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3 Creative Ways to Reduce Churn

What’s in this article:

  • Outside the box strategies to think about when it comes to retention and reducing customer churn

Personalized campaigns. Reward programs. Active social media presence. By now, we’re familiar with some of the most widely-used tactics in reducing churn. But what if you’ve tried these tactics — or they’re just not an option — and you still see higher churn rates than you’d like?

It’s time to start thinking outside the box when it comes to retention, and these off-the-beaten-path strategies could help you find your way. What’s more, using such CRM marketing strategies at scale can boost customer LTV by 33%.

Focus on your most profitable customers

This strategy might require you to think about retention campaigns differently. When trying to reduce churn, marketers often focus on customers at risk of leaving. According to Harvard Business Professor Sunil Gupta, however, this isn’t always the path to profitability.

“What’s missing from traditional methods is that they focus only on a customer’s likelihood to churn, but not on the overall profitability of that customer,” Gupta said. “If I offer an incentive to customers most likely to churn, they may not leave the company, but will it be profitable for me?”

Instead of dedicating a disproportionate portion of your marketing budget trying to convince fleeing customers to stay, make sure your most loyal fans have even more reasons to stay.

As Gupta put it, “the goal should be maximizing profits, rather than only reducing churn.” Encourage those repeat purchases and long-term relationships, and in the process of hitting your revenue goals, you’ll cut down on churn where it’s most important to do so. Bonus: word-of-mouth marketing from your most profitable customers could also give you a retention boost!

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Create a helpful onboarding process

Nearly a quarter of people who download new apps go on to abandon them after one use. According to entrepreneur Ankit Jain, “The key to success is to get the users hooked during that critical first 3–7-day period.”

Marketers can facilitate retention and cut down on that first-week churn by making apps and services intuitive and welcoming right from the start. How? An easy-to-follow, low-pressure onboarding process that keeps users coming back for more.

For inspiration, look no further than MyFitnessPal. The fitness app helps users meet their health goals with calorie counting, exercise tracking, and various other in-depth options. As anyone who’s ever counted calories knows, it can be a drag to keep track of every morsel of food that enters your mouth, so MyFitnessPal’s step-by-step process makes those goals feel more achievable.

All you have to do is answer a series of simple questions, and the app does the math for you! Onboarding is also an excellent way for your creative teams to flex their skills; engaging copy and imagery is ideal for introducing new users to your brand.

Set realistic expectations

One of the main reasons why customers abandon a product or service is because it didn’t meet expectations. In some cases, it’s because the brand didn’t deliver a quality experience. But in others, it could be that the marketing campaigns overpromised and oversold, making reality a bit disappointing.

Does this mean you should set the bar low and downplay what you’re offering? No, of course not! But instead of promising that your product can put a man on the moon, solve world hunger, and make your kids call you more often, focus on facts, data, and what makes it better than what your competitors are offering. By setting realistic expectations, you’re not setting your customers up for disappointment, leading to those repeat purchases that reduce churn rates.

Churn is difficult to address and fix, and sometimes improving retention requires going beyond the typical strategies. Churn-reducing tactics like customer rewards, effective customer service, and convenience features aren’t going out of style anytime soon, but it never hurts to have more tools at your disposal.

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