a good choice. But they do need to feel valued by your company, and treated differently than new customers.
Part of their initial transaction is an assumption that you’ll deliver customer satisfaction above and beyond your actual product benefits. Through a nurturing workflow, you can fulfill that promise, helping your existing customers feel both valued and satisfied that their initial bet is paying off in tangible and intangible ways.
Building a Successful Retention Workflow in HubSpot
Through HubSpot’s patented COS system, setting up a communications workflow is deceptively simple. In addition to the above-mentioned starting condition, you simply add individual steps of emails, and add the timing of when these emails should be sent.
Of course, it’s also crucial to test your workflow. This tutorial helps you through the process of making sure that before you go live, every step in the campaign works as desired.
Sometimes, becoming an expert in the software is as simple as using a well-known feature in new and unusual ways. A retention workflow is a perfect example of that feat.