Are you a marketer who wants to uncover the hidden gaps in customer acquisition?
Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of building complex email marketing game plans?
Have you been tasked with growing your company's MRR, but you've got no clue how?
If your answer is a 'Yes' for any of these questions, then you're in the right place!
Everyone is high on customer acquisition, lead generation, and email list building these days. But there’s a way to grow your MRR without looking at new customers at all. In fact, the most valuable customers are the ones that you thought were lost.
Classify your customers
There will always be customers you want to win back, and customers you want to stay clear of. The first step is to sort them out clearly.
Customers who send in dozens of tickets, make daily feature requests, cost the company countless hours, and then eventually churn.
These are the customers you can take a hard pass on. Unless they change their habits and come back to you, there's no need to go chasing after them.
Users who've expressed interest in a service, but never actually acted on it.
These customers can be a valuable resources in the fight against churn. They won't impact your true churn numbers, but they'll definitely impact your win-back rate.
The third category of customers are the best kind, and the ones you should focus on. They're the customers who converted to a paid account, and were with you for months or even years. These are the people who loved your product once, but eventually left. They're familiar with your platform, and require very little onboarding. And guess what? They're still out there waiting to hear from you.
Understand your churn rate
Your customer churn rate is the percentage of your customers who've canceled their subscriptions during a given time period.
According to SaaS churn rate expert Lincoln Murphy, companies with acceptable churn lose only 1 out of every 200 customers.
If it's not already the top topic of your company meetings, your churn rate will quickly become the metric you're discussing. Your team should be looking at retention strategies and ways to keep customers happy and out of danger of churning, because churn does matter.
Support beyond the CS team
How often do you consider your customers' support tickets as one-and-done deals?
Neil Patel, the founder of Crazy Egg, has a retention strategy for support followups. He takes a single instance and turns it into a world of care.
- A typical service request and solution looks like this:
The customer says we have a problem, and the support team gives them a solution. That is pretty much it.
- Now let's add another layer to this process:
The customer says we have a problem, the support team gives them a solution, and then follows up. So that's a bonus follow up.
"Hey! We helped you a couple of weeks ago, how are things going now? Anything we can help you with?"
- So what happens if you do a followup months later?
"Hey, you submitted a feature request when you were our customer. I know it's been a while and you might have found a solution, but I wanted to let you know that we've built the exact feature you asked for, and I'd be happy to share more if you're interested."
When you reach out to your canceled customers who submitted a specific feature request, you can open the floodgates to all kinds of new customers.
Tailor your content for canceled customers
During the end of the year, inboxes are stuffed with offers—one last push to lock customers in for another year.
You might be thinking of sending a similar email to your entire mailing list. That list contains your canceled customers too. So you're covered, right? Well, no. You have to grab their attention and speak right to them.
Go ahead and send that upsell email to your current customers, but draft an entirely different email for your canceled customers. Tell them about the benefits of your product updates, any position changes in your brand, and an offer that matters to them.
The customer success experts at Groove found that upselling is a true power move if you have the right offer and the right audience. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5% to 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%.
While you can argue that canceled customers are not existing customers, they fall much closer to existing customers than to new prospects. After all, they were your customers once. So speak directly to them, not to the masses. There's a high probability that they might sit up and pay attention to you.
Human with a capital H
People love to talk about themselves. Ask someone what they're working on and what inspires them, and you'll have a friend for life.
An advocate for the human experience, Kevin Fontenot has an idea for growing SaaS companies. He says that while it might not be possible to get to every customer, it's important to have those on-to-one conversations to improve your product and your retention rates. Speak directly to your customers about their needs, interests, and what they want in the world. And guess what? This applies to your canceled customers too.
If you don't know where to start, here are a few questions to get the ball rolling.
How would you describe your job title?
What are you working on right now?
What is the biggest problem that you're facing that keeps you awake at night?
About your product:
What was happening in your world that led you to sign up for [your product] originally?
What happened during your trial that convinced you [your product] was the right solution at that time?
What were you skeptical about when you signed up? Is that what ultimately prevented you from using [your product] for the long term?
Take notes, record the conversation, and get it transcribed. Remember that people like to be treated like people and not machines.
Real luxury is customization
Do you know what a returning customer will hate the most?
Getting the exact onboarding that they got before.
Create customized onboarding for your newly won-back customers and give them options so they can choose how they want to get started. It could be a beautiful start to your renewed relationship.
There's no one right answer when it comes to sales and marketing, but there are some excellent ideas. So give these under-utilized retention strategies a spin and win back your long-lost customers. For all you know, your most valuable customer could be the one you thought you'd lost.
Conversion Capsule from ZohoPageSense aims to bring you conversion rate optimization best practices from CRO experts around the world. In this blog, we've converted Val Geisler's session from "The Optimization Summit" we hosted, as digestible takeaways for you.
Val Geisler is the CEO of Fix My Churn. She is an email marketing strategist with a passion for B2C companies. Val has over a decade of experience behind the scenes of non-profits and six-figure businesses, and the innate ability to conceive the big picture and the minute details simultaneously.