How to nurture customers the right way for long-term profits

Approximately 3-5 minute read

  • Nurturing customers is an overlooked aspect of marketing for e-commerce brands. It’s really a low-risk, high reward activity in terms of long-term revenue as it can increase your customer lifetime value.
  • It improves the strength of your brand over time, creating important ambassadors that will help reinforce the strength of your brand against the competition.
  • Create content that doesn’t revolve around sales to keep your customers engaged and interested; it will keep your brand top-of-mind when they’re ready to buy, and distancing them from becoming one-off customers.

 

Looking to improve your customer lifetime value and long-term profits? Turn to nurturing customers—an often forgotten, overlooked, and lost art. You have seen this happen before: a wave of purchases followed by those same customers disappearing for awhile…or maybe forever. That’s not what e-commerce brands want. 

Your long-term profits depend on keeping customers buying from your brand, and how well you execute your customer retention strategies. Here’s reasons why you should nurture customers, and how you can capture dormant users and improve customer lifetime value.

Related: Need help with customer lifetime value? We’ll help you understand and calculate CLV here.

 

Why implement a customer nurturing strategy?

For many of our e-commerce brands, we typically see 40-60% of their mailing list being dormant. That’s a large customer base that you could easily tap into. However, the biggest issue is that most marketing teams find re-engaging with dormant users pointless and a waste of time. The same marketers likely trend towards the short sighted “churn and burn” approach without realizing the long-term damage it can cause. 

Benefits of nurturing customers

Other than improving customer lifetime value and increasing customer retention, you will:

  • Create happy and loyal customers that can become your biggest brand ambassadors. We all know that brand ambassadors can create a positive influence for you brand (think social media, influencers, reviews sites, internet forums, etc.)
  • Keeps your products on top of mind. They’ll remember you when they are ready to buy if your content is relevant and engaging to them. 
  • It’s a more effective way for profitability as retained customers cost less than new customer acquisition.  
  • Helps strengthen your brand. Who wouldn’t want to keep buying from a strong brand? Look at brands like Coca-cola, Nike, Starbucks, etc.

It’s important to remember that we can’t recoup all unengaged, dormant customers. Unfortunately, some customers are truly “one-time” customers. This is where the art of nurturing, a low-risk high reward tactic, can start yielding profitable results.

 

How to nurture to increase customer retention and CLV

First you need to identify your dormant users. Create these segments based on purchasing habits and user behavior. Here are some examples:

  • Last visited website over 90-days + purchased within 90-days
  • Customers last purchase 30-days + not visited website
  • Number of orders = 1 + engaged with your band within 60 days (email opens/clicks + website visit)
  • Last order date between 90-180 days + engaged with your brand within 60 days (email opens/clicks + website visit)

Note: It all really depends on your product buying cycle. 

This becomes a whole lot easier with our AI powered our platform, Cortex, that automatically identifies dormant users and places them in the “At Risk” stage. From there you can automate a nurturing campaign without having to manually create these segments every time users become dormant. Learn more about our lifecycle marketing platform and all its 20 different stages AKA your new marketing playground.

Next, find creative ways to re-engage these users by providing content that’s not always centered around sales. You want to create content that is engaging that improves the customer experience so they keep coming back for more. Here’s a few examples from our client FIGS, that does an excellent job of keeping their customers engaged with their emails.

 

FIGS nurturing examples

From left to right: Quick to digest information through “list” style visual content, that is indirectly promoting products; Unique email aimed to keep customers engaged. Variety is the key here; Leverages positive reviews to help strengthen brand; A fun way to display products, visually interesting, and focuses on being informative rather than salesy.

The result: FIGS was able to win back many customers at a successful rate, feeling strongly about investing more time in nurturing dormant users overall. They also observed that dormant customers move out of the “At Risk” stage quickly into other high converting stages. 

Aspects of successful email nurturing campaigns

  • Create content that is playful, fun, and sometimes shows off its products as its centerpiece.
  • Don’t be so product focused and salesy. Use your unique brand voice, and collaborate with growth/sales/branding teams to see what you can bring to your customers. It will all contribute to a better customer experience.
  • Keep trying to produce fresh content and new ideas. Sending off the same content over and over can actually hurt your marketing efforts.
  • Share your brand story so they know who they are buying from. It’s shown that customers are more likely to buy from brands that have a compelling brand story.
  • Last but not least: keep tabs on your competitors and favorite brands and see what they are doing! (they’re likely spying on you, too!)

Related: Need next level ideas this holiday season? Learn more in our webinar replay: Conquering the Holiday Rush with Foodstirs and ReSci.

 

What’s the worst that can happen? Test out a nurturing campaign and monitor your open and click through rates. If they’re high and make some good returns, then why not? The key is realizing as humans, marketer or not, we know exactly what we want to see; it’s not sales messages all the time. So start developing content that speaks to your audience and get those customers back!

 

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ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands. Find out how we can help you connect with your customers.