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Here Be Retention: Discovering Pirate Metrics for Growth Marketing

Amber Rhodes
Last Updated April 26, 2021

This post is part of a blog series, “Here Be Metrics,” breaking down the primary aspects of the so-called pirate metrics for growth marketing. Keep up with this series and others by subscribing to our blog!

Pirates had mostly one-off encounters with their captives. They were ruthless and would usually take everything they could right away. Luckily, this isn’t the modern way of doing business (and if you ever deal with companies that act like pirates: run!).

Seinfeld I don't want to be a pirate

In a break from one-time interactions, retention is much more important for today’s companies than for past pirate companies of the high seas.

Retention Incrementally Increases Customer Lifetime Value

Retention keeps customers connected to a company, whether as a frequent return customer or a repeat subscriber/user, and incrementally increases their lifetime value. Whereas revenue is the first moment of purchase, retention is every purchase after that—and each of these adds value to the first one.

The value of retaining a customer or client is substantially higher than the cost of acquiring a new one, and each additional purchase that a customer makes increases the return on investment of all efforts poured into both acquiring that customer. Retention isn’t something that should be ignored!

Multiple Strategies Can Improve Retention

Depending on what products or services a business offers, there are many ways to improve customer retention. For example, a business might:

  • Upsell product or service upgrades
  • Upsell value-adding products or services
  • Cross-sell related products or services
  • Improve the customer experience
  • Actively reach out to existing customers
  • Offer loyalty discounts on renewed services
  • Offer discounts to customers who want to cancel services

Retention is Especially Important in Online Marketing

Because digitally acquiring a customer is so difficult, retention is especially important in online marketing. 

Image Credit: 500 Hat

Once a campaign has successfully cut through all of the excess content and reached a customer, a business must keep that customer as long as possible. Continually conducting SEO, PPC and social media campaigns to get all new customers is simply too expensive. Instead, eCommerce stores and service-based businesses have to find ways to keep their customers. 

Many of the above tactics can be executed in your digital marketing strategy through automated email campaigns, app notifications, and website improvements. 

Customer-Focused Metrics Reveal Retention

To understand how well a business practices retention, there are several customer metrics that businesses can highlight:

  • Retention rate
  • Churn rate
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Customer satisfaction ratings

Product usage can also be an insightful statistic, as customers are more likely to stick with a product that they use a lot. Think about subscription-based apps you have on your own phone. Are there any you haven’t visited in several days, weeks, or months? How likely are you to keep paying for that subscription when the time runs out?

Retain Your Hard-Earned Customers

Don’t stop working within the customer lifecycle once they reach revenue. Redouble your efforts to keep that customer. Retention is an essential aspect of any successful digital marketing effort!

Spongebob pirate on the phone

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