All companies benefit from keeping the customers they have, but client retention in the digital marketing realm is particularly challenging. Unless you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other digital marketing firms in your state, people have no reason to remain loyal to you. They’ll go where the costs are lowest and follow the carrot to the next new offer.
Mixpanels’ Product Benchmarks Report took a look at 1.2 billion users’ data and came up with some facts about customer retention. A look at 30-day retention rates across different industries, found a mere 4% of people stick with media-based companies. However, that figure also includes companies only offering information, so the retention rates of digital marketers may be much higher. Still, any loss of a customer to a competitor stings.
It’s best to do everything in your power to keep the clients you have. Here are eight ways to improve your digital marketing company’s client retention rate.
1. Create Landing Pages for Current Clients
There are many ways to improve landing page conversion rates, but targeting individual buyer personas is vital. The person who ordered from you last month doesn’t want to go through the entire onboarding process again just to get to a re-order page. Create pages aimed at keeping the customers you have. Simplify the process for those already subscribed to your mailing list. Let users save information for future visits.
2. Streamline Billing
Never frustrate your customers by sending them a bill they’ve already paid or forgetting to send an invoice one month and then hitting them with a hefty one the next. Utilize enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to ensure you meet customers’ needs on every level, including financial and need-based.
3. Understand Their Business Goals
It’s easy to get caught up in the patterns of promoting clients. Much of the work is similar. Plan a campaign, create assets, share assets, repeat. However, in the hustle and bustle of daily promotions, it’s easy to lose sight of the unique goals each business owner has. Spend time every few months talking to your clients. Pick up the telephone or reach out via email and find out what their current goals are.
4. Spend Your Time on the Right Clients
You have a limited number of hours in the day. Each client you take on eats into those hours. Some clients are high-risk from the beginning. Perhaps they come out of the gate demanding unachievable results. Maybe they are in a high-risk industry likely to fail. Assess each client and make sure they are a good fit for your agency. Pass on the ones who seem like they jump from agency to agency. You should also cull your list every year. If you have clients taking up the majority of your time and impacting your focus on others, it might be time to cut them loose.
5. Ask for Feedback
You won’t know a client is unhappy unless you ask them. You never want your first clue of dissatisfaction to be losing a client. After each campaign, ask your clients for feedback on how they thought it went. Keep the lines of communication open and strive to improve with each new task. No one is perfect 100% of the time, but by talking to your customers, you improve the chances of meeting their needs and the chances of client retention.
6. Reconsider Price Increases
There are times when a price increase isn’t a great idea. It will almost always make you lose clients, which might be fine if you have more clients than you can handle. However, during difficult financial times, you might lose more work than you’d like. In recent months, many businesses experienced economic setbacks, disruptions in supply chain management, and forced store closures for weeks at a time. Before raising the costs for your customers, think about whether they can weather such a storm. Marketing is often the first budget cut for smaller organizations.
7. Show You Care
One of the main reasons clients leave a digital marketing agency is because they feel overlooked. Every digital marketer has big-name clients with huge budgets and small mom and pop startups. Your goal should be to make the mom and pop shop feel as crucial as the multi-national corporation. Track campaign results and let clients know immediately when you see big successes or even failures. If things aren’t going well, reach out and suggest some changes mid-campaign to turn things around.
When you show you care enough to track results in the middle of a campaign, your clients know you’re doing the best work you can for them. The mom and pop shop may turn into the next huge client in the future, so practice attention to detail now.
8. Encourage Loyalty
What factor makes a customer loyal to your brand over all the others out there? Some ways of encouraging loyalty include creating open communication lines and offering a great customer experience (CX). You should also help clients to refer you to other people they know and reward them for doing so. Most people think through carefully what they recommend to their friends. They’ll have to consider why they love the work you do.
Once they’ve recommended you, they’re less likely to jump ship over something minor. It is a subtle psychological push to get them on your side and keep them there. No one wants to admit to their friends they recommended you, but now they are going with another company.
Differentiate Your Digital Marketing Agency
As you implement different tactics for client retention, consider what makes you different than your competitors. You should offer equal service but then take it a step beyond. Digital marketing repeats similar services, but you can stand out by creating propriety software tracking your customer’s results or through your level of excellence and results.
Lexie is a digital nomad and web designer. You can normally find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.