How to Retain Customers: Practice Marketing Demographics

Retaining Those Customers Starts With Knowing Who They Are!


  • Know who your customers are: their demographics, cohort groupings and life stages.
  • What do you know about why they signed up? Does your database keep track of that?
  • One way to think about your customer’s demographic is to understand what search engines they prefer
  • If you receive an opt-out, look for patterns. Why did they sign up originally and from what source. If one source or offer repeatedly generates the highest drop-out rate, then that marketing channel and message needs to be reconsidered or adjusted.

Nurture your Customers with Tactics Tailored to What You Know About Them

  • Unexpected delights, e.g. new offers or surprise giveaways or premiums, can help improve retention. Consider testing new offers on an A/B split basis to see which ones improve retention, increase ROI, improve Lifetime Value, etc. One caveat: don’t appear to being gratuitous or condescending and make sure what you give is relevant to each customer segment.
  • Test the timing of any nurturing tactics. At what point in a customer’s tenure on your list should you offer those unexpected items? What engages the customer for both the short- and long-term? Test varying offers against each other during key times.
  • Engage with your customers on a regular basis via one (or more) of the many Social Media tools at your disposal. These platforms give you even more individualized insights into who they are, what they want, how happy they are with your company and its products or services.
  • Based on past results and/or anecdotal information as to what has worked and what might work to keep them in the fold, develop a plan or matrix of possibilities going forward.
  • Try surveys┬áto identify build your knowledge base:
    • Surveying canceled clients can help you learn what went wrong
    • Surveying active customers helps identify the greatest opportunities for payback
    • Assign targeted deliverable options to each of these segments.

One of the advantages of email and web-based communications is that it can create strong customer loyalty by reassuring the customer every step of the way. Before the customer even has time to wonder whether something has been taken care of properly, send an email notification that it has. You will find this step especially important when marketing to the many segments of the boomer and senior demographic.

Bottom line: Test, test, test. Until you try variations on each marketing tactic in a systematic way, you won’t know what to do with the demographic information you’ve gathered. You need the demographics to segment your tactics, and you need the tests to impact your ROI.


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